Job Interview Tips
Getting to the final interview stage of a graduate job or internship application is STRESS – it can be exciting as you know that you’re so close to getting the offer, but also terrifying as it builds up a lot of pressure to perform well. If I’m honest, I don’t have loads of experience with interviews for graduate jobs and internships – I’ve only had one internship interview (which I passed) and I haven’t had any for graduate job applications yet. I actually have an interview in January though so I’ve been preparing loads, and therefore I’ll share my tips with you all! Don’t worry though because I’ve had loads of part-time jobs before University, which means that I’ve had loads of interviews and passed the majority of them so I can give you some tips that will actually be of good use (I hope haha).
Most interviews will be 45 minutes to 1 hour maximum, and you may be with one assessor or two. They’ll typically be the senior leader of the team that you’ll be working in, so possibly a director or manager. They could also be a general senior leader from the business, or someone that has been in the business for countless years and therefore has loads of experience. Try not to get overwhelmed by their senior role and remember that they’re still human at the end of the day, and simply want to get to know you better and understand if you’re right for that company.
The interview may be competency based, or more of a simple chat, or a mixture of both! Therefore, you want to present yourself as both formal and personable – sometimes it can be best to alter this on the sort of assessor you have and the vibe they are giving off. Regardless, even if your assessor is really stern, you want to show that you have a personality besides your academic brain and would be able to work well with potential colleagues. Remember that you already would have passed numerous tests during the application stage and stated your achievements and qualifications, so they know you have the knowledge and skills – more importantly, they want to see how your character differs from other candidates.
Here are my top 10 interview tips:
1. Dress fabulous, so dress for full on business. Wearing some colour can also be good as it’ll make you stand out and be remembered.
2. Give a firm hand shake when you meet your assessor and leave.
3. Keep a smile on your face throughout (even if you have to force it)! You don’t want to come across bored, uninterested or lacking personality. This includes making small jokes here and there, that are of course appropriate.
4. Research the company beforehand as much as you can, as the assessor will be testing your outside knowledge and will want to see if you truly want to work for them, as well as whether you’ll fit in.
5. Have a topic regarding your role/business area ready in mind, to show that you’re up to date with current affairs regarding your position.
6. Keep a mental note of scenarios from University/Work/School where you’ve had to work in a team, be a leader, deal with challenges or conflict, have had success etc., so you can reflect on them if asked to.
7. Make eye contact with the assessor at all times and actively listen to them. Try your best not to look around the room!
8. Keep your answers succinct and to the point, so avoid waffling and going off on a tangent, as you don’t want to lose the interest of your assessor.
9. If you’re asked a question about something that you’re unsure of, say an answer regarding something that you have great knowledge about rather than attempting something and it being incorrect. If you show your passion and expertise in some format, it will hopefully still be credible.
10. Use the opportunity to ask questions about the company, the role and the assessor themselves! It will show your interest and enthusiasm.
If you have any questions regarding interviews then feel free to leave them in the comments below! Good luck to any of you that have interviews coming up, remember to stay positive and showcase your amazing personality – essentially win over the assessor and prove why you’re the best candidate. If you’d like to know tips regarding other stages of the application process, then check out my previous blog posts!