Interview Tips For Graduates

First Impressions Count

It is estimated that around 75% of interviews fail within the first few minutes of you entering the room. Poor body language, lack of eye contact and a weak handshake are just some the negative first impressions that you can give to an interviewer. Make sure that you are aware of the impression that you want to make before going into an interview. Be prepared to offer a firm handshake, smile and make good eye contact. As much as we don’t like to think it, judgements are made instantly so it is essential to not give the interviewer a reason to disregard your application based on a first impression.

Practice With A Purpose

It is well known that practice makes perfect, but practising the right things with a purpose is essential for success. Quickly reading over your notes or trying to practice while watching the latest episode of Game of Thrones is not getting you in the right mindset that you would have during the interview. By practising with a purpose you are getting yourself in a mental state which you will then be able to recreate when you are at the interview. Practising what you will say, how you will dress, body language all in the mindset that you are actually in the interview will all help you be ready for your moment to shine. 

Research is Key

In almost every interview you will be asked why you want to work for the organisation. This is the perfect chance to show of your knowledge about the organisation that you have gathered through quality research. Don’t just go off what is written on the organisations website, go that step further in your research by asking questions to the stakeholders of the organisation to get a better understanding of the business. When you share this information during your interview you are guaranteed to stand out from the crowd!

The 'One'

Everyone likes to feel like they are the ‘one’ and organisations are just the same. When the interview has finished you don’t want the employer to feel like they are just one in a list of companies that you have applied for, you want them to feel like they are the only organisation that you want to work for. Answer questions with detailed and targeted responses, ask questions about company culture and upcoming projects. Make it clear why you want to work for that company and answer honestly as to why you are the ideal candidate to help them meet their goals. 

Sell Your Strengths

As a graduate you will be fairly new to the interview scene and with little prior experience it can be hard to ‘sell’ yourself to a potential employer.  A job interview is one of the most stressful situations that you will face and it is important to think clearly so that you get your point across in the best possible light. Write down some of your key strengths and also weaknesses so that you know your answers when the questions arrive. Share some of your key achievements and accomplishments that relate to the role you are interviewing for. If asked, be sure to have some of your weaknesses noted in your mind and how you have addressed these weaknesses into a positive.

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