Interview Tips For Graduates- How To Succeed In Your First Job Interview

If you’re entering the job market for the first time, perhaps as a school leaver or graduate, you may well be facing your first job interview with some misgivings. You can get over those fears with good preparation and in this article I will share some of my tops interview tips for graduates and school leavers.

First Impressions Are So Important

You are right to be concerned, after all you want to get a job that suits you. And you’ll have read that most interviewers make up their minds about you within the first few minutes.

Good HR professionals are aware of this and will structure their interviews and tests to make sure that they make an objective assessment. They will use a variety of techniques to remove any bias however even with these measures first impressions still count.

So my first tip is to create a good first impression, by arriving for the job interview in time, dressed appropriately and in a professional manner.

Preparation Tips For Success In Your Job Interview

1. Thorough preparation is essential
A good interview tip is to be clean, smart and punctual, now matter how much you thing the world should be ready for your unique way of dressing.

2. Check requirements
Read all the information about the interview and make sure you have all the items they have asked you to bring. And avoid doing this at the last minute or you may not be able to find something crucial that you need.

3. Conduct research
Study the job you’re applying for, the company and the sector they are operating in, something that will also give you tips for insightful questions to ask. Being able to ask those relevant questions about their market will put you ahead of other school leavers and graduates who haven’t done this groundwork.

4. Familiarise yourself with the location
Find out where the interview is, how to get there in good time and memorise the name of the person you need to ask for when you get there.

5. Take the right documents
Make sure you have copies of the CV or application form you submitted. This will allow you to refresh your mind about what you had written. Sometimes, particularly if you have applied through an agency, the person interviewing you may not have your CV, or have a truncated version, so you’ll look good if you can provide one for them.

Graduates, Look To Your Academic Past For Tips

A good interview tips not just for graduates but all applicants is to practice answering difficult interview questions. Graduates and school leavers will not be expected to have a vast amount of work experience so the questioning will be about you and what you’ve achieved both inside and outside your education.

Practice questions about your strengths and weaknesses so that you can answer them honestly but confidently.

A really useful exercise is to go through your school or college life year by year, perhaps with a parent or friend, and write down brief notes about what you did each year. You might find things that you’d not realised you can show that you used your initiative, determination, leadership or another trait that’s relevant to the job you’re after.

In the job interview, you too can ask questions of the interviewer. School leavers and graduates might find it hard ask about the job and duties, or have the working conditions or pay clarified. But it’s important that you have all the details clear in your mind so that you can make sure the job is right choice for you.

Answer The Interviewer’s Questions

Our final interview tip for graduates and school leavers is to make sure that you answer the question that’s been asked. You might think you’re doing that, but it’s easy for inexperienced interviewees, to say quite a lot in response to a question, without realising that they have failed to answer it.

Don’t be afraid to ask for the question to be clarified was if you didn’t understand it. Then try to answer neatly and clearly, without giving extra information that’s not needed. If they want more detail, they’ll ask for it.

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