Now that your university years are finally coming to an end, it’s time to get out into the world and make your mark, and a crucial part of this is finding the perfect graduate job for you to get your foot onto the career ladder. Here are some top tips for making a great impression at graduate job interviews, and securing that dream job.
Know What to Expect
The more you know, the better you can prepare for the interview, so talk to someone at the company and find out what sort of interview you can expect. For example, will it be a telephone interview, or in person? How many people will interview her, and what are their roles within the company? How many stages will there be to the interview, and how long will it last? Should you bring anything with you?
Do Your Research
Finding a job may be important, but don’t just go for any old position that doesn’t really interest you. When you are going for an interview, make sure you know the company well and consider it to be the sort of place you will suit. Familiarity with the company will demonstrate your passion and enthusiasm to the interviewers, and will in itself separate you from those who did not do their homework. Even if you don’t get asked directly about the company, you can slip your knowledge into conversation.
Your Skills in Real Life
It is all very well saying on your CV that you are reliable and have good communication skills, but how have you demonstrated these skills in real life? An employer will want examples of times that you have used your good characteristics and strengths, and what effect they have had. While preparing for your interview, go over your examples of your various skills – annotating a copy of your CV might help – so that you know exactly which ones to cite to prove your capabilities when you are asked. If you struggle to recall things on demand like that, bring your copy of the CV along with you.
It is common for people to say ‘no’ when asked at the end of an interview if they have any questions, but by doing so, they throw away a golden opportunity to end on a high note, and to show their investment in the interview. Make it a part of your preparation to devise half a dozen of potential questions to put to the employer, and make them thoughtful and meaningful. It is a good idea to ask questions both about the role you are being considered for, and the company as a whole. This proves to the interviewer that you really envisage yourself as part of the organisation, and have considered how you would fit in and what part you would play.
Look Your Best
Plan your interview outfit well ahead of time, and try on different options. Whatever you choose to wear, it should convey a sense of professionalism, as well as being flattering to your shape and look. Wash and style your hair and nails neatly; if your hair is coloured, take the time to touch up your roots so that it looks in top shape for the interview. Make sure your teeth are brushed and flossed. If you eat before the interview, make sure to have some chewing gum with you, and to check your teeth before you arrive.
Plan the Day
Make sure the day goes as smoothly as possible by planning it out. Plan out your journey to the interview, considering how long it will take, what route you will take, and where you will park if driving. If using public transport, what time will you set off, and will you have plenty of time to get there punctually? If you are taking a train, make sure to book your tickets in advance. Prepare everything you need to take along with you and have it at hand so you can just grab it and go. Ensure the tank of your car is full, and that you have the ingredients for a nutritious breakfast ready.
This is a significant step in your life, and it is likely to define you for the foreseeable future, so make sure you put plenty of effort into making your mark and presenting your best self to the interviewers. Good luck!
About the Author
Anthony is an internationally recognised Specialist Orthodontist. He is a clinical teacher in Orthodontics at Guy’s Hospital, London, and a member of a number of local and international Orthodontic Societies. He qualified as a dentist at the University of Melbourne and then gained an MSc in Orthodontics at the University of London. He was awarded the Professor Philip Walther Prize for outstanding performance as part of his MSc and obtained membership of The Royal College of Surgeons upon qualification. Since then, he has worked in private orthodontic practice in London and the South East.
by Anthony Lam