Graduate Interviews: fatal errors and how to avoid them

I’ve been involved in some graduate interviews over the past week and it has reminded me of how refreshing it can be to interview younger people at the start of their careers (Ouch! that makes me sound very old), but also how unprepared graduates can be for a thorough selection process.

It can be tough to secure that first role, so I thought it would be useful to share some of the errors I saw in order to learn from them. So here goes:

  • Finding out about the company on a very superficial level.

Proving that you had a look at the website doesn’t show a real interest in understanding the company. Get beneath the headlines, search for current articles/information and show that you have thought about the information you have read. If you really want to stand out ask a relevant question – not a token one mind!

  • Thinking that having a bit of company information is enough preparation

You have to show that you have read and understood the job description. Prepare the areas where you feel you will face questions from a technical or soft skills perspective. See my previous blogs on Interview Success Tips.

  •  Stating that you will walk in the door and change things for the better.
Companies aren’t looking for you to save the world on your first day. Of course you will add value, however the first step in joining any company is to recognise that there will be a lot to be learned from the existing process and people.

  • Pretending that you know more than you do.
Again be realistic, if you haven’t a specific skill or knowledge in an area where you are being asked questions don’t pretend you do. Highlight similar skills or knowledge or provide examples of where you have quickly acquired same in you past.

Remember it is tough to land that first job but it will happen! Keep going.
If you would like some additional help or guidance in you preparation for interviews or assessment centres call Noreen @ 087 6895857 or Valerie @ 087 2268422.

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One Response to Graduate Interviews: fatal errors and how to avoid them

  1. icanwork4u says:

    Great Blog Post! I just wrote one for ICanWork4U and have a few similar points, but its great to see an experienced interviewers point of view! Love the comment “Going through the door and changing things for the better”. Heres the link to our blog if you get the chance to compare! http://icanwork4u.wordpress.com/2012/07/17/icanwork4u-brings-you-the-top-10-interview-tips-of-2012/

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