Make The Right Impression: Great Tips For Graduate Interviews
June 28, 2017

Getting that interview is a great achievement, and you should be proud! It means that the potential employer or recruiter putting you forward believes in your capabilities from the CV or application you provided. However, whether you’re fresh out of University, or you have attended a fair few interviews in your time, it’s always great to get some interview practice, as job interviews - and especially those for graduate jobs - can be quite nerve wracking.

Here are some great tips to help you be prepared and ready to blow them away.

1. What is the company’s interview style?

While employers will often use different interview styles for graduate jobs compared to those used for non-graduate jobs, the different stages of the recruitment process remain broadly similar. Initially, there may be a telephone or Skype interview. Once you are successful getting past that stage, you will normally then be invited for a formal interview with more senior members of the team to evaluate your performance. If the company or recruiter hasn’t already told you what kind of process or interview you’ll be having, contact them to find out.

If the company uses competency-based interviews, you’ll be asked to talk about certain skills you have that match the role, e.g. communication skills, problem-solving or teamwork - and as you answer each question, you will have to demonstrate to the examples of how and where you used each of your skills. For example, your interviewers may ask you to, “…describe a time when you showed excellent organisational skills”

If you are invited to a panel interview, you will be interviewed by several people such as HR professionals and relevant department managers who may all have different questions they want to ask you in relation to their expertise. This style is most common in popular graduate industries, such as the education and the public sectors.

2. Research, Research, Research

Return to the employer research you did when you made your original job application and build on it. The fresh research will throw up any recent events in the news that may directly or indirectly affect the company that will interview you – talking about recent events shows you are hot on the industry news.

Conduct some research on the people that will interview you, no doubt they will have Googled your name, so why not Google theirs? This is a great tactic if you want to consider the small talk before and after the interview. You will be surprised at what could help you strike up a conversation – for example, if an interviewer's Facebook profile shows they have a dog, you could mention your pet casually in conversation, and that can help you make a connection during those small talk moments! Or on Linkedin you might see they graduated from the same university as you so you could talk about that. But don't stalk them! This is just a little tip to try for breaking the ice. Don’t freak out your prospective employers!

3. Be Organised

Print out a fresh copy of your CV or make a new copy of your application form to take with you, and organise any supporting information you'll be taking with you. Having your CV in front of you will help prompt you if you get nervous. If you don’t have a printer at home, all our Ryman stores have the facility to print your CV Check here to find your local store

4. Be Prepared

Take a notebook and pen with you, you never know what to expect. A great way to show graduate interviewers that you are keen is to use the research you’ve already done to think up at least three questions to ask about the company and three questions about the job itself which you can write down and take into the interview. You could even write down all your research notes in that same notebook and have them on hand if you need to refer to them, particularly for facts and figures you might want to talk about. This will show your interviewers that you have fully prepared and have spent time really thinking about the role and the added value you can bring to the company.

5. Practice Makes Perfect

Have you got an answer prepared for the types of questions they may ask? Look up example questions online and write these down, then think about how best you want to respond to them in relation to the job role. An excellent way to prepare for the interview questions is to have a few mock interviews with a member of your family or any close friends. Grab some of those left over revision cards or buy a few more Here .Write out all the different questions and a summary of the answers you want to give on each card, then give them to your mock interviewer and let the interview practice begin!