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Interview New Graduate

How to Pass an Interview If You’re a New Graduate

I still remember back to when I first graduated and was eager to get a job. Trepidation and excitement mixed in equal parts inside me as I trudged on to what felt like an interrogation room. I did not have any idea at all what to expect, I did not even know what office workers do and what keeps them busy as they spend their days inside buildings, sat in front of computer screens. Thankfully, I was able to convey my eagerness to work hard and to learn all that I could and got the job on my first try for my first graduate role.

Come prepared

Interview New Graduate
Practice the interview with friends.

One thing that I had going then was that I prepared for the interview by doing a mock interview with my elder cousins. They prepared questions that were frequently asked by interviewers and gave me pointers about my answers and what I could improve on. We practiced until I could confidently answer without stuttering. They also told me to smile and be polite, because manners are universal. Having manners also mean that you should never be late for an appointment i.e. your job interview!

Before the interview

Interview New Graduate
Trawl the internet for information about the company.

The success of an interview also hinges on your preparation. Get plenty of rest the day before the interview. Scout out not just the company, their mission/vision; but also their location. Know how to get there, the public transportation routes, and the time that it takes to commute – allowing some extra time for any unforeseen issues such as traffic jams or cancelled buses. Bring small snacks and a water bottle, just in case you’re number 20 of 25 interviewees.

The mental game

Researching the company, its products or services, and its ethos is not enough if you have not correlated it with how you will fit in. You are bound to be asked why you want to work for them and what you can bring into the table. What skills do you have that are desirable for the company to acquire? Match the company’s values to your own beliefs, this will show the interviewer that you’ve done the research and are applying because you genuinely want to help drive their business forward.

The interview itself

People inherently judge another person by their appearance and as they say, you only get one first impression. When going to an interview, it’s always advisable to dress smartly, if you’re ever in doubt then email ahead to confirm the dress code for that specific office. It’s also good practice to bring a hardcopy of your resumé even if you have already submitted one beforehand.

Expect that an interview can be conducted by a panel of people or just one person – it depends on the company and their needs. If you didn’t understand a question, don’t be afraid to ask for a clarification. You can also paraphrase the question to check if you understood it correctly.

Interrogate the interrogators

A good interview usually ends with the interviewer asking if you have any questions. Ask about the job and what a typical day would look like for the would-be employee, the team structure and opportunities for growth and progression should you be successful. This will give you an overall picture of what the job entails and how you can fulfill it. Once the interview has ended, don’t forget to thank the interviewer/s for their time. Good luck!

For more tips about getting a job, head on to our blog!

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