Interview Tips & Advice For Soon to Be Graduates

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It is my pay day and I thought this post was a must. Especially, as it is also that time of the year when graduates are looking to get into their first employment, and this made me reminisce about my experience when I was one of the graduates looking for my first job. I was lost. After I graduated, I barely knew what my plans were for my career. I wanted to get into recruitment but had little knowledge about the world of recruitment.

Did I have any previous sales or recruitment experience? No!

Was I confident that I would make it into recruitment? Yes!

Persistence and Resilience are two attributes you need to have while looking for your first challenge and opportunity!

With the graduate roles comes a title of the ‘trainee’ position but ideally the employers will always want someone with a bit of an exposure to the sector. This itself is a challenge for many graduates.

I know that many of my other graduate friends were on the same boat as me; in search for their next challenge in life whether it was into IT, Banking, Marketing and many other sectors. We used to joke around and say that may be we weren’t ready to transition from being a student to become an adult in the ‘real world’ every time we didn’t make it through after an interview. But, there never is a right time unless you make it happen. As someone said to me on one of my interviews, ‘You make your own luck’.

5 failed interviews and I gradually started to find myself. The direction I wanted to take for my career path became more evident. I didn’t see these interviews as if I had failed or was unsuccessful because I wasn’t capable. Every failed interview was a learning curve for me. After every failed interview, I wanted to get into recruitment even more than when I was writing my CV. I had the opportunity to meet some great Managing Directors who gave me invaluable advice and feedback. I tried to learn from every feedback I got. After every interview, I knew I was more confident for the next one.

Like every other graduates, recruiters approached me too. Some were not so great at keeping in touch and some were just the best recruiters I dealt with who would give me any feedback for every stage of interview. Even though I didn’t get my current job with this particular recruiter’s clients, I learnt from him that a best recruiter would always be honest, give you feedback and keep you in the loop throughout. There is always so much to learn something from anybody you meet!!

So here are a few tips for interviews from my personal experience. Others may have contrasting opinions to my views but these were some of the blunders I made; guilty of few silly ones indeed.

  • Prepare! There is no excuse for not preparing. As we’ve all heard ‘failing to prepare is preparing to fail’. Have a look at the interviewer’s LinkedIn profile, their company website! Give good few hours of your time to research on everything you can. You are a graduate with no experience. So all you have got that you can show and prove to your potential employer is your passion and your drive!
  • While at the interview, you are there to see the interviewer not the other employees around! Focus and concentrate 100% on the people who are interviewing you and make eye contact. Don’t get distracted by people walking past! A lot of offices now have glass pods and you may find yourself getting distracted easily and unintentionally.
  • Be yourself! The interviewer is your potential employer. Be honest and upfront. Any questions you get asked, answer it and back it up with how why and when! I was asked many a times ‘What is your long-term goal?’. To be honest at that point, I didn’t know what my long-term goal was but I just wanted to get into recruitment and learn and build my goals. In hindsight, I didn’t give the best answer to this question. I could have had a better approach to answer this question with the assistance of why and how I am planning to do what I said I would like to achieve.
  • Ask questions to your interviewer. It doesn’t necessarily have to be about the company. You can ask them questions like what and how they achieved their goals? It not only motivates you but you’re also building rapport with them. Even if you fail the interview, they will always be happy to connect with you on LinkedIn. Networking is a must!
  • Be confident. Don’t let the nerves get you. It is normal to be nervous but you need to know the reality that there are other candidates who may get your dream role because they are more confident. If you are in a group interview, don’t get intimidated or, don’t get discomposed if the employer offers to show you around the office, as this is a great opportunity for you.
  • Ask for feedback. Feedback is essential. I cannot stress how important it is. If you have to chase your recruiters for feedback, do it!! A good recruiter will always give you feedback. Trust me, it prepares you for your next interview.
  • Last but not the least, Believe in yourself. This is the key factor that will get you the job you want.

These are all from my personal experience as a graduate looking for a new role.

I managed to secure my current position with West Point Recruitment and I cannot think of any other companies that would have best suited me, someone with no experience. Thank you for believing in me Burhan and Jamil!I I billed £10k within the first 8 days of joining West Point. Every day I am learning something new. I have had few let downs and fair share of stresses but when you are able to get your candidate the role, nothing beats it!

I have well and truly found myself. There is only one direction for my career, onwards and upwards!

Good luck to all the graduates looking for the next challenge! I wish you all the best.
If you are a graduate and are looking for an IT career in development or a digital marketing career, you can email us at info@westpointrecruitment.com or alternatively you can contact us on +44 161 414 0077

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