“JOB INTERVIEW” – Two words which strike fear into the hearts of thousands of young jobseekers. What to wear? How to act? Let alone what to say. 91% of employers rank your attitude and personality above your degree and experience, so although you’ve already made a mark to secure the interview, now’s the time to really impress.
With competition fiercer than this stubborn wintry weather preparation isn’t just important, it’s vital. So, as we’re all for thawing out the frozen graduate employment rate, here are some top interview tips from WEXO and some of the people we’ve spoken to.
1.) It’s a no-brainer but it’s worth repeating. There’s no easier way to show you want the job than to have done your homework. Firstly, have a clear understanding of the company’s work, structure and ethos. Keep in mind questions like “why do you want to work here?” Put your detective cap on and get investigating.
2.) Secondly, keep up-to-date with industry news. It’s an easy way to show you’re passionate about the profession. There are the usual industry magazines and trade association websites but social networks such as Twitter and Quora are useful secret weapons. They’re the simplest ways to follow tastemakers, opinion formers and industry gossip.
3.) Thirdly, think tangentially. How can you stand out? What makes you different?
1.) It’s good to run through obvious interview questions, the usual suspects include “why should we hire you?” or “what are you strengths and weaknesses.”
2.) 19% of employers are concerned about young people’s problem-solving abilities. As a result, scenario tasks come up time and time again. They give companies a chance to see how you think through problems. This could be before, during or after an interview or as part of an assessment day. If you are applying for a marketing role you might have to devise a low-cost marketing plan for a new product the company plans to release. If it’s an analyst role you might have a small project to test your number-crunching skills. Either way, most exercises take the form of: Receive scenario > identify issue > formulate idea/plan > present proposal.
3.) Whilst you can’t necessarily prepare for the tasks you can think about the kind of qualities and skills required for the job you’re applying for – they’ve probably spelt them out in the original job posting.
‘What particularly matters to me is the way someone presents themselves from head to toe – clean collar, clean cuffs, pressed trousers and polished shoes.’ – Marco Pierre White, Michelin-starred chef and restaurateur
With 55% of employers saying there’s a weakness in school leaver’s self management, avoid turning up late. Whilst dress codes vary from office-to-office first impressions count and are hard to forget.
TURN THE TABLES
It’s a good idea to prepare some questions to ask. It’ll show that you’re inquisitive and it’s your chance to find out more about the company.
AND THE BEST CAREER ADVICE?
“Be yourself, because you will never be as good trying to be someone else. Keep working on your weaknesses.” – Rita Clifton, Chairman of Interbrand (quote compliments of The Sunday Times)
Louis – Business Development Intern at WEXO