There’s no great secret to performing well in a job interview – it relies heavily on research, preparation and good interview technique
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The pressure is on – you’ve done your research, got together your best outfit and memorised the name of every Director at Global Super-Giant Inc - and now you’re staring down the barrel with Tony and Linda from HR just waiting for you to crack.
Within a tense and sweaty 45 minutes of grilling it’s all over, you peel yourself off the chair and nervously make your way to the quickest exit. As you’re leaving you take a glance at your phone, inundated with messages like “How did it go?”, “You didn’t screw this one up did you?”, “Rent’s due on Friday, hope you got the job” etc - and wandering lost, around a maze of offices, you hit the emoji icon and send:
A fairly common complaint amongst first time jobbers is that they love the company but don’t think they’re getting a fair salary. Just because it’s your dream job should you have to settle? No one can really answer that question apart from you. If you have the support in place to accept a lower salary then maybe it’s good to settle for the “right” company – but it’s worth noting that some businesses do love entrepreneurial candidates who are bold enough to ask for more.
Companies that offer quick progression are always popular among graduate hires. In a survey we conducted of our candidates earlier this year, we found that 33% of the batch we asked favoured “training and development” as their most desired job perk. Of course, it does make sense really, you’ve been at university for three years+ and now you want to get started in work and quickly move your way up the career ladder. If you’re joining a company that isn’t setup to push you up the ranks and help you develop your skills, you’ll soon be looking for chances to jump ship. It’s as much a business’s role to accommodate progression for graduate hires as it is for you as a graduate to meet those expectations.
Confidence in interviews only comes with practice. The more job interviews you go to, the better you get at them. You can learn all about the kind of questions interviewers will ask, the best answers to give and the interview etiquette - but if you’re nervous, all that well-learnt knowledge can just get completely flushed out of your brain. The best thing you can do is practice with friends, parents or anyone who willing to sit down with you. The more you play-out the interview, the less intimidating it will feel – especially if it’s your first one!
Being on time for an interview can be a deal maker or breaker for lots of companies. If you’re late for an interview (with or without a valid reason), it creates all sorts of warning signals for employers about punctuality and time keeping skills. Acts of god can’t be stopped, but just make sure you always give yourself some room for a potential bus breakdown - and if you’re going to be late, ring as far ahead as you can!
It’s a great feeling, walking out of an interview knowing that you’ve smashed it. But if you don’t have that feeling, don’t panic. Never be put off if you don’t get offered the job. You might not nail your first interview – and that might not even be because you performed badly, but because there was another candidate with more experience or that was a better fit for the role. There is a job out there for everyone, you just need to be persistent and keep pushing yourself and eventually you will be rewarded.
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