Recently graduated? Managed to secure an interview with a recruiter or, better yet, a potential employer? Here are a few tips on how to prepare for the occasion.
- Dress for the occasion - I know it is clichéd, but time and time again we see people that don’t dress up for the occasion. Once you have secured an interview with a recruiter or potential employer, it is important to have the interviewer focus on what you are saying rather than what you are wearing. Ditch the loud colours and keep it simple, please.
- Be assertive – One of the most common answers I hear from graduates when asked what type of role they are looking for is, 'Oh, any job.' As truthful as that may be, thinking about what you want to do will be highly beneficial in your job search. Take ownership of this situation. No one expects you to stay in an entry level position forever. Think about what your goals are and how this role is going to help you get there.
- Think about your transferable skill set – Sure, you may not have extensive work experience, but think about the positions you have held and how they are relevant to the role you are going for. For example, explain how you held down a part-time job while studying, showing that you are able to deal with competing priorities and meeting various deadlines.
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions – Come prepared, and don’t be afraid to ask questions. If you are going in for an interview, do some research on the company beforehand and bring up some things that interested you. If you’re meeting a recruiter, ask them questions about how you interviewed and what advice they would have so that you are better prepared when it comes to interviews with potential employers.
- Don’t limit your search – Finally, at this time of year, the entry level job market is very competitive. Your typical resources of job boards and recruiters are still a good place to start, but I would not stop the search there. Try approaching human resource departments directly or following companies on social media, as they often target junior candidates through these avenues.