Starting out in the interview process can be overwhelming, as knowing exactly what you want when you're fresh from school is no easier than when you were constantly nagged during high school. Frequently having hiring managers and recruiters ask about your ideal role, ideal company and ideal salary can be frustrating when you have no experience in understanding what your likes and dislikes really are! Often, because of this, the real reason you want a job is because you want to earn some money and simply start working. Recruiters know this too and ask the same questions over and over because there can be little variances to the answers you provide. You can then demonstrate whether you will stay and excel in a role or leave before the probation period has ended. I have listed some tips for you to demonstrate to recruiters and hiring managers that you are capable of working competently in the roles for which you have applied.
Think constantly about what you want
Research the roles you are applying for, and find out what the role requires, what career progression it offers and what the salary ranges are. If you are applying for reception roles but want to get into HR, recruiters know that you probably won't stay for long – based on previous experience.
Prepare your resume effectively
Having no administration experience is okay if the role you're applying for is entry level. However, list your responsibilities and duties in previous roles – all of them. Highlight the most relevant ones – if you did data entry while working at your local café, state that first!
Fix your social media presence
Recruiters and hiring managers will search Facebook for you. If you do not want anyone to find you, adjust your privacy settings. If you don't want to do that, make sure your profile picture is professional and remove any inappropriate details. Having 'F*&%ing' as a liked page was funny during that Facebook hack of 2012, but a potential employer or recruiter may not find it as amusing!
Research and prepare for interviews
- Google common interview questions, how to answer competency questions and what to wear to interviews. people2people has written several blogs on each of these topics, have a look and see what is most suitable for you:
- When we ask for full business attire, wear full business attire. Open toed heels or converses are not appropriate. If you can't afford to buy a suit, or are unable to get one in time, let the recruiter know!
- Salary: Research what the award/minimum wage is for the role you are applying for. If you aren't sure what salary expectations to ask for, state the award rate as your minimum. It demonstrates that you are aware of your working rights and that you know that 'I'm happy with anything' isn't an acceptable answer.
- At the interview:
- Arrive at your interview five minutes early. Arriving thirty minutes early isn't a good look. Have a coffee, check Instagram and wind down!
- Do not arrive at your interview with your parents or friends. It doesn't demonstrate professionalism or a level of maturity expected of a person who wants to start their first role. Understandably, you want someone to settle your nerves, but leave them downstairs or at a nearby café.
- If for some reason you can't come to your interview or are no longer interested or available, let the recruiter know well before your interview time.
- After the interview, keep in touch with your recruiter. Recruiters know that you're looking at other opportunities. If you get a job, let them know! They will be happy for you.
Entering the workforce is daunting and difficult. Like most things, being as prepared as possible won't let you down – and, more often than not, will make you stand out from the crowd.