6 Interview Tips for Graduates

Ready to interview for your first job? First interviews are exciting and also intimidating at the same time. If you put in the right level of preparation beforehand, then this can help you land your first job. Find a list of six interview tips below for interview success.
  1. Remember that first impressions are very important
Many interviews are often failed within a few minutes of entering the room. This may be due to interviewers being put off by a lack of eye contact, a weak handshake, poor body language, poor posture or even a bad attitude. Keep in mind that interviewers will make judgments about your likability, trustworthiness, professionalism and competitiveness from the beginning and then spend the rest of the interview confirming these opinions.
To make the best first impression consider doing the following:
  • Make a firm and warm handshake and wait to be invited to sit down
  • Smile and make good eye contact at the start of the interview
  • Try to relax without perching on the edge of your chair (and definitely no slouching)
  • Speak in a clear voice and take your time
  • Take time before responding to questions and avoid fidgeting or using filler phrases (“you know” and “I mean”)
  1.  Be prepared to answer competency-based interview questions
Depending on what role you are going for, employers will be looking for you to demonstrate a specific set of skills and competencies. These will be what they think are essential to the job role. For example, you may need to demonstrate how you can work as part of a team, communicate effectively, solve problems and manager your time. Have a few specific examples prepared before about times when you have demonstrated these competencies.
  1. Be prepared
Do some research and preparation before your interview. For example, you will be expected to show an interest in the organisation. Read up about the business by looking at their website and prepare questions to ask them about the employer and also the role you are going for. It’s ok to write these down and take them with you to the interview.
You can also arrange to do a mock interview with a friend and practice questions beforehand. This will give you a lot more confidence when answering similar questions during the real interview. Also, dropping into your university career center is a great way to prepare.
  1. Make the right amount of eye contact
This can make the difference in your interview since most messages processed by the brain are in fact based on a person’s body language. Your facial and eye movements in an interview are being registered more than what is listed on your resume. Your eyes reflect your level of confidence, interest and professionalism while interviewing.
To display confidence, avoid looking down at your shoes or looking at the table – these actions might convey a lack of confidence or nervousness. To reinforce honesty, make eye contact and avoid any sudden change in eye contact. When talking about something particularly interesting or even something you are proud of, let your eyes light up to show interest and intent.
  1. Make the employer feel special
You don’t want to make them feel like they are one of many you are applying to. Make your questions stand out by giving them unique and focused responses. Do this by taking into consideration what they do as a business when answering questions. Make it clear to them that you like the company and explain how you could contribute to helping to meet their goals as a business. This will add a personal edge to your interview and make you stand out.
  1. Go above and beyond to standout from the crowd
Thinks about what you can do to make yourself memorable. For example, perhaps you can do something creative like creating a short video to introduce yourself, your experience and passions. Or perhaps you can add more to your resume by adding case studies and accomplishments from your university studies. Any successes that match up to the position you are going for will help you standout and make you more memorable.
Go for it!
At the end of your interview make it clear that you are interested in the position and ask what their next steps are. Thanks the interviewer for his/her time and follow up with an email or letter expressing your enthusiasm. Soon you will find yourself starting your career and an incredible journey.
This article was submitted by Amy Pritchett, Outreach Manager for Vision Direct, the UK’s online leading retailer for contact lenses. Amy is passionate about offering career advice to graduates and helping them shape their professional vision.

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