When you’re in your final year of study, you’re likely to begin lining up job interviews.
At this stage, you may be nervous. But don’t let those annoying butterflies stop you from showing interviewers that you’re the right candidate for the job. Be prepared, stay focused and tackle those interviews with confidence.
Here are some tips that may help.
1. Know the role
Make sure you fully understand the context of the role for which you’re being interviewed. Demonstrate that you’re interested in this specific job – not just any job.
With this in mind, do the following:
- Research the organisation. Get a handle on what it does, how long it’s been doing it, what its values are what and the culture is like.
- Research your interviewers and the hiring manager. Google and LinkedIn searches are great places to start.
- Study any materials your interviewer may have provided, such as the job description or information on organisational structure.
- Research the industry as a whole and the organisation’s competitors.
2. Find out about the interview process
Learn as much as you can in advance. For example, how many rounds of interviews is the organisation conducting? Who will you meet through the process? Will you have to undertake any tests?
If you’re working with a recruiter, they may provide this information up-front. If not, don’t be afraid to ask for more information so you can eliminate as many surprises as possible.
3. Prepare answers to likely questions
Most entry-level interviews focus on similar themes. It’s a good idea to give some thought to how you’d respond to the following typical questions:
- Tell me about yourself. This is a starter question is used to relax you and get you talking. Take advantage of this opportunity to focus in on your strengths, relative to the selection criteria of the position.
- Why did you choose your field of study? The interviewer will be looking for your passion and commitment to your chosen field.
- Tell me about some work you’ve completed in this field: This question gauges both your academic and practical knowledge. If you haven’t had the opportunity to work in your field, it’s a good idea to get proactive and seek out an opportunity. Both volunteer and paid work experience will speak volumes to potential employers.
4. Have questions of your own
With the research you’ve done, you should be able to ask some questions that demonstrate the degree to which you understand the organisation and its industry.
5. Take a deep breath
On interview day, take your time answering questions – don’t panic if there’s a short silence between the question and your answer. Also, make sure you’re answering the right question. If you don’t understand what information is required, ask the interviewer to repeat or clarify the question.
The interview process isn’t just about whether the organisation is comfortable with you as an employee. It’s also your opportunity to understand whether the job and the organisation are right for you.