Now that you’ve crafted the perfect CV, you’ll be needing to prepare for that all-important upcoming interview. Give A Grad A Go are experts at helping find talent and guiding candidates from preparation to feedback for a variety of roles in over 15 different sectors. In this blog, we will share some of our top tips and advice, so that you will be ready to attend and ace any interview.

Preparation

Your interviewer will be expecting you to have had a thorough look through their website, blog, and social media including LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube if they have one. However, in an increasingly competitive climate, most companies will be expecting more than a quick browse of their website.

Here are a few examples of ways you can do this and talk about it in the interview:

If the company is recruiting sales staff then you might want to ask about their clients and competitors, as background knowledge is imperative in a sales pitch – and in this interview, you need to sell yourself to the company!

Alternatively, if the company is looking to hire graduate IT staff then you will want ensure that you have a solid grasp on the sector the company specialises or operates in. There’s no point speaking about SAP Programming just to find out that the company is using Python.

When you’re interviewing for companies conducting Finance and Banking recruitment then you might want to Google them and see if they’ve been in the news recently. Perhaps they’ve just secured a big investment, how will you be able to add value to this? This is a great opportunity to share why you are right for the role, while proving that you have an interest and have spent time researching the company.

For companies wanting to hire marketers, you need to ensure that your digital footprint is clean - your interviewer will look you up online prior to your interview, so Google yourself to ensure you have nothing out there on the internet you would not want your employer to see.

These are all important things to consider for any role, so it’s worth putting in the time to make these preparations before your interview regardless of the industry.

During the interview

Maintain strong body language

First impressions are important, so make sure you arrive 10 minutes before the interview. If you are earlier than this, then you should pass some time in a local Café or have a walk around nearby. When you first meet the interview, greet them by their name and remain polite at all times. To sustain strong body language, shake hands firmly, smile warmly and make eye contact from the beginning of the interview. Having good posture during and interview and sustaining eye contact are great ways to show that you are alert and interested at all times throughout the interview.

Try to keep calm, avoid crossing your arms or fidgeting. It can be really difficult to manage nerves or even anxiety during an interview process, if you feel overwhelmed then research some ways to deal with anxiety at work. Don’t worry if a question takes you by surprise – there’s no harm in asking for a few seconds to consider your answer before you speak.

Ask them questions

If you think this job sounds good for you, then you should close the interview with a strong question such as “This is exactly the sort of opportunity I have been looking for; what is the next step?’ to show that you are proactive about moving forward with your application.

Give A Grad A Go’s recent Diversity and Inclusion 2020 report revealed that over 90% of job-seekers would rather work for an inclusive company, so it could be worth asking them is about their Diversity and Inclusion plans for the upcoming year. This will show that you are passionate about helping the company move in the right direction to a more inclusive workplace.  

It’s also a good idea to ask about their companies career progression plans for employers. Most companies don’t want to hire someone who they think will leave after a few months, so if you can show an interest in their progression plan and their employee retention strategies then will put you at an advantage over other applicants.

Getting feedback

After the interview, it’s important to follow-up and get feedback about how your interview went. If you are using Give A Grad A Go, then make sure you call your consultant and let them know: 1. How you think the interview went and if you enjoyed it and 2. What you now think about the company and if you could see yourself working there.

It is also worth connecting with the hiring manager or Interviewers on LinkedIn if you hadn’t already, and sending them a message to thank them for their time and consideration and ask if there is any additional information they would like to know about you.

Some interview Do’s and Don’ts

- Don’t go out the night before, you won’t perform well if you’re tired or have a hangover!
- Prepare a clean, ironed, smart and appropriate outfit
- Set an alarm (or two!) and give yourself plenty of time in the morning to relax and factor in transport delays
- Make sure you have the following with you: the time and location of your interview (Google Map or Print) your planned route and how long it will take, as well as alternative routes just in case, and the name of your interviewer for when you get to reception.

Not at the interview stage yet? No problem –check out the list of Free CV Templates on our website.

Visit our Website for more information, content and assistance on your job hunt:
- Read more of our blogs on how to find a graduate job
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