Interview Advice for Fresh Graduates

Congratulations! You’ve made it. You’ve got that degree you’ve been slaving over for the past few years. Now on to the “real world.” Just one thing stands in the way- gaining that first job or internship.

We’ve met a few fresh graduates over the years. Shared in their interview successes and room for improvement experiences. And compiled a list of the four best ways to ensure your interview is a smashing success:

1. DO YOUR RESEARCH

The time has come. Today is the day that you interview with your potential Host Organisation. You show up with a smile. Dressed in your snappiest business attire. You look great! You address your interviewer by name. Extend a firm handshake. Things are going well.

You both sit down and the very first question you’re asked is, “Why would you like an internship with our company?” A rush of panic ensues. You have no idea. You don’t know a thing about the company. And suddenly, you’ve forgotten the interviewers name.

STOP!Let us sound the buzzer right here. PLEASE don’t let this happen to you.

Do your research. There is nothing your interviewer will find more offensive than if you haven’t taken the time to learn about the company. Especially when they’re using theirs to learn about you.  

Australian businesses are looking for employees that are committed to and passionate about what their company stands for. And today, companies are more transparent than ever. As consumers and job seekers, we have every tool at our disposal to know them inside and out. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google, the company website, are all littered with information to help you get to know the company. 

A few things to research before your interview: 

  • What the companies core business is
  • How the company is structured
  • The companies Mission Statement
  • Have they recently been in the news? Undergone big structural changes? Mergers? Acquisitions?
  • How many employees the company has
  • Are they involved in any volunteer initiatives? 

Social Media "stalking” a company before your interview isn't considered creepy. It shows your interviewer that you've taken a serious interest in the company and are excited about the opportunity to intern with them.

2. DRAFT STORIES

At some point in your career, be it during your internship interview or future job interview, you will be asked to answer “situational questions.” They begin something like, “Tell me about a time when…”

“Tell me about a time when you dealt with a difficult co worker. How did you handle the situation? What was the outcome?”

Don’t let this simple question be the reason your interview isn’t an overwhelming success. 

Even if you haven’t gained previous work experience, you’ve dealt with difficult people and situations in the course of your twenty some years. You’ve participated in team environments; sports teams, committees, group projects during your studies. These experiences are riddled with difficult encounters to enable you to answer any situational question that’s thrown your way. 

The subject matter isn’t the important part. By asking situational interview questions, the interviewer is looking to assess your reasoning and problem solving skills. Prepare a few stories and review them with friends, family or other professionals you know. 

3. BE CONFIDENT! BUT NOT OVER CONFIDENT…

In Australia, what you see is what you get. Nothing is inferred. You’ll need to verbally express to your interviewer, the qualities that you possess.

During your interview you may be asked, “What are your top 3 strengths?”

Get comfortable talking about yourself! You’ll need to be able to quickly, clearly and honestly tell your interviewer what you’re good at.

Make sure to have examples as well. If you say you’re a hard worker, you may be asked for a story to back it up.

On the other side of the spectrum are the “over-sellers”. You’re great. You know that. We love your confidence. But if you’ve just graduated university and have no or limited work experience, host organizations may not view you as “all that and a bag of potato chips.” You’ll need to show them your brilliant personality and give them confidence in your ability and dedication to learning. 

4. FOCUS ON YOUR POTENTIAL

You don’t know it all. And likely never will. We think that’s exciting! You will always have the opportunity to learn and grow. Reaching your potential is yet to come. 

Keeping that in mind, you can confidently walk into your next interview. 

You don’t have to have all of the answers. Focus on your potential. Show the interviewer you’re a real go-getter. Explain just how far you’ve come and how much further you’re looking to go. 

When asked, “Why should we hire you as an intern?” you can answer something along the lines of- “Because I’m confident about my ability and willingness to learn.” “I’m passionate about this industry and I can’t wait to leave my mark on it.”

 

Best of luck in your next interview!

Published on by AI.