By Liam Horan, Career Coach & Managing Director, Sli Nua Careers
You’re fresh out of college, just got the results (congrats) and now the real world beckons. Chances are you will soon be facing your first serious job interview. That has prompted Liam Horan, Career Coach, Sli Nua Careers, to compile these six simple tips.
1. While you went to college to gain knowledge, it is wise to consider the importance of displaying passion in a job interview. “I wish graduates would just go for it more – show that they really want the job,” a recruiter once said to me, and it stuck with me.
Graduates sometimes think it impolite or inappropriate to show passion. In America a common phrase is “recruit for attitude” and when you show your passion, enthusiasm and desire, you transmit your attitude. You are asking a company to pay you ‘x’ amount of money for the next few years, or even longer perhaps: let them know they will get value for that money.
2. Your college projects (theses, dissertations, group work) can be much more valuable than you realise. That long-forgotten first year project might recommend you to the company you are now chasing because they are in the same general sector. When applying for jobs, or when writing your CV and LinkedIn profile, take time to fully excavate your college career to find the parallels.
3. Remember, that, more often than not, you are competing with your peers. You are not expected to know everything. You are not expected to be at the level of more senior people in the organisation. You are just expected to be better than people of your own age and experience level. So be easy on yourself and aim to satisfy the interview panel that you hold the potential to develop in the role, rather than trying to persuade them you have advanced beyond your current level.
4. The company has a problem too. They are about to invest money in the successful candidate. If they get it wrong it will cost them dearly in terms of missed opportunity and will also create problems down the line as they try to move the successful candidate on or relocate them somewhere else. So, remember in the application and interview process, you should set about convincing them that you can help to fill their void – in this way you stop being introspective and start looking at the requirements of the company.
5. Show a willingness to learn. The fact that your qualifications are more recent than those of others in the office does not make you better – it does not necessarily make you worse either, but you endear yourself to the interview panel when you make it clear that your education didn’t stop the day you got the parchment. In fact, I cite the well-known sports person-cum- medic who, when asked on a form ‘ date education ceased’, replied: “death.”
6. The interview panel want you to do well. Generally, they are not there to catch you out. They are there to find the best candidate. Help them by understanding what they are looking for and convincing them that you are just that – (presuming you are – if you aren’t then maybe you shouldn’t be applying for this job).