Graduate Interview Tips to Help You Stand Out

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graduate interview tips

Graduate interview tips to help you ace your first job!

Hunting for a job as a fresh graduate can be a very difficult phase of your life. Hence, if you are reading this and feeling the pressure of trying and not succeeding, we want you to know that you are not alone.

Having the right guide to landing your first job can save you so much stress, especially if you had made it through the application stage and find yourself preparing for a job interview. Let us look at some graduate interview tips that are designed to guide through your interview stage and improve your chances of getting hired.

Dress Right, Dress Smart

A job interview should be considered a formal meeting. You should ensure you pick your best clothing and look well-groomed for the interview. You only have one chance to make the first impression with your best impression and you should so everything you can to nail it at your first attempt. Avoid traditional attires and casual wears. Strive to show off your best corporate self and avoid loud colours except you are trying to make a statement with the brand’s colour.

Do Your Research

The first thing you need to do after you have received an invite for the job interview should be to research the organisation. Learn about their vision and mission, look through their websites about their company culture and pay special attention to the goods and services that the company offers. If you do your research, you might even have insights or suggestions to share, which the organisation might have overlooked and this naturally makes you a more desirable candidate.

Practise and Prepare

There’s nothing more interesting than preparing for success and opportunities before they arrive. Such a move improves your confidence. Stand before your mirror, record yourself responding to mock interview questions on your mobile phone, learn from your mistakes and improve on them.

Arrive Early

Navigating traffic in an urban city can be hectic, which is why you should ensure you always sleep early on the night before your job interview. Your goal should be to get out of bed early and arrive at the venue of the interview at least 30 minutes before the scheduled time. As an extra reminder here, if you’re running late, ensure you put a call through to the organisation to let them know you’ll be running late. Alternatively, you can send an email stating that you might be running a bit late due to circumstances beyond your control.

Answering Interview Questions

Tell me about yourself is a question that even most experienced professionals still find difficult to answer but you should not fret and this is how most of your interview scenarios would start. Ensure to communicate your traits or things you have learned from your academic work and internships that would help you fit into the role and work environment.

For example, my name is Lekan. I studied English because I was fascinated by writers and writing as a child. I picked up content writing and email marketing skills during my undergraduate internships at Jobberman and Ringier One Africa Media. I am creative and looking a build a career in marketing communications. 

Ask Questions

Curiosity did not kill the cat; lack of caution did. Remember the research you had done earlier? Now is the time to get confident and use it to your advantage. Ask your interviewer only relevant questions. You can ask about company culture, career growth opportunities, personal development, career mentorship and other things you may find relevant. If you have a challenge deciding this, ask your mentor or a professional in that sector.

Learn From It

 My personal perspective and advice to you as a fresh graduate is that you learn from every interview scenario. Every single interview you attend builds your confidence regardless of whether you get selected or not. The fact that you made it to the interview stage means you had done something right to get to that point of the recruitment process. What you need to do is to improve on your performance when the next opportunity comes knocking.

When you eventually find that job, do not relent or stop there – Remain driven and keep growing your career, job ownership and professional brand. We know you have what it takes to do this and so much more. We wish you the best as you go after your career with zeal and determination.

Dear graduate, I hope these graduate interview tips were helpful, go set job alerts here and apply for jobs here, wish you a great career!

Princewill Akuma
Princewill is a marketing maven, who is passionate about user-centric marketing. His experience spans Tech service, Recruitment, Media and Entertainment sectors across Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana and Tanzania. He's a career adviser, mentor, hobbyist DJ and a lover of cardio exercise with a personal record of 23.49 km. Let's connect, i'll love to hear from you.