Entering the workforce can be a daunting task. Between the interviews, CV submissions and references, it’s a whole new world that can take some getting used to. Start your job search on the right foot by learning from the mistakes of others and taking those lessons into your interview process. By recognising what not to do, you’ll be well-placed for success.
1. Body Language
It only takes seven seconds for an impression to be made, so it’s imperative that you put your best foot forward from the moment you enter a building. Plenty of candidates slouch and avoid eye contact without realising, so it’s essential to be aware of how you’re holding yourself throughout the process.
Lead with confidence (not arrogance), giving a firm handshake and making eye contact with whoever you meet. When you sit down for the interview, ensure your posture is correct, you remain open and engaged by facing the interviewee and that your hands remain as still as possible (gesturing is okay, fidgeting is not).
It’s paramount that you communicate clearly and confidently with every person you meet in the interview process, ranging from the receptionist to the managing director. Too many grads are overwhelmed by nerves or shyness and struggle to sell themselves to their interviewee or recruiter. Ensure you take the time to consider and plan your responses, addressing each question directly and assuredly. If working with an agency, make sure you also keep your recruitment consultant informed during every step of the process – this will only help your prospects.
First impressions go beyond body language – it’s also essential to dress the part. If interviewing in a corporate environment like a financial firm or professional services corporation, forget the jeans and top – a smart dress, skirt or trousers are the way to go, coupled with an appropriate jacket or shirt. Make sure your jewellery and piercings are kept to a minimum and just in case, all tattoos are hidden. If it’s a more creative workplace, you may get away with something a little more casual, but it’s worth having a look at the company’s website and social media before making the call. As Oscar Wilde said, ‘You can never be overdressed or overeducated’.
4. Being too generic
As a new entrant to the workplace, it can be hard to provide real-world examples in the interview process. Some grads fall into the habit of rehearsing answers, giving generic answers that could apply to any job in any industry. Instead, before each interview, have a think about the types of questions you expect to receive and do your research about the company, ensuring you know as much as possible before going in. For behavioural-based questions like ‘What experience have you had working on a team?’, turn to your personal experiences. For example, if talking about your teamwork capabilities, refer to any experiences you might have had playing sport or within a club environment.
Tiger Recruitment can help you in your job search. Get in touch today!