When you’re a recent college graduate, interviewing can be a challenge. That’s especially true when you’re interviewing for entry level jobs in a new industry you have minimal to no experience in, you’re basically competing with thousands of candidates with the same qualifications as you.
However, there are ways to prepare for an interview so you can stand out from the crowd and make the best impression on the interviewer. The more you prepare – by practicing your interview skills, researching the company, analyzing your skills and why you qualify, and by following up after the interview – the better chance you’ll get at securing a second interview and potentially a job offer. Now, let’s take a look at some interview tips to help you tackle your challenges!
Do Your Research
Before your interview, research the job, the organization, the corporate culture, the competition and the industry. Learn about your target organization, explore their challenges and accomplishments, read the latest news about them and press releases on their website, also check out the latest posts on their social media for corporate culture. You can also connect with alumni from your school who work in your target field, and conduct informational interviews with them. This way you can find out the latest trends and what it takes to be the perfect candidate from inside of the industry.
Make a List of Your Key Assets
Next, analyze the job posting and yourself in depth. Study what skills, knowledge, and personal qualities are required by the employer and are critical for success in that role. List out all your skills and qualifications and find out which ones match with what the employers want. Be prepared to share 7- 10 key assets, such as skills, course projects, experiences, personal qualities, and knowledge bases, which will enable you to make a solid contribution in that role if you were to be hired.
Share Your Stories
I can assure you that situational questions will be asked during your interview. For each of those questions, prepare to share examples to show how you used your skills to successfully carry out a project in a certain situation. Start with the situation by describing the context and problem. Then explain what you did to improve the situation and describe the results in quantifiable terms. This demonstrates that you understand the importance and the impact of your personal contributions. With these stories prepared in advance, you can adapt them to various questions. Sharing real life examples will help you build a genuine personal image, and show the interviewer that you’re qualified for the position.
Use The Right Language
The fastest way to connect with people is to speak their language, this rule also applies with job interviews. Surprise an employer by actually being able to articulate your knowledge or experiences with the language and jargon that professionals use in the industry to show how knowledgable and capable you are for the role you’re interviewing for. The simplest way to embed “their language” in your conversation is using words in the job description. Also, body language is just as important as your verbal language during interviews. Sit straight, shake hands firmly, make eye contact as you articulate your points, and don’t forget to smile.
Practice makes perfect. You can find lots and lots of common interview questions online and prepare your answers in advance. You can also find interview preparation guides offered by the career centre at your school. The more you practice, the more comfortable you’ll be during job interviews. Practice interviewing out loud with your families or friends, or even in the mirror. It’s important to hear the words you plan to speak, including the tone, emphasis, inflections and facial impressions, to make sure that everything come out naturally. Also, be prepared to ask questions about the job that reflect your genuine interest and build on the research you have done about the position. Prepare 2-5 questions beforehand to ask during a job interview.
Finish Strong and Say Thank You
Always close with a final statement to make it crystal clear that you are genuinely excited and interested in the opportunity, including why you’d be a great hire and fit for the job and organization.
Make sure you get the contact information for your interviewer and send a thank you email within 24 hours after the interview while it is still fresh on your mind. In addition to thanking them, reference anything which they said that enhanced your interest and briefly summarize why you think the job is an excellent match.
As the largest career college in Canada with 50 campuses across the country, Academy of Learning College attributes the growth in our success to identifying the gap between the formal education available and the realities of the working world. We fulfill the needs of learners by developing customized programs for each student while meeting the requirements for convenient and effective training at an affordable cost. Browse our program list by province and find the best program that suits your needs!