PRE-INTERVIEW STAGE TIPS
- Mindset – Looking for a job is a job in itself. You therefore need to maintain a positive attitude no matter how despondent you feel inside. If you are still at university then socialise and mix with A & B grade, hard-working students. Keep away from negative friends or friends who think you are too boring or are taking your studies or job hunting too seriously.
- Treat job hunting as a (research) project – keep copies of correspondence, whom you wrote to and when, their job title, what was their response (including rejections to ensure you do not send duplicate applications). Some companies may take weeks to respond, so make sure you’ve got all these details to hand as you may be called in and yet don’t remember the job details.
- Research the company – Always research/google the company you are applying to. It is very off putting as a recruiting manager to receive a covering letter from someone who has clearly not researched the company. Some candidates even incorrectly spell the name of the organisation. So, earn a few brownie points by doing your research – easy points to grab since many of your fellow competitors will not have done so.
- Contact people who are already in this job – If you read about someone who is doing the job you love, google them and then call their office to ask for advice as to how you may break into this sector. This may sound audacious but most human beings are reasonable and so would find it very difficult to reject a request from a young graduate asking for advice. It is impressive to get a call from a pro-active young person who is using their initiative. However, bear in mind that you may be calling them at a busy period, so ask them when would be a good time for you to call – making clear, you only need a few minutes of their time. After all, if this conversation goes well, he/she may agree to: speak with you again; meet with you; or agree for you to email them. Make sure you have a set of 2-3 questions in front of you when you do call this person – don’t waste this opportunity but ensure you keep this first call short and focussed. If you find that after this call or follow up calls that your dream career is actually not what you thought it was, then you should not lose heart. Sifting yourself out of a career is just as important as sifting yourself in.
- Career Fairs/Company Road shows – Even if you are not due to graduate for another year or two, you should still attend career fairs. This will be an opportunity for you to ask questions without worrying about looking uninformed. Start your job search preparations at least a year before your graduation. NOTE – Always be smartly dressed for career fairs. First impressions do count and, as most of your fellow students will have turned up in jeans or casual wear, why not stand out from the crowd? Show potential employers that you mean business.
- Be up to date with Current Affairs! – You must always read or listen to the news every day. You must be aware of what is going on not only in your own country but be aware of major world events as these may impact the sector in which you are targeting? For example, if the price of oil rises in the market and you are targeting the airline business, then this will have an impact. The BBC radio (world service) and/or website covers a wide range of international news. Listening to or reading information from the BBC is also useful to helping you improve your spoken and written English.