5 Interview Tips for Fresh Graduates

Going to a job interview is a scary prospect for many first timers, particularly fresh college graduates. Whether you will be facing an intern or the CEO, it is best that you come to the interview prepared for every question they may throw at you. Not all situations are alike, but here are some of the usual queries that occur in an interview:

1. Say something about yourself.

Many candidates cave in to this opening query mainly because they are focused on other possible questions that may arise during the interview. It is important to know that this question is often used by interviewers to see how well you can handle yourself when thrown off with a question that is not related to the position or the company. Also, they employ this question to see how articulated you are, and to get an clearer impression about who you are.

The upside to this type of query is that you can discuss your strengths in addition to your personal interests. The worst thing you can do when faced with this question is to answer with “what do you want to know?” Clearly, that is not what the interviewer is digging for here; they will ask what they want to know later, but the point of this question is how you view yourself. Keep in mind that a positive answer is needed and you should deliver it with poise and confidence.

2. Tailor your answers for the interviewer and job at hand.

While delving into your personal history is necessary in an interview, do not focus on it too much. Match your qualifications and strengths and explain why you are the best person for the position. You can begin with your most recent employment and how your experiences and skills make you the right person for the job. Know what the interviewer is looking to buy, and you’ll be better able to sell yourself to them.

3. Emphasize your accomplishments.

Prepare a brief yet concise summary of your professional achievements and milestones. However, you need to pick stories that fit well with what the company is looking for. For example, if the position requires meeting deadlines, provide them with a story that fully describes your attention to time management and how such a trait earned you recognition in your prior employment.

4. Longevity is an issue.

If you are still fresh from college, you may not need to worry about longevity and tenure issues just yet. It is essential to point out, however, that many companies see tenure as a gauging instrument for hiring employees. Many companies want to hire people who will stick with them for at least three to five years. Otherwise, they may brand short-term candidates as job-hoppers. Such stigma will considerably impede one’s chances of getting hired.

5. Be candid but avoid coming across as arrogant.

When you are in an interview, be confident but do not exude any hint of arrogance. Research about the company and about the position you are applying. Do not go in tense, but do not show that you are too relaxed either. Remember that interview results can be subjective and you need to win the interviewer to your side if you really want a chance at getting hired.

Comments

  1. Jeannie says:

    I am not fresh out of college but I have never interviewed well because I don’t like to talk about myself and the first question they usually ask is “tell me a little about yourself. When I do talk about myself I find it very difficult to boast or be positive, how do you get over that?

    • Admin says:

      Hi Jeannie,

      Generally it’s good to focus on your achievements, but you don’t have to make it sound like a boast. Just tell the interviewer where you’re from and what you’ve been up to over the past few years- mostly regarding your professional life, but also some personal stuff if you think it is relevant. Remember that they might be interested in character-building activities like travel or hiking a mountain, but not anecdotes relating to your friends or romantic interests. Remember that presenting yourself as a proactive and positive person is not boasting or bragging, and it won’t come across that way.

      Good luck!

  2. Kelvin says:

    After getting laid off last year it’s been a long time since I did an interview. I’m not exactly a fresh graduate but I think it might help. Thanks for the tips

  3. herbert says:

    I’m doing mock interviews at the moment with my son, so thanks for the tips, I think they’ll be helpful. He is a little under qualified so we need all the help we can get!

  4. anna says:

    When I interview a candidate, I like to ask him about how he would act in a situation (I just take real problems or tasks from everyday work process). Helps a lot to figure out traits of character that may be useful for the future work.

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