You just graduated, and you’re armed with a sizeable dose of enthusiasm and a diploma that validates all you’ve learned from your years in college.
There’s just one little thing: you haven’t actually been to real job interviews. A job interview is the first step towards a career, and like a final exam in college, you want to nail it. How do you do it? You can start off by avoiding some of the most common mistakes that fresh graduates make in their first few job interviews. Here are some tips for job interviews when you’re just a fresh graduate:
1) Displaying a lack of interest
You want that job, right? Well, it has to appear that way. Your enthusiasm during the interview signifies that you want the job, you want to do well in it, and are genuinely interested.
2) Being too “fresh”
There’s a thin line between confidence and arrogance. If you show overconfidence, and appear like you know everything–well, that’s a sure way to turn off the interviewer. The better thing to show is honesty, and be sincere with what you can do, and what you’re willing to learn to do.
3) Forgetting to put your phone on silent
An interview is all about making a good impression. If you allow yourself the chance to be distracted with a call or a text, it makes the interviewer question your seriousness with nailing the interview and getting the job.
4) Dressing improperly
Clothes don’t make a man, but when it’s the first time for two people to meet, that’s all that people can judge you on. You don’t need the flashy brands; you just need to be neat, presentable, and dressed according to the office’s standards.
5) Not knowing what you’re applying for
An interviewer can gauge an applicant’s interest in a job by how much he/she has researched about it. If the applicant can’t be bothered to read even the most basic information regarding the position, it says something about his need for the job–or lack thereof.
6) Avoiding the important questions
When the interviewer asks for your background and asks you to cite specific examples, you give them a specific answer. Being too vague means you’re either beating around the bush or you’re trying to hide a weakness. Once again, sincerity becomes an important element here. Just be honest with your strengths, and your shortcomings.
7) Lacking politeness
Having the necessary skills and technical know-how is just half the battle. A company wants someone who’s pleasant to work with on a day-to-day basis. If you’re rude and lacking in common courtesy, then how are they going to like you? That’s the plain and simple truth.
8) Asking no questions at all
At one point, the interviewer is going to turn the table around, and offer the chance for you to make a few questions. The easy answer is to say “No, I have no questions.” But companies don’t want that. They want you to be more proactive and actually be curious as to what they can offer you, the same way they asked you what you can offer them.
9) Being too cliched with the answers
Much the same way that there’s a thin line between confidence and arrogance, there’s also a thin line between being too safe and too forward with your answers. If you give the usual “safe” answers, you’re not really revealing too much about yourself, and you’ll be boxed in with the rest of the applicants. You’re not going to stand out. Now, cliche as this sounds, you need to just be yourself, and be comfortable with what you can offer.
10) Answering questions with a yes or no
Know what’s even worse than giving out trite, empty answers? Just saying yes or no to a question. An interview is done for a company to get to know you better. The interviewer might not always ask why you say yes or no, but always expound on your answers.
In essence, nailing an interview boils down to three things: be nice, be honest, and put your best foot forward…without stepping on their toes. If you can avoid these pitfalls, you’re well on your way to a first job!
Are you an IT graduate? You might just be the perfect fit for our team. Check out our job openings in AIM Corporate Solutions.