As a new graduate fresh out of university, you will have to deal with the issue of an increasing number of candidates applying for a diminishing number of job vacancies. In 2011, The Telegraph reported that more than 80 graduates were applying for every job, so it is clear when faced with these numbers that you will need to make use of everything you can to give yourself an advantage over the competition.

However fear not, as there are a multitude of specialist recruitment agencies out there who can work with you to get you into your dream career, as well as offering a wealth of advice on getting yourself noticed by employers. Should you be lucky enough to be invited for an interview, follow these tips to make sure you’re the one that is offered the job;

Preparation, Preparation, Preparation

If you don’t fully prepare for your interview, you will be up against it from the start. You should think about all of the questions that you could be asked and prepare your responses to them; though it is important to make sure they don’t sound too rehearsed. You can practice giving interview responses with your recruitment agency adviser or alternatively, using a friend or relative can be just as useful. Additionally, bear in mind that the interviewer may ask you the same question twice, but in a slightly different way, so try to make sure you give unique answers both times. If you fail to prepare fully, it will inevitably make you feel less at ease and therefore more likely to experience all of the problems that come with being nervous.

Research the Company

As well as preparing answers to standard interview questions like “What can you bring to the role?” or “What experience do you have?” you should fully research the company’s history, aims and what it is you’ll actually be doing. On top of this, you should research the relevant industry as much as you can so you can reference this knowledge during the interview. It also helps to find out the roles of your interviewers if it is not made clear in the interview invitation. It won’t make a very good impression if when you get to your interview you do not know whether your interviewer is your team leader, manager or worse – you don’t even know their name.

First Impressions Count

They say it takes about five seconds for someone to gain an opinion of you, so with this in mind, it is vital that you make a great first impression on your interviewer. It is essential you dress formally unless the interview invitation states otherwise, and to greet your interviewer with a warm smile and firm handshake with open body language. For the interview itself, make sure you present a positive and upright posture, and listen carefully to the questions being asked; being sure to maintain eye contact with the interviewer. When speaking, be sure to glance between interviewers if there is more than one, and again, maintain eye contact.

Most importantly, just stay relaxed. There are various techniques you can employ to ensure you stay calm, so be sure to ask advice on this from your recruitment agency.With youth unemployment at over 20%, it is not a great time to be graduating, but follow these interview tips and you will give yourself a much needed edge on the rest of the field.

About the author: This guest blog was written by John Rooney on behalf of Morgan Hunt, one of the UK’s  leading recruitment agencies, offering services for leading global firms, government bodies and institutions.


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