Why most graduates fail at the interview stage
Do you struggle at the interview stage when applying for a job? No matter how well you have presented yourself on your CV or application form it is essential to know how to present yourself in an interview setting.
Research conducted among HR professionals for Blue chip organisations in the UK have revealed that 60% of graduates do not get pass the interview stage of the recruitment process. The feedback given showed that although a high number of graduate applicants were able to produce a good quality application form, they simply lacked the interpersonal skills to really sell themselves at the interview stage.
Why is this?
Other than not having much practice of interviews as the majority of students have only worked on a part time basis (some not at all), the main factor is that many do not do enough research about the company and are unable to link their answers to the position they have applied for.
Answering questions can be quite tricky. You have to display your knowledge about the organisation while at the same time conveying why you have the right skills or experience for the job. No easy feat! Many graduates do not take the time to develop their interview skills before they are invited to this part of the process.
What can be done?: Research
We have all been given this type of advice before but often are not told how to research a particular company. It requires more than just simply reading their “About Us” page on their web site. In addition to looking into how the company operates you should also look into the role that you are applying for in more detail.
Using sites such as Prospects and the National Careers Service you are able to see in more detail specific job roles within their allocated industries and more importantly what qualities are required in order to perform in the job.
Research your target role and try to convey that you have the desired qualities from your past experience when answering questions. This can be from actual work experience or skills that you have acquired doing project work or related modules on a course. This will show the employer that you not only have an understanding of what they do as a company but also that you are aware of what the job role will require from you.
Practice makes perfect, but how many people actually practice answering questions for an interview. Granted, you may not know exactly what will be asked of you in an interview, but being able to practice through role plays with a friend or with a professional coach will dramatically increase your chances.
Nerves can be your worst enemy, and can turn the most socially confident person into a blubbering, stuttering adolescent. The funny thing is, most people don’t understand that you are interviewing the company just as much as they are interviewing you. Take the pressure, and the spotlight off yourself by having the mind set of analysing whether this is a company that will suit your personality and think of some questions that you are genuinely curious about.
The more you practice, the more your mind will become accustomed to being in this situation and will help you articulate yourself more accurately.
Interviews are not as hard as we think. Ultimately, it is a conversation about YOU, so take the opportunity to show off and be proud of what you have achieved and have to offer to a prospective employer. Other than having the right qualities for the role, people buy into people so researching, practicing and having the right mind set will increase your chances of success.
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