Getting your first job role can be a difficult task. You have worked your hardest to get that all important degree but you may not have the commercial experience that your employers are looking for. You need to demonstrate to your interviewer that you have the desired skills they are looking for; so What qualities can get you your graduate job?
The work for that degree will pay off here! Most employers will look for a 1st or a 2:1 so if you have managed to achieve these grades then you are in luck! It shows that you have the intelligence as well as the work ethic to achieve results and it will go a long way in impressing your employer. Don’t forget to include your GCSE / A Level / Other qualifications to highlight your intelligence!
While you may not have worked as a manager before you can outline in your interview how you have developed your Leadership skills over the years. Perhaps you were the captain of a social club or you lead a group project in one of your modules? As long as you can demonstrate how you have used your leadership skills effectively then your employer will listen.
Once you get to your interview this is often half the battle. They liked you on paper enough to see you so it’s your personality that can close the deal. It’s a difficult one to give advice on as every employer is looking for a different fit in their team, so I would say the classic : be yourself – but be yourself as if you were meeting your other half’s parents for the first time! That means best behaviour and plenty of smiling!
Now you don’t want to come across cocky and arrogant in your interview, but you do need an air of confidence which will make your employer feel you are capable of holding your own in the job. Even if you feel nervous you should be able to remember these key points: sit up straight, keep your body language open (no crossed arms etc.), make eye contact but not constantly, speak loudly and clearly. Try not to talk to fast, take a breath and relax before continuing if you feel yourself building up with nerves.
Good communication skills
The majority of job roles will either be client facing or involve communicating with other colleagues / teams etc. Communication skills are pretty vital to most fields so make sure you emphasise these on your CV. If you have had part-time jobs whilst at University such as retail / hospitality then chances are you have developed your communication skills already!
Students often carry the stigma of being lazier and messier than the majority of the adult population, so you need to dispel the myth and show them that you are actually a very organised individual. The first way you can do this is with being punctual to your interview! Another great way to do this is to bring along a well structured portfolio to show your previous work. Taking the time to put this together will also reiterate that you are hard-working and meticulous about what you do.
Sophie Heaton (Digital Campaign Manager)