The vast majority of candidates attending a graduate job interview go to it with just one thing on their mind. When you think about it this is perfectly natural given the hoops most of them have jumped through just to get to the interview stage. The job search, the covering letter and a perfectly presentable CV along with all the qualifications and experience being asked for. So the only thing on their mind is to shine and to impress the interviewer, say all the right things, answer all the questions and get that job.
But what all candidates should remember is that not only is this the first time your prospective employer has met you but it’s also the first time you have met them so the interview is the perfect place and time for you to make a judgement as to whether this job is really for you, whether the company culture is a good fit for you and whether you will be able to fulfil your career goals.
So what particular things should you keep an eye during the interview process?
Firstly make sure that you know exactly what your role will be and if this is not made clear then that should be a red flag.
Ask about the turnover of staff in the business and when the person whose job you are interviewing for left and how long they worked there. A business with a high turnover can indicate an unhappy working environment.
You can also make a judgement about how organised a company is by how organised the preparation for your interview, and the actual interview itself was. Did it start on time and was the venue chaotic are just two things to look out for.
And the last thing to observe is the interviewer. Did they allow you to speak or continually interrupt you and what about their manner – where they abrupt etc to you or other people for example.
So my advice is that yes you do have to impress the interviewer in order to get the job but just be mindful of any of the above red flag indicators which might mean that this job isn’t what you really want.
Steve Blythe (Recruitment and Social Media Commentator).