What to expect from graduate level interviews and how you can prepare

What to expect from graduate level interviews and how you can prepare

Getting an interview lined up for a graduate job is achievement enough – you’ve worked very hard to get to this point, but now the real work begins. Find out what you can expect from graduate level interviews and how best to prepare for them.

What to expect
Graduate level jobs are hugely competitive so companies often employ a variety of techniques to question and test you. These include:

  • Competency Questions – questions based around specific scenarios requiring you to outline your skills and experiences.
  • Assessment Centres – group based activities where you’re assessed on your personal performance, as well as how well you work in a team.
  • Phone Interviews – usually a prerequisite to a Panel Interview or Assessment Centre and largely involves generic questions about you and your experiences to see if you’re the ideal candidate.
  • Panel Interviews – consisting of a number of staff members from the department and/or HR asking you questions about the job role specifically.

How to prepare
These all sound rather scary but they aren’t if you are adequately prepared for them.

  • Research the company – researching the company is an easy way to show you can use your initiative. It also shows you’re passionate  about their brand/achievements, as well as having a genuine interest in the company and the job role.
  • Practice questions – practising questions sounds silly by it pays off in a big way! Think of questions the employer is likely to ask you and outline your answers. Make a list of your key skills and instances where you have excelled so you can use these if they ask you. This will make the real thing much less daunting.
  • Plan your day – planning your day in advance is essential. Plan your outfit and your journey to the interview so on the day you know exactly  what you’re wearing and how to get there. Naturally you’ll be nervous and you won’t want to be worrying about fishing your favourite tie out of the laundry basket!

Top Tips

  • Take a copy of your CV and your recent qualifications in case they ask for them, or ask you to reference them in your answers.
  • Be polite and professional to all staff members you encounter – you never know if they’ll be asked for their first impression of you.
  • Prepare and bring with you questions you may want to ask them.