The Top 5 Interview Skills Recent College Grads Need (to Keep Them from Moving Back Home with You!)

June 6th 2016 in Interviewing, Searching

The Class of 2016 is already on track to be the most in-debt group of college graduates yet. Unfortunately, grads are finding it increasingly difficult to get a job in today’s competitive market.

Hoping your beloved grad doesn’t end up “renting” your guest room couch for the next few years? Share these tips. If he or she takes these hits to heart, they will stand out way above most other recent graduates. According to a recent article 90% of college seniors felt very confident in their job interview skills. However, a whopping 99% of recruiters said applicants are sorely lacking in interview skills and need to drastically improve them! Our suggestions:

Tip #1: Know the Company

Before you get to the interview, read up on basics of the industry, and learn about the company’s history, mission, products/services, top people, and note any interesting recent news. (Hint: the company’s website and Google will help you find all this info in no time!) Think ahead about how you might work what you’ve learned into the conversation with the interviewer.

p.s. Don’t forget to figure out ahead of time where the company is located (or where your interview will take place). Know in advance how to get there and how long it will take. Late to the interview= not a good first impression!

Tip #2: Know the Job

Read the job description thoroughly, looking for aspects and skills to highlight as particularly relevant to your experience. Understand before you get to the interview, in which department it falls, who would manage you, and the chain of command above that department.

Tip #3: Know the Questions

There’s a reason that interviewers turn to these perhaps “clichéd” questions time and again. They provide useful insight and a helpful comparison for how different applicants respond. Have some answers prepare beforehand, just in case you get these “classics”:

  • “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?”
  • “Describe your best boss. And your worst.”
  • “What are your greatest strengths? And weaknesses?”

Even if you aren’t asked these specific questions, it’s important to be prepared to describe — in a clear and concise manner — your skills, your work history, and your career goals.

Tip #4: What do YOU Want to Know?

Keep in mind that an interview is a conversation. Show the interviewer how sincerely interested you are in the position by having a list of your own questions. Make sure you fit them in to the conversation in an appropriate way.

Some suggestions:

  • What are the skills or attributes you are looking for in a candidate?
  • What would be typical daily responsibilities for a person in this position?
  • What is the organizational structure of the department?
  • What are your goals for the department in the near future?
  • How would you describe your typical customers/clients?
  • How would you describe the company’s culture?

Tip #5: Know Yourself

Have confidence and believe in yourself. The unique combination of your skills, your experience, and your personality make you different from all of the other candidates. A confident approach, and a genuine interest in what the other person has to tell you, will put you in class by yourself. Know that you have value to bring to the management and the organization. Show it!

And for a little added security? Interview counseling and coaching from Merrfeld Resumes and Coaching — it’s the perfect graduation gift! (And could help keep your guestroom available for GUESTS).

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