Posted on September 2015 By Mary Vidovich
Recently, we were asked by one of our clients to recruit for a graduate position. This position would see the fortunate graduate receive structured training across the many facets of being a skilled Consultant including; the technical aspects, analysis, sales, communicating and workshop presentation skills. Most importantly however, it would give them that vital break into the IT industry and specifically into the niche area of SAP. It would be their gateway into their chosen career and provide them thereafter with many opportunities to grow and expand their skills, networks and horizons.
As you can imagine, I was inundated with applications. This was not unexpected as I knew this was an excellent opportunity. What I didn’t know, or rather, didn’t think of, was that graduates are straight out of university and most have never worked in the corporate world. As I formed my shortlist and began to interview face to face, I started to realise that this lack of commercial work experience showed in their interviewing style and could potentially hold them back from securing great opportunities.
Some simple pieces of advice would have helped some of the young candidates, so I have listed a few hints that may be of use if you are a graduate actively seeking your breakthrough job!
Interview like a professional
Though you have been living the student life for some time, drinking until the early hours, shuffling around in trackpants and sleeping in most mornings, now is the time to sharpen up! Get into a work routine in preparation for interviews; ALWAYS wear a suit to any interview (even if it’s a casual chat), ALWAYS arrive at your interview alert and awake and ALWAYS prepare for your interview (know your potential employer and understand the role you are applying for).
Be a focused person and show that you have a drive and motivation to work and learn. Have clear goals and milestones that you want to achieve and articulate these clearly in an interview. Know what interests you and what doesn’t. If you are interested in leadership roles in the future, express this now and give examples that relate to your leadership experiences whilst at university.
If you apply for a graduate role, you must BE a graduate
When a company want to hire a graduate, they do so because they want to mould someone into their way of thinking, their processes and their culture. They want candidates who have graduated recently (1-3 years) and are keen to grow and develop and form ways of working, rather than trying to break (bad) habits. If you apply and have already been working in your chosen field, are looking for a change of career or you graduated eons ago, don’t be surprised if you aren’t considered for an interview.
In short, employers want to employ people who:
Dress for success
Are alert and switched on
Know what they want in life
Go get ‘em!!