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1 Aug 2017

5 Major Mistakes Graduates Make in Their First Job Interviews

University graduation is finally over, and you are about to enter the labour market you have always dreamed, your first workplace, not to mention bombarding a number of job hunting websites, it's important to note the mistakes people make during interviews.

Here are some common, yet major mistakes that young graduates tend to make in their first job interviews.

1. Replying, and not listening to what the interviewer says

At the start of an interview, some interviewers follow the strategy of throwing a 2-minute speech regarding the company profile and other introductory information before providing you the chance to respond. This is the chance you need to capture, take notes and focus on every word they say. In order to show affirmation to the interviewer, some candidates like to respond to everything he/she says.

However, this can also make the interviewer feel that you aren’t really listening, rather you just like the sound of your own voice. Also, there is a high chance that by repeated commenting you might miss something crucial the interviewer has just stated.

It’s better to listen closely to everything the interviewer has to say, you can respond if the professional ask you a question or when there is a natural or prolonged pause in the conversation.

2. Failing to remember the job description

The fact doesn’t require further emphasis due to its already high significance, you need to be thoroughly prepared with all the facts of the company’s nature of business, product portfolio, and other vital information drilled in your mind before entering the interview room door. Further, the details of the job description should also be used to explain your qualifications. On the other hand, forgetting to memorize your job description is a one-stop nightmare which gives the impression of unprofessionalism and incompetency.

One of the most important questions the interviewer will inquire you with will be how your past job relates to this job. Both you and the HR professional in the room wants your case to grow stronger, but only if you have a clear idea what the company is looking for. This is how you will be able to justify your point on how you can be the best man for the job.

Try to memorize the pointers of your job description that consumed most of your workday and you can communicate in the best manner possible.

3. Interested in the company, benefits, less in the role

Undoubtedly, it is your first job interview, you’re highly excited and nervous at the same time. But most of the time this excitement is nothing but a mere ‘excitement’, and not for the job. Explaining how well you are informed taking the company details is fine, but the real defining factor is how well you are going to perform the job applied for, rather than getting enticed by the free lunch coupons, a month of annual leaves, education allowance, etc.

You can always go with something like, “I am well-aware that ABC has a great culture, besides that I am more intended to perform my XYZ job responsibilities way better than everyone else and contribute through effective ways for enhancing the overall efficiency of the team”. And now is the time to insist your case in a tempting manner.

4. Depending on college accomplishments

This is one serious mistake especially recent graduates need to stay vigilant from. The HR personnel sitting in front of you may have graduated years before you have, and are definitely not interested nor impressed in your extra-curricular activities, A+ grades in the electives, or other college routine tasks.

Rather than talk will be more oriented towards real-world problems and decision making scenarios. It’s better to embrace the reality: college things are days of the past. Keep your focus on the instances that reflect the post-graduation time as that’s the realm your potential employer is residing in.

A better choice would be, “Although I earned a nice 3.7 GPA, but I am well-aware that it isn’t the metric used to grade me in this role. However, maintaining the same commitment and dedication is what I have to show you here as well”.

5. Negativity

It’s simple, what experiences you had at any past employer, never talk ill regarding them anywhere else. Agreeably the interviewer will ask you the reason for applying for a new job, while it doesn’t mean you start playing the blame game and pour out displeasures at your past workplace, but explain the reason why this role is perfect for you. Presenting a bad image of the past employer will force the interviewer to think you are just asking for a way out.

Furthermore, they might also begin to doubt you regarding the things you have written in your current job descriptions and skills. The tip may look more suited for established professionals, but the same consideration applies for recent college graduates as well.

Even if you have experienced some real injustice or mistreatment at the hands of a bad manager, it’s time to leave the things as-is and focus on your new employment opportunity.

Written by: Emma Norman for Jarushub

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