Interview Advice for Recent Grads
It is that time of year. College Seniors are beginning their panicked searches for their first “real” job. I have had the pleasure of working with many recent college graduates over the years and thought it relevant to share some thoughts and experience I have gained in coaching individuals through their job searches.
So many college graduates are in search of the perfect first job. Reality check number one: your first job will likely NOT be your dream job. Instead of focusing on the job and the title, I suggest focusing on the company, the corporate culture, the people you will work with and the experience you will gain from the role, that you can take with you to your NEXT role. Working in a pleasant environment where you enjoy the people you work with and are given opportunities to learn and grow are far more important than the actual role itself when you are first starting out.
Another piece of advise is to take any interview you are offered. Interviewing takes practice. At this point in your career it is doubtful that you have done a lot of it, therefore the more you do it the better you will get.
Be enthusiastic about the company. Employers want to hire candidates that want to work for their company, not just candidates who want a job. So, do your homework and be able to share why you want to work there.
Use your network – believe it or not you have one. If you identify companies that your are interested in, ask around to see who you know that works there and don’t be afraid to ask for introductions or to ask someone to get your resume to the right person – believe it or not it really works.
Have realistic expectations. You may not get the starting salary you want but you may gain invaluable experience that will gain you much more in the long run.
Be open to paid internships. Even though you are graduating, that doesn’t mean paid internships should be off the table, many can lead to full time, permanent positions.
One last piece of advice. Once you have landed a position some of the most important things you can do are to be reliable, proactive, have a good work ethic, positive attitude and a desire to learn. Good luck!