Get that job! Interview tips for school leavers and graduates

By Andrzej Brzezinski, manager of AP Personnel in Jersey

 (31322352)
(31322352)

Searching for roles

AS the saying goes, ‘finding a full-time job is a full-time job’. Try to remain patient when undertaking your job search. Professional help and advice is also available through a reputable recruitment agency.

Recruiters hold valuable knowledge on which areas of the market have the most openings and what might be best suited to you. At AP Personnel we have a strong network of diverse clients with whom we are in regular communications, constantly receiving updates.

Your CV

There are things you should include in your CV and other things that you should avoid. If you are just graduating, you should be able to have a CV that is one or two pages. Try to include some duties in your previous roles/positions and also be specific with the dates, including the month as well as the year you started. It can also be a great idea to include a ‘profile’ at the top of your CV where you can write a short description of yourself, talk about what you are looking for in terms of your career and outline the skills you have.

Interviewing

Do your research! More often than not, it is the best prepared candidate who is hired for the role. This encompasses how you present yourself, the questions you prepare, what you know about the role/company and what questions you have anticipated will be asked.

Calm any nerves and remember to remain composed and to look at the interviewer when you are responding to questions.

Not knowing what you want to do

As thousands of school-leavers and graduates across the UK will understand, there is a certain degree of pressure in figuring out what you want to do. Do not worry about this if you haven’t got it all figured out. It’s important to try different things and explore the opportunities that are in front of you so that you can figure out what works best for you.

I’m unemployed and looking for work

Make sure you are using your time wisely. You want to be able to impress at the interview and show you have been productive in some form while searching for job. A good example is: ‘I’ve been taking an online course in Excel, while also researching the financial services industry in the Island. For example, I have learnt that…’

Another approach to consider is: ‘Since I’ve been looking for work, I’ve read the following books, as well as using the time to take up a new hobby in…’ Or why not take up a voluntary role? ‘After leaving school, I’ve been doing some volunteering in my local community and have also created a portfolio of some previous work I have done and experience I have gained.’

Adjusting to full-time employment

It can either come as a shock or a bit of a worry. There are some big differences between full-time education and employment. If you feel like it is too much of a change, or you are struggling with any work pressures, you may want to arrange to talk with your HR manager or immediate line manager.

I would also allow time to adjust and acclimatise to your new routine. Many candidates have said they have regretted leaving jobs early and wish they had given it a little longer. Don’t feel you need to rush any major decisions and ensure you are making the best-informed choices. Happy job-hunting.

For information about the latest vacancies, and to sign up for our job alerts, visit ap-personnel.com.

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