In semester two I attended a Careers Service talk on interviews. In all honesty I was hit by the ‘nearly graduated and no career plan as yet’ panic! Like many other students in my position, the majority of my previous experience of interviews has been an ‘informal chat’ for a part-time job. It’s always been a one-to-one affair and has usually lasted all of ten minutes. So the idea of a lengthy formal interview with a panel, which I believe is typical of many graduate positions, breaks me out in a sweat!
The Careers Service talk was full of helpful tips to minimise the stress before attending an interview. Simple things like finding out who will interview you, understanding the dress-code (if in doubt, overly formal is always better than not formal enough!), having your travel or accommodation sorted, and ensuring you get there early, can all make the experience go smoother. The Careers Adviser also explained that the interview should be a 2-way process; you should be asking the questions to make sure it’s the right job/company for you, as well as you being the right person for the employer.
Although the talk was helpful, just attending isn’t going to make me the world’s best interviewee. I already know that my weakness lie in self-confidence and overcoming nerves, so I think that’s something I’ll need to work on separately. I didn’t realise that the Careers Service has interview software so that you can practice your interview technique - I think that this will be my next step!