Finding a job after graduating is important to all students. The key to a successful job application is to present yourself as the best candidate for the position. However, once you get to the interview stage, it is easy to make mistakes which can reduce your chances of getting a job. The Guardian has highlighted the 5 most common mistakes made during interviews and how to avoid them.
- Avoid negativity
Whether you are unhappy about your previous boss or you think you lack relevant work experience, do not bring negativity to the interview. If you get asked about your previous employment, answer the questions with objectivity. Being negative will only make you look bad. Recent graduates need to highlight their strengths and experience which relate to the job to some extent. Don’t invent stories about yourself to satisfy the employer.
- Dress to impress
Whether you are going for an interview at a start-up or a large corporation, you should always wear formal clothing. First impressions are very important. Wearing jeans and T-shirt may indicate to the employer that you are not very serious about the job. Formal attire is a requirement in many businesses so it is best to play it safe and dress to impress.
- Research the company
You should do extensive research about the company and the role you are applying for. You must understand the philosophy of the company and how you would fit into the company. The official website of the company and LinkedIn are good places to start looking for background information about the company and the people who will be interviewing you.
- Prepare your answers
During an interview, a good answer should be structured like a simple essay with a clear beginning, middle and end. Answer the question and explain your point by giving examples. If you speak too much, your answer may miss the point. If you speak too little, it may sound like you do not know how to answer the question. Do not feel rushed when answering a question, take a few seconds to process the question and prepare the structure of your answer.
- Prepare your questions
An interview is not just for the employer to ask questions about your experience and your skills, it is also an opportunity for you to show that you are interested in the role. Asking questions at the end of the interview is an important part of this. You should prepare a number of relevant questions about the role, the company or the people you will be working with. However, be careful not to ask about things you should already know. This may illustrate a lack of research.
Working during and after your studies in the UK
International students from outside the UK/EU require a Tier 4 student visa to study in the UK. You are allowed to work up to 20 hours per week while studying if you study at a university or college that is listed on both the official UKVI Sponsor list and the list of ‘recognised bodies’.
If you wish to remain in the UK after your studies, you will need to apply for a visa which allows you to work in the UK. You can find more information about the work visa options for graduates here.