Our guides for employers and candidates on how to navigate the entry-level job market.

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Our guides for employers and candidates on how to navigate the entry-level job market.
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The Interview Process: All you need to know 

In order to get yourself a job, you’re going to have to attend an interview (or two) along the way. For most people, this is the most nerve wracking part of the whole job hunting process. The thought of having someone scrutinise and examine what you say, how you say it, your mannerisms, your appearance is certainly a bit daunting.

It’s worth reminding yourself that it’s an achievement in itself to get to interview stage. Only a small proportion of candidates get invited to interview, so you’ve done well to get here! And the more job interviews you attend, the better you’ll be able to refine your interview technique and the easier the interviews will get. Everybody has to start somewhere.

Phone and Skype Interviews

As well as the face-to-face interview, both phone and Skype interviews are now becoming a common part of the interview process – usually as the first stage. They provide employers with a quick and easy way of briefly assessing a candidate before inviting them to interview. Although they are generally a lot shorter and slightly less formal than a face-to-face interview, they should be taken just as seriously. It’s a shame to get rejected so early on in the recruitment process.

What are interviews really for?

It’s pretty clear that the main purpose of a face-to-face job interview is to check that you do indeed meet the requirements for the role. It’s important that the person who’s sitting in front of the interviewer matches the person described in the CV they received. The interviewer will be focussing on testing your knowledge of the company, your understanding of the sector, your motivations, how well you express yourself etc.

Part of the interview process is to help you decide on your career path, so don’t forget that the interview is also your chance to make sure that the company and the role are right for you – are they offering what you want? Do you like the people and the office? What about their culture? It’s really important to be yourself during the interview and to be honest with yourself after the interview – if you put on a false act just to get through the interview, then it’s questionable whether this really is the right job for you.

Treat them all the same?

Each company will have their own recruitment process in place, however, on the whole for interviews at start-ups or SMEs you should expect to have one phone interview, one face-to-face interview and maybe a task to complete. For larger companies the process will be slightly lengthier and often include an additional face-to-face interview and in some cases you may be asked to attend an assessment centre. The same golden rule applies to both – preparation is absolutely key. It is not possible to over prepare for a job interview.

In this section of the blog, as you may have guessed, we will be dedicated to discussing all things interview related to help you prepare as best as you can for the big day. We’ll cover topics ranging from our top tips and the most common interview questions, to what to wear and how to deal with being rejected. However many interviews you’ve done already, we’re sure that there’ll be some helpful advice for you to take away.

If you’re looking to get started with your graduate role within a start-up or SME, sign up to our service today and let the job find you.