Tuesday, 2 November 2010

My Top 5 Interview Tips

Use "I" NOT "We"

All over the IB and Consultancy websites, you will see talk of the requirement to be a team player and be able to function well with working in groups. And that is 100% true.

BUT, and its a big BUT, during the application and interview process, you MUST get into the habit of using 'I' when speaking about your achievements. A lot of grads use "We did this... and we did that...." and the problem is that at the end of the answer, the interviewer is not clear on what you achieved versus what the team achieved - and that can result in them marking you as having 'failed' the question. So structure you answer by saying up front what the team structure was, what your role was (briefly) and from then on, use 'I' so that they are totally clear that the achievements were yours and no one elses.

Don't express doubt or uncertainty about your direction

We all know that a LOT of people are not sure about what job they want to do, what career they want, etc... However, when you are interviewing for a job, you have to play the game. Say that THAT is the job you want and have clear reasons why. No interviewer wants to hear "To be honest, I'm not sure, but I think this is the right move for me.".... or "I think I'll do this for 3-5years and the re-evaluate". Let's be very clear here, I know that loads of you will have these thoughts, but do NOT express them at interview. Every interviewer wants to believe that you want the job that they can offer you above all others. And you need to make them think that too.

Get your best stories out early

First impressions count. Even though your interview is supposed to be evenly weighted throughout, you want to get them on your side early. For that reason, be sure that you can spin your best experiences to answer a variety of competency-based questions - e.g. problem solving, team work, flexibility. If you can put your most impressive experiences out there early, they will be on your side from the outset.

Yes, you will be asked technical questions

At some point during the interview process you are likely to get a technical question of some sort. A technical question is one which tests your educational or technical skill that you have listed on your CV. So it might be something from one of your recent modules, something on a computer skill you have listed, etc. But it is highly possible that you will get challenged on something at some point in the process to make sure what you have on your CV is all legit.  Don't get all flustered about this, it's just one aspect and as long as you give it your best shot (the approach is often more important than the answer), you'll be fine..... a lot of grads seem to live in fear of "the technical question" and spend far too long studying for that part at the expense of other parts of the interview.


This old one is still true. Have a few good questions to ask at the end to make sure you leave them with a good impression. Have a few options incase some of the questions are already answered during the course of the interview.

Feedback most welcome! What do you want to hear? Email me at gradjobsuk@yahoo.co.uk. Thank you!

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