Practical preparation tips for your next job interview
Whether you want to land a part-time or casual role, internship or graduate opportunity, we’ve got the tips to help you. You might have to repeat this process several times before you secure your dream role. However, every application, every interview is allowing you to refine and develop your skills.
UTS CareerHub is a good place to start as most roles are posted by employers who are keen to attract current students or recent graduates, and often the roles are not available on other sites.
But don’t forget your networks! Recent surveys indicate that up to 80% of people secure employment opportunities via networking and personal connections. Who do you know in that industry already or who can introduce you? You can search can access the UTS Alumni Network on LinkedIn or connect with industry mentors on the UTS mentoring platform. It can feel like hard work but can be a great way to widen your connections.
Is your resume up to date? How is your LinkedIn profile looking? Have you researched the organisation? Do your skills match what the company is looking for?
Read the position description and application requirements carefully of each role. Do they require a resume/cover letter, portfolio, video interview or application form? Have they asked for academic transcripts or testamurs? (These can take time to obtain so be prepared).
Try not to leave your application to the closing date; often employers will review applications as they come through and may close the application deadline early should they already be receiving a high volume of quality applicants.
Track your progress
Create a spreadsheet to keep track of your job applications. It can be a motivational tool to measure your activity and it means you can keep track of all your applications. If you are applying for multiple roles note down the opportunities you have applied for and key information such as closing dates.
Some of you may be feeling anxious or overwhelmed about you employment prospects. You may have even stopped searching for a job altogether. Instead of giving up, break your job search process down into small steps and daily goals. These goals could include conducting research regarding possible careers or expanding your networking with at least one person per day.
Many employers will initially screen candidates on the phone, so be prepared for this. Do you have a voicemail that sounds upbeat and includes your name? For example:
Thank you for calling XXXXXX, I am unable to take your call at the moment. Please leave your name and number and any details and I will call you back. Thank you.
First impressions count. If a call comes through and it’s not convenient for you to take the call, it’s perfectly OK. Explain and ask if you can call them back. If they leave you a voicemail, make sure you reply promptly.
If you get a call for an interview, congratulations! It’s time to prepare.
Have you researched the organisation? One of the biggest frustrations expressed by employers is when applicants are unable to articulate why you want to work for their organisation or why you are applying for a particular role. They are looking for the candidates who have done their homework and know why you want to work for their company. This should go beyond what you can find on their website and allow you to prepare your own questions to ask at the end. An interview should be a two way process.
Always follow up after the interview, make sure you send a personalised follow-up within 24 hours to the hiring manager thanking them for their time and reinforcing your interest in the role. Don’t be afraid to follow up if you don’t hear back about next steps within a couple of weeks.
Whilst it’s impossible to cover everything here, explore our CareerHub resources section which has almost everything you might need to set yourself up for application success.
Featured image courtesy of Unsplash
By Kaye Carr
Business Development Officer
A Sydney-based Business Development Officer currently working at UTS Careers, Kaye has over 20 years’ experience in sales, recruitment, account management and business development. She loves engaging with employers to create as many quality opportunities as possible for UTS students.