How to Back Yourself and Succeed in your Graduate Interview

Through working as a summer intern for Hilt, reading Sinead English’s book CV & Interview 101, and attending and helping to run Hilt workshops and webinars throughout my internship I have learned a lot about preparing for an interview. 

The Hilt Careers company motto is ‘Back Yourself’, in this blog I am going to explain, give advice and tips in how to do just that for your upcoming interview. Being confident in yourself for an interview can be challenging and of course naturally you will be nervous. I believe, you can use these nerves and worries for good.

1. Study the Job Description

In the job description the employer, has outlined the qualifications, experience and skills that they expect candidates to have in order to get the job. Read the description (job spec)  to make sure that you have what they are looking for in the candidate and take note of the words they use specially for the skills. Use these key words throughout the interview AND include them in your CV. For example, if in the job spec, it says they require  ‘excellent customer service skills’, make sure to have that in your CV and have an example of where you demonstrated that ready for the interview – if you have the skill!

2. Know your CV

The interviewer may ask you questions specifically about an aspect of your CV, your past work experience or an achievement you have mentioned in it. You will need to be able to answer the questions by elaborating on what you have on the CV. For questions like ‘tell me about yourself’, it is important that when answering you give them a summary of each of  the important headings of your CV – your Education, Work Experience and Skills , and that your answer matches up with what you have said on your CV. 

3. Practice Out Loud

By practising your answers to general interview questions or scenarios out loud you will get familiar with how you want to answer them, see if it makes sense, see if you are actually answering the question and can work on your timing. By doing this you will get more familiar with interview questions and build your confidence. However, it is necessary to plan your talking points but to not be too rehearsed. 

4. Do your Research on the Company

This is essential. You need to research the company, see how they work, what they do and be able to answer and ask questions about the company. Have at least one question that you can ask the interviewer(s) at the end of your interview to show you are really interested in the role and their company.

5. Reflect on what you can bring to the Company 

Why do you want to work for this company? What can you bring to the company and why are you the best match for the company. Figure out what they want (use the job description for this also). Reflect on these questions and try to incorporate this into your answers.

6. Plan out your Outfit

For tips and information on what to wear to your interview check out our new Hilt article on how to dress and do just that!   

7. Get your Tech Right

Control the controllables. Video interviews whether live via Zoom or Teams or pre-recorded where the question pops up on the screen and you are given 2 minutes to answer it, are becoming more and more popular given the pandemic. So making sure your tech is right is critical. Your WIFI needs to be reliable and strong enough do a video call. The camera angle needs to be good. Have good lighting, with your face and shoulders in the frame. Do not sit too near or too far away from the camera and have a plain and minimalistic background. Also be in a quiet room with no background noise if possible.

By having all of this ready before the interview you will not need to panic during it and can focus on the actual interview without the added stress. 

Back Yourself

Believe you can do it. Remember doing any interview will help you learn and progress further.

Visit the Hilt website for free resources to help you prepare for your interview. 

To order CV & Interview 101 book click here.

At Hilt we provide Interview Training targeted specifically at the role you are interviewing for. See more details of our Interview Training services here

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