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Preparing DD for job interviews after Uni

(76 Posts)
Onedayinthesun Tue 12-May-15 19:46:46

My DD is looking to apply for Graduate schemes in the hope of securing one this year as she finishes her BSc.

We have researched the interview processes and assessments used when big companies hire Grads and I'm wondering if anyone has accessed help for their kids to prepare for attending these interviews.

I want her to have the best shot if she gets invited for any interviews but I'm worried about her inexperience, nerves may get the better of her.

Any ideas or recommendations, costs involved would be really appreciated 😊

Candycoco Tue 12-May-15 20:02:57

Does her Uni careers service offer this kind of support or preparation for interviews? Not sure if they are able to offer individual support?

motherinferior Tue 12-May-15 20:04:57

Er...shouldn't she be sorting this stuff out for herself, as an adult graduate?

MagentaVitus Tue 12-May-15 20:06:03

Definitely something she needs to be doing alone!

MagentaVitus Tue 12-May-15 20:06:28

Or rather, (not alone) but without her parents!

chemenger Tue 12-May-15 20:06:56

Her university careers service probably offer advice and training in all the interview and selection board techniques that are likely to come up, including psychometric testing, phone interview techniques and group exercises. Has she been to see them?

chemenger Tue 12-May-15 20:08:42

I have to say that independence is one of the things the major graduate employers are looking for.

HarryLimeFoxtrot Tue 12-May-15 20:11:50

Is she looking for this year (2015 start)? If so, I fear she is already too late. You normally apply for such schemes in the autumn/winter.

Is she sure she wants to do a grad scheme? It is often easier to just look at the available jobs these types of companies have and apply for the ones that look interesting.

I work for a company with a grad scheme, the people on it tend to be a nightmare to deal with as they are often parachuted into a role with no 'real' experience and expected to learn on the job.

Esko Tue 12-May-15 20:13:12

Her uni will definitely have practice tests etc that can help her and information on particular formats or processes. There is a wealth of information on the Internet, wiki jobs, Studentroom etc. I believe there are companies that offer mock assessment centers but whether these are worth the expense I cannot say.

I help out with the graduate recruitment scheme in my own organization. We use assessment centers and a lot of the tests you can't really prepare for. I have also interviewed graduates for more ordinary jobs and the ones who did best were the ones with good examples of competences gained from part time work or stuff they had been involved in at uni.

SummerSazz Tue 12-May-15 20:14:28

I started on a Grad scheme (big 4 accountancy) and then interviewed for them. I now interview for our rotational grad scheme in industry so happy to answer any q's

Candycoco Tue 12-May-15 20:16:12

What sort of help were you hoping to get for her? Did you have something particular in mind?

My dd not at that age yet, but if it was necessary I would get all of the help I could to help her be successful at interview as I have heard that graduate schemes are very competitive.

KenDoddsDadsDog Tue 12-May-15 20:16:18

Reading up on competence based techniques will help - SOARA or STAR . Most businesses use them for interview.
Verbal / numerical / problem based solving tests . You can practise online
Tips for assessment centres

Waswondering Tue 12-May-15 20:18:49

Another vote to visit her Careers Service!

Woozlebear Tue 12-May-15 20:24:16

I would really leave her to it. The learning process will be more valuable in the long run, as will the independence it will give her. I don't know your family dynamic but IME there's also often a very fine line between this kind of 'help' and a sense of unbearable pressure and expectation.

Onedayinthesun Tue 12-May-15 20:32:09

It is something she can do on her own however we have sacrificed a lot to ensure she got to Uni. Preparing for work and getting and securing the right role is something I want to help and support her with - it's what's she has been working so hard for smile

Knowing how many Grads are leaving Uni every year, the competition for great jobs is fierce and yes she has spoken to her careers service but hasn't had any actual interview preparation experience.

I'm just wondering if it is worth doing this, paying someone to put her through a mock interview so she make mistakes when it is practice and not when it matters?

motherinferior Tue 12-May-15 20:33:14

Please - she is an adult!

Onedayinthesun Tue 12-May-15 20:39:34

She is an adult! But she has never had an interview in a global Blue chip company and doesn't have the money to spend on improving her interviewing skills!

Like buying her a nice outfit, what I am asking is has anyone helped their kids through this process in anyway with professional career coaching or interview preparation? She may be 22 but the workplace is a whole new world.

Onedayinthesun Tue 12-May-15 20:41:18

SummerSazz am I being overly concerned about the competitiveness of the interview process for Grads? Can you give me an idea of on average how many apply v how many get invited in for interview? Thanks

dementedma Tue 12-May-15 20:49:06

Ok, as an interviewer I would say that the key things for me are:
Being early/on time for the interview
Being very smartly turned out
A good handshake, smile and eye contact
Having researched the company
Be enthusiastic and show a desire for the job
Interviewers will overlook nerves, they won't overlook lack of motivation
Honesty. If she can't answer a question, say so. Dont waffle.
Personally, I like a sense of humour or a glimpse of personality coming through.
Courtesy. Courtesy. Courtesy.
Make the interviewer believe she really wants the job!

Onedayinthesun Tue 12-May-15 20:51:46

Thank you dementedma, appreciate your input. With so many out of work and Young people not getting the job they want when leaving Uni that is helpful to know.

Lilymaid Tue 12-May-15 20:53:55

DS2 is going through the job applications process at the moment. He has used the careers service to practise interview skills and, after a shaky start, now knows how to get through the initial tests and assessments. Problem for him is that he wants a city job but spent his summers teaching tennis rather than doing internships.
DS1, on the other hand, "rocked up" to just one interview (his only job application) and landed a high paying graduate job in a morning ...
As others have said, the university careers service can/should help. There's loads of information online ... Studentroom, the careers sites of major employers etc.
We haven't had any real input into their job seeking apart from being available for discussions and paying travel expenses

trilbydoll Tue 12-May-15 20:57:54

And be herself - if they don't like her, she wouldn't have fitted in anyway. I don't think it is necessarily true that any job will do, 40-50 hours a week is a lot of time to spend somewhere you're miserable.

You can google typical interview Qs so might be worth practicing those with her, that's what DH and I do before interviews. I think a big part of it is feeling prepared, that then comes across as confidence.

dementedma Tue 12-May-15 21:14:12

I dont know what the typical questions are. I know they exist bit I always start asking the candidate to tell me a bit about themselves and their achievements. After this short bit, I have generally formed n opinion as to whether I will take it further or not, regardless of the rest of the interview! I am pretty old fashioned and dont do the latest trick questions. I want punctuality, manners, enthusiasm, a smile, confidence ( allowing for nerves) and someone who gives me the impression they are prepared to actually learn and work. I like hearing about extra curricular stuff they have done such as volunteering, or interest they have which give me an insight into their personalities. The latest sassy responses to questions learned on the internet dont impress me. I want to know why you want this job, what you can bring to it, and why I should employ you over all the other candidates. Your dd shouldn't be afraid to be bold and strong in her responses - look the interviewer in the eye and tell him/her why they need to employ her!

Molio Tue 12-May-15 21:25:24

OP what type of grad schemes is she interested in? Is she in her final year now, or her penultimate year? Because if the former, then I'm sorry to say she may be well behind the crowd. And which uni is she at? What is her cv like? All those things matter, before you get on to smart kit, promptness etc.

I really think the idea of a parent intervening at this stage of maturity, albeit with the very best of intentions, isn't on. She should be at the stage to go it alone, if she's going to do well.

RingtheBells Tue 12-May-15 21:33:29

DS had one of the grad scheme interviews, it was held in January, so as PP have said, maybe too late for this year. I think he enjoyed it, but it was very competitive, he didn't get it but said it was good experience. This was last year and he now has a good job after a very short laid back interview for a small firm which is the complete opposite of a grad scheme job.

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