How Artificial Intelligence (AI) Helps Graduates Pick the Right Career

Choosing the ideal graduate career or first graduate job just got easier – thanks to AI.

Artificial intelligence (AI) is revolutionising recruitment and job search. For a graduate fresh out of university, choosing a career or finding your first job may seem like tough challenges. That’s why you should do all you can to understand exactly how AI works and why it was introduced into the job recruitment process.

Sometimes, choosing the right job can be a very tricky decision to make. You’ll have to consider your interests, skills, experience, talent, strengths, weaknesses, hobbies, etc., and you might even ask people around you to help you figure out what you’re really good at. The process often seems like an endless cycle.

But what if a computer system can help you do all of that with speed and accuracy while you sit back and relax. You’ll know the precise job and role that matches your skills and personality so your career can take off swiftly. Some job search boards are already using Artificial Intelligence to help graduates find the most suitable job for them.

What exactly is artificial intelligence?

Artificial intelligence are computer systems designed to do tasks that normally require human intelligence and that include visual perception, language translation, decision-making, speech recognition etc.

Several companies across the world are already using Artificial Intelligence powered recruiting software. This is because it’s easier for AI to sort through applicants’ CVs and select the most suitable candidates for job roles, interview them (sometimes via video calls) and eventually select the most suitable candidate for the job.

How artificial intelligence can simplify your job search

Since AI makes it possible to match people with positions, what can you do to make it easier for an Artificial Intelligence program to find you easily?

Start with your CV. Make sure your CV contains common terminologies used in the job roles and responsibilities you’re applying for. If there are common terms used in the industry, make sure such terms are in your CV too. To increase your chances of being picked out, you should consider having different CVs for different job positions.

Artificial intelligence can elicit information from CVs for recruiters via natural language processing, which involves extracting predetermined phrases and words from texts using computer programs. If the AI program can find your CV, you’ll be shortlisted for the job.

With AI, the open job window is no longer as wide as it once was. Recruiters can find talent faster and even hire them quicker than ever. For a graduate, this is a huge opportunity to apply for as many jobs as possible on several job boards and be hired within a short period of time.

You no longer have to wait for ages to get a reply or phone call or even do odd jobs to keep yourself busy while waiting for a recruiter to call or email you. Artificial intelligence has simplified the hiring process for recruiters making it easier for applicants and recruiters to meet.

Bottom line

Artificial Intelligence was never designed to make the job search process more difficult for graduates. Rather, it was introduced to simplify the recruitment process and make it faster.  For graduates, this opens up doors of opportunities not challenges. With the help of job boards and AI, graduates can now find the right jobs faster than ever and with the right pay cheque.

The 4 Job Interview Stories Every Graduate Must be Ready to Tell

There are 4 job interview stories every graduate must be ready to tell. Master them and you’ll rarely find yourself stuck for words during a job interview.

An unexpected question can throw you off balance during a job interview. Most of such questions are behavioral questions that you probably aren’t prepared for and they often involve storytelling. But how can you tell a good story if you’re caught off guard?

We all tell stories: dinner party stories, stories of overcoming difficulties, stories when dating, stories of when this or that happened. In the same way, every graduate should have a set of stories to tell at interviews or any place where they have to sell themselves.

Your best bet is to have your stories handy even before you walk into the office building. To make it easier for you, we’ve compiled three interview stories you should be ready to tell at any job interview.

Job interview stories you should be ready to tell

Let’s get started!

  1. Stories that depicts your problem-solving capabilities

Almost every job requires solving at least one problem or the other. This is why some of the questions you’ll be asked during an interview will revolve around your ability to solve problems.

So, now you have to look back down memory lane to remember any moment where you had to solve a problem creatively even without the necessary resources. Consider a story that portrays your drive, creativity, ingenuity and how you succeeded in solving a problem.

  1. Stories of how you worked with a team to achieve a set goal

Almost every role in a company involves working with at least one team. In fact, you have to be a team player to thrive in today’s business world. So, interviewers are interested in people who are comfortable working with others. As such, the ability to collaborate is one of the key skills interviewers’ look out for during any job interview.

So, now you have to dig deep to find a suitable story of when you had to work as part of a team to achieve a specific goal or objective. Don’t forget to mention your specific role and highlight how you contributed to the entire team efforts.

  1. Stories of how you handled a mistake you made

While you might be working really hard to appear perfect in front of the interviewers, they know you’re human and humans make mistakes! They will ask questions to find out how you handle mistakes you’ve made in the past while working on any task.

So, think of a story that won’t make you look incompetent. Tell the interviewer what happened and the steps you took to fix the situation. The interviewer is more interested in what you did to remedy the situation. So, explain precisely, step by step, how you reacted to the mistake and then solved it.

  1. Stories of why you want the job

At some point during the interview you’re going to have to explain why you want the job you’re going for. Of the 4 Job Interview Stories Every Graduate Must be Ready to Tell, this is the only one that requires a bit of projection into the future! The interviewer wants to know how genuine you are about the job position and company: you’ll need to come across earnest without sounding desperate!

So, put both your head and heart into it. Your story must have a past, present and future. First, describe how you chose your present career path. Next, highlight a key moment in your present role (when you felt super about something you achieved). Finally, tell the interviewer how you want to build upon and use your experience and skills in the future. Close off by saying that the job you’re interviewing for will help you to do this.

Bottom line

Whatever story you tell must inspire the interviewer, so include vivid details and plenty of action!

Don’t forget that the interviewer is only concerned about how you can replicate the good outcomes of your stories in the new job position and company. That’s what he or she is looking for in your stories, as past success is a good indication of what you can achieve in the future.

Finally, remember, be true! Lies always get found out and never result in a happy ending!

Good luck!

How to find your first graduate job at an emotion-friendly workplace – Part 2

We’ve been speaking about how the chances of you finding your first graduate level job at a company that’s a joy to work for will increase if you get in tune with your emotions.

This is because our emotions determine the choices we make about our careers far more than we often realise. Our hearts will do a better job at guiding us to job bliss than our rational mind.

But – how can you recognise the emotion-friendly company you want to work at without knowing what to look out for? Well, the way to recognise such a workplace is by how it makes you feel – but, how will you know this without first working there?

The solution? You must know the right questions to ask at your job interview, as well as the sort of answers you’re looking for in return.

Here they are.

You feel you are growing.

Growing gives us a feeling of progress; we feel like life is moving forward. So working for a company that offers ample opportunity to grow your skills, knowledge and abilities will score top marks on your happy-at-work barometer. Look for an organisation that offers training, whether formal or informal. This includes coaching or mentoring, classroom-based or online. At the job interview ask, “What will you do to help me to grow?”

You feel you are heard.

As with our personal relationships, knowing that you’re listened to at work helps generate happy feelings. Managers at the Marriott do this by walking the floors to interact informally with employees every day. TSB’s CEO, Paul Pester, gives a live speech fortnightly ahead of which employees can submit any questions they’d like him to answer. And at Iceland, employees can email the board and have their views published in the company’s internal newsletter, ‘The Voice of the Stores’. People won’t always use these methods but it’s nice knowing they exist… just in case. So, at the job interview, ask whether opportunities exist for employees’ voices to be heard.

You feel you are making other people’s lives better.

Top companies tend to be those that give something back to the community. They engage in charity work and encourage their employees to get involved too, whether it’s fundraising or volunteering. EY, for example, helps young people develop employability skills, qualifications in team leadership skills and paid work experience during their final year of studies. Deloitte launched ‘one million futures’ in 2017, which is helping a million people achieve their goals in the boardroom, workplace and classroom by 2021. So, what’s the organisation you want to work for giving back?

You feel well rewarded.

Of course, this means you’re earning a good salary that both reflects your job responsibilities and compares well alongside similar positions in the industry. But there’s more to it than that. Happy companies also tend to be those that reward your good deeds in other ways. Take, for example, EE. Their ‘Best Recognition Scheme’ recognises and rewards colleagues for doing good by giving them an e-card or a nomination for the monthly recognition award. Does the company you want to work for do anything similar?

You feel your wellbeing is important.

Stress is a big problem at many workplaces, but the best companies will take steps to reduce and manage this. This is especially so where the job comes with high levels of pressure, as in teaching or sales. Explore Learning, for example, runs wellbeing roadshows and distribute wellbeing goodie bags to its tutors. And EE has its own wellbeing committee for its sales teams, which is responsible for ensuring employees feel supported. Feeling that you’re working for a company that values and sees its people as its most important asset is a good recipe for a blissful work environment, so ask questions about this.

You feel part of a team.

Spending time with people on a daily basis, getting to know all about their lives, seeing their strengths and weaknesses, and sharing key moments, like births and marriages, all work to create a bond with your work colleagues that is much like being part of a huge family. Working for a company that understands and manages this feeling of belonging well helps make for a happy workplace. This might be communicated via a newsletter or intranet, where information is published about what colleagues are doing and the company keeps you updated on other news. Or it may be an annual conference to bring employees together. So, ask, “What does the company do to help teams bond?”

You feel connected to those at the top.

Iceland’s CEO Malcolm Walker is a good example. In 2011, aged 65, he made it to the North Col of Everest at 23,000 feet in aid of Alzheimer’s Research UK. Sir Walker, who was knighted in 2017, is the sort of person you might like to work for. Managers, CEOs and leaders who make themselves accessible and human create a stronger bond with those who work under them. What does the CEO of the organisation you’d like to work for do to stay connected with workers?

Now, remember, there’s no such thing as a free lunch. If you want to find your first graduate position at an emotion-friendly company, then you must be geared up to give back in return what top graduate employers look for. That includes relevant experience and technical skills, plus soft skills such as resilience, enthusiasm and the ability to manage your emotions at work.

How to find your first graduate job at an emotion-friendly workplace – Part 1

An emotion-friendly workplace is one where you feel happy at work. Wouldn’t you like to find your first graduate level job at a company just like that? Sure you would, so here’s how to go about it.

You want a job that makes you happy, one that will inspire you to spring out of bed each morning and leave you feeling satisfied at the close of the day. Trouble is, you have no idea how or where to find a job like that because as a recent graduate looking for your first graduate level job, you’re not even sure what that means.

What does it mean to be happy at work? Have you considered what sort of job would make your working life blissful? Or how to avoid ending up in a work environment that makes you pull the pillow over your head rather than get up for work each morning?

Or perhaps you’re taking a much more rational approach by looking at jobs that will pay you lots of money, offer great benefits and fast-track you to the top?

Nothing rational about happiness at work 

You may be surprised to know that the route to job happiness is not rational at all. It’s all about how we feel at work. To find a job that makes you happy you need to find work in an emotion-friendly environment. You may not have considered this as a valid factor in helping you to look for your first graduate job but if you want one that makes you happy, then that’s where you’ll find it.

As futurist Dr Patrick Dixon has said:

The future is not driven by economics, innovation or politics. It is emotional reactions to events that drive them, it is an emotional reaction that determines whether Nokia survives or iPhone, what brands you buy and don’t, and what government ideas are elected and not.

Dr Patrick Dixon

So, we’re not such rational beings after all. We’re driven by emotions. They matter, literally. Emotions don’t turn off when you leave home for work. They subconsciously guide your choices, including your career direction. Your emotions played a large part in how you came to be reading this blog: you’re here because you pine for a better future.

Happy workers make happy companies (and vice versa)

The more in tune you are with your feelings about what will make you happy at work the better decisions you will be able to make about your career. Not only will this help you decide on the sort of job you want to do, or the sort of company you want to work for, but (importantly) also how to recognise both when you come across them.

And here’s some really good news: employers, at least the top graduate employers, want to make you happy at work too. Happy people make better workers and better workers make better companies and organisations. So, whether you are happy at work or not has a much greater influence over the future of an organisation than they might let on.

The power of public wrath 

Companies, like Iceland, which became the first UK supermarket to remove artificial matter from its own-brand products, know the danger of choosing success factors like financial results and profit, or even performance management, above how people feel.

As a society, we hold businesses accountable and expect them to behave responsibly – or else we’ll let loose our wrath upon them via social media. Companies must therefore behave responsibly if they want to avoid muddying the public pool from which they must also attract, not just paying customers, but also the best talent.

This is good news for you because, realising that it is a sensible thing to do, the best organisations will take your happiness into consideration. So, what are the things that contribute to helping you to feel good at work? How would you recognise an emotion-friendly workplace if it stared you in the face?

Find out how in part 2 of this article.

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