Graduate Coach Blog

Graduate job interview training tips to help you sell yourself better

Posted: March 4, 2015 at 10:46 am | Author: Chris Davies

Job interview training yourself to leverage advantage

Whether you are looking for tips for graduate job interview training you can apply yourself or interview coaching from a professional, try the following advice – it will provide some really useful hints to help you sell yourself much better.

It will explain how you can answer interview questions in a way that will make you stand out more than others with the same skills set. During our graduate job interview coaching sessions we explain how most interviewers use your graduate CV as the basis for guiding the questions they ask you at your interview. They will likely have a copy of your CV or application form in front on them and use that to raise specific questions about what you have done. Likely on your graduate CV you will have put down something about your key skills, achievements and details about tasks you have carried out at current or previous employment. You will likely have listed skills such as interpersonal skills, organisational skills and the ability to work well as team but what makes you any different from anyone else with those skills? No matter how the interviewer frames his questions he will be trying to find out what makes you tick, what makes you stand out and whether you are really as good as you look on paper.

So how can you convince him that you are all that and more?

Job interview training tips you can use right away

If you boil it all down it’s about your strengths: what are you good at, what can you bring to the company? And why should they believe you?

On your graduate CV you will have framed the answer to these questions in the form of the tasks and achievements listed, and the one way to get more juice out of your answers is to really drill down as to what makes you really different. This is where you can really get some leverage.

The science of being really good at interviews is to understand how to give different answers than others do to the same interview questions everyone else gets asked. So, how can you explain what makes your interpersonal skills different from someone else’s? Think about it.

Job interview coaching yourself to gain leverage

According to the strengths approach to skills and talents there are around nine different types of interpersonal skills – that is, skills we use to build relationships with others. Some people are good at starting relationships. Others are good at developing them. Some people are good at seeing differences in people and so can tailor communication to different people really well. Others are good a bringing resolutions to disagreements between people – so helping team members to see each other’s points of view. Some people are good at making others really feel welcome and a part of the group while others are good at inspiring people and helping them to see the positive side when stuff goes wrong.

These are all aspects of different types of interpersonal skills but here is the surprise: not everyone that has good interpersonal skills has all of the above. Some people are good at initiating the conversation and so work very well as starters. They will also work really well with others who can take that relationship onwards and develop it.

More job interview training tips on selling yourself at an interview

Let us take another example from the field of execution where you get things done. On your graduate CV, you may have said, ‘I am good at meeting deadlines’, but why? What is it about your skills that enables to you meet deadlines?

Is it because you are good at arranging things, you know, you see all the details and know what should happen when, or because you have a passion for fixing things (you used to fix everything around the house when you were growing up and now use this same skills to ensure no one drops the ball in team projects)?

It may be that you are consistent, focused or are driven by a great sense of responsibility that will not allow you to fall short on anything expected of you.

The trick is to know what makes you different within the skill set you share with others. Where to do excel the most? Which aspect excites you the most? Take the time to interview coach yourself to dig deeper before you go along to your next graduate job interview. It will pay off. Guaranteed that when it comes to answering your interview questions the employer will sit up and take note because she’s never heard anyone be so specific in their responses.

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