So, you have graduated, partied to your heart's content and started your job search using graduate-jobs.com. However, now you have to go through the many application processes such as telephone interviews, tests, face to face interviews and assessment centres to name but a few.

Panic not. This may seem daunting at first which I can appreciate, being a recent graduate myself, but I shall share a few pointers of my own through my experience:


1. Do A LOT of research on the company


This may seem obvious and you have probably heard this many times, but you will be surprised by how many graduates that don't. It will be useful throughout your application process, for instance, in a past telephone interview I had to answer competency based questions. Having researched the company significantly I could add more value to my answers, indicating that I had done my homework.


Another example is within an assessment centre I took part in. I researched the company and the products and services they offered in depth which meant I successfully presented a good presentation based on a case study to senior managers, and was confident about it - I got very good feedback due to this, so it goes to show that quality research on the company does pays off.


2. Practice, practice, practice


You have now been told that you have a telephone interview or a face-to-face interview and done your research, but it doesn't end there! You need to ensure you practice the type of questions they will ask with your friends and family. This may seem like a daft idea, but believe me, it is worth it!

I remember practicing with my family for my first ever telephone interview...and I was awful! It is harder than you think but in all honesty it depends on the individual to what works for you. For me, I preferred not to have a lot of content in front of me to remember from, instead I highlighted the key parts with the skills and results I learnt from each example I gave - giving examples of results of a situation or event is extremely important, they want to know
this!

Another point here is that every interviewer is different. I had once been interviewed by a senior manager who was very positive and I think was quite possible my best interview I've ever had! However, then came the senior director who seemed quite negative (or just perhaps realistic) who asked more or less the same questions but wanting to dig deeper. My point here is to not be put off, keep calm and take your time when answering - this is why practicing is important.


3. Sell yourself


This is a simple, yet important point. You will be up against many candidates for the same job so ensuring you show your assessors exactly why you are the ideal person for the job is essential. Remember to be assertive, not aggressive when talking about your past achievements but add your own "stamp" reflecting how YOU added value for your team, events you organised or even a presentation you made but always express your passion.

There you have it, a few pointers from first hand experience. I am not saying this is all you need to know, but remember these and you stand a good chance against everyone else but just make sure you are yourself, the rest will fall into
place.