Job interview for a young graduate
Entrevista de trabajo para un joven graduado

Job interview for a young graduate

The job interview, for a young graduate, is a journey full of pitfalls. You have just finished your studies and your professional experience is limited to internships, work-study contracts or nothing at all. The recruiter knows that you don’t have much business experience behind you. Therefore, they will look for the potential rather than the profile. And to please the recruiter and set yourself apart from other candidates, you’ll need to avoid many of the pitfalls that come up when you’re a young graduate.

En otra situación, puede que estés buscando unas prácticas o un contrato de trabajo-estudio y que tus estudios aún no hayan terminado. Well, these are the same rules as for a permanent contract and therefore the same traps you can fall into. Whatever the contract you are looking for, the interview with a recruiter is an important moment. This interview is decisive for you to continue your studies or enter the working world. Therefore, you should be prepared on the day.

What are the main mistakes young students make?

  1. You must show humility. This is a very important notion during an interview, especially for a student or a young graduate. In fact, a candidate with little experience tends to explain to the recruiter that he/she has all the qualities and skills to fill the position. This is a normal reaction. We want to assure the recruiter that, despite the few years of experience, we are able to do the job effectively. But beware, this attitude can sometimes give the impression of someone who is overconfident, even arrogant. You should not think that you are coming to a conquered ground, on the contrary, you must gain the confidence of the recruiter.
  2. You lack self-confidence and it shows. You are not used to talking about your experiences and your missions to a professional in a company. The stakes are high, you know that and you also know that you are not entitled to a second chance. Therefore, you will be stressed, but don’t worry, it’s a normal situation. Most of the time it is good stress, the kind that keeps you on your toes, but sometimes it turns into bad stress and makes you lose your temper. This excess stress will have physical repercussions. You will talk fast, you will sweat, your hands will sweat, you will blink…. Easier said than done, but you will need to calm down and take a deep breath.
  3. Watch your appearance and your body language. Just because you are young, or because it is your first interview, you should not take this experience lightly. It’s a serious, high-stakes moment, and you should take it as such if you want to be prepared on the day. Appearance and body language are important elements in a recruiter’s perception of a candidate. Depending on the position you are applying for, dress accordingly. If it’s a management position, a suit and tie or suit is a must.
  4. You lack arguments. You are a student or a young graduate and don’t have 40 years of experience behind you. Interviews can last from 30 minutes to 1 hour, sometimes more. The difficulty lies in making an interesting and relevant presentation or speech. The trap is to start saying the same things twice and start getting bogged down in explanations that don’t make sense. That’s why it’s important that you can also talk about yourself, your extra-professional activities, your passions… these elements allow you to start a conversation about what you like to do.
  5. Do some serious work before the interview. The recruiter is looking for a candidate with a certain professional maturity. A future professional who can easily project themselves in a company. They don’t want someone who “just happens to come to the interview”.

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