So, you've worked hard and got great qualifications, now for the challenging part - putting those skills to work and gaining employment in an area of your chosen field. It has been widely reported that in such a tough economic climate most employers are cutting back on their graduate programs, making those that are available highly sought after.
Once you have found an opportunity and reached the interview stage, it is not just your qualifications that will determine your success rate. As a long term employer I have interviewed many, many people, and have a clear understanding of the qualities that give a prospective candidate the edge when it comes to presenting themselves in the interview process:

  1. Dress the part, a well groomed smarter than average interviewee has a leg up on the ladder straight away. Like it or not a first impression is formed within seconds of your interviewer meeting you, and you have very little time to shape this opinion. When shaking hands at the beginning and the end ensure your handshake is firm, not too hard but definitely not limp and lifeless.
  2. Do your homework on the organisation that you are attempting to gain employment with; appearing knowledgeable and well-researched creates a platform to ask informed questions and shows you are interested in the position on offer.

  3. Be honest; look them in the eye and be confident. Being nervous is ok, but you need to control these nerves so they do not become a distraction. To improve your interview techniques try practicing with your friends and think carefully about the questions you are likely to be asked, providing confident answers is essential.

  4. Close the interview well. Ending the process on the right foot is as important as all the other points above and if done correctly can leave a good lasting impression, try to summarise the points raised and ask if they would like to know anything further. On departing shake their hand firmly, leave them your social media or contact card - (see below) and let them know you will look forward to hearing form them.

  5. Once you have left, review the whole interview. Most people realise post-interview they had another point to make but either forgot or did not get the chance to make it. Well you still have a chance - send a follow up note, firstly a thank you, and secondly pick out some specific points that you felt were important to your interviewer and reiterate them, if you failed to mention anything do it in this note. Send it via email so they have electronic contact.

Contact cards or social media cards will help improve the professionalism of your look, for interview purposes they should include your name, contact information and your address. You can easily buy these on the internet, but make sure you don't order free ones or low quality ones as they will give the wrong impression. If possible, stick to a white background with plain type and go for around a 400gsm thickness.

Our new website will be going live in June. Visit betterprint.co.uk or follow our Blog for updates on the live date. We will be providing affordable business cards, contact cards and social media cards, a simple yet effective addition to your armoury, helping to set you apart from your competition.

Good luck, I hope this information is useful and if it is then let me know.