by Michelle Hynes of Hynes Employment Consulting.
Phone: (087) 7591438
There are many school leavers who for whatever reason chose to enter the workforce immediately after completing the Leaving Certificate. There are also a number who choose to defer entry to university/college and take a year out during which time they may seek employment in order to fund their education. The prospect of looking for that first job can be a daunting and often a scary experience – there are so many things to do - application forms to complete, CVs and cover letters to write and after all of that there are interviews to attend.
The interview is generally the aspect of the whole process that jobseekers worry about most. The purpose of this article is to provide school leavers with some tips for that all important interview – these are also applicable to students looking for summer or part-time work.
Interviews can be really scary but if you are well prepared there is nothing to worry about. The interview is an opportunity for the employer to meet you and get to know you better, so that they can decide if you would be the best person for the job. It is important to remember that they are not trying to catch you out – they just want to learn more about you so that they can make an informed decision about your suitability for the job.
Read the job description a couple of times and make a note of any aspects of the job you do not understand – you can ask for clarification of these at the interview when you are give an opportunity to ask questions. If you are lucky enough to know someone who is already doing the job speak to them – you should ask them what the day to day activities/tasks of job are, what they enjoy most/least about the job and what the challenges of the job are. The company will not expect you to know everything about them - a couple of pieces of factual information will be enough.
The second important aspect of your preparation is to know and be able to talk confidently about your education and any work experience you have gained. A common mistake amongst school leavers and graduates is assuming that the experience they have gained while undertaking voluntary work, working part-time or working during the summer is irrelevant.
This is simply not the case – all experience is relevant as it equips you will skills such as team work and communication skills which are essential in any work environment.