The Interview


Be the one they want

Getting to know exactly what employers are looking for can seem a bit like finding the pot of gold at the end of a rainbow, we think it is there, but it is frustratingly out of reach!

Some of that is because employers don’t always know what they are looking for until they find it, which doesn’t make it any easier for us as students when we are preparing to wow them!

One thing is for sure; we can make the very best effort to knock their socks off and make such a fantastic impression that they will remember us and want to offer us a job.

The first step is, of course, getting your CV and cover letter tailored to show you are as close a match as possible to the role the employer has advertised. If you get this bit right, you have a fighting chance of getting an interview.

Employers like to see people who as well as fit the profile they are recruiting for, also get involved in activities, people who relate to others and the world around them and who demonstrate maturity and commitment to independent learning. So a fairly long list!

We can increase our attractiveness to employers by making sure the things we have experienced we describe really well, and we relate them the role advertised.

Some examples of where people have made the most of their hobbies are below:

Teamwork - Captain of the sports team, I have taken time to get to know the strengths of each of the team and have worked hard to make sure we all participate in a way that lets us contribute to our best ability.

Responsibility for others - Babysitting for friends and family I had responsibility for the safety and welfare of children aged between 12 months and 12 years. Always making sure all children were well cared for, and all routines were followed.

Creativity - I entered fabric design competition and got shortlisted to the finals from a pool of more than 500 participants. Seeing the variety of other designs along with my own was inspiring, and thought-provoking, something I would do again should the opportunity present itself.

Commercial acumen - I started walking family and friends dogs and quickly realised other people wanted their dogs walked too. I found myself working most days and weekends and eventually enlisted the help of a friend so I could expand my services. After a year I sold the contacts to someone else who wanted to do it full time and I currently still walk dogs for them in my spare time.

Attention to detail - I enjoy making models that are accurate and as much as possible to scale. My biggest achievement was working out how to put a Spanish galleon ship in a bottle. While it took much concentration and effort seeing the finished product was incredibly rewarding.

We all have things we are good at doing. To be more attractive to employers, describe the things we love, in a way, that employers can see our potential to use those skills in the job they have available.

List the things you think are ‘just stuff you do’ and see how you can create a narrative that links to a job you see advertised. It gets easier with practice.

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