During summer, countless companies open their doors to the throes of newly grads marching their way to offices in the hopes of employment. This year, the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) report shows that there are at least 656,284 new graduates, which is 10% higher to last year’s 605,375.
If you’re one of these thousand hopefuls, you’ve probably gone through the harrowing process of sending your resume to a company or two…or three (maybe even five). If you’re lucky enough, your resume will land on the HR’s lap and they’ll end up being interested in having you for the position. Now you’re on your way to a job interview.
Possible employment in a company will depend on how you do during the interview. Don’t be one of those fresh graduates who show up to interviews unprepared. To help you step-up your game, we have debunked a few common myths on job interviews and included a few helpful tips.
- “I have a stellar resume, I think that’s enough”
Don’t get us wrong. Your resume will play a huge role in getting you invited for an interview. But more than that, what happens during the interview is what’s going to determine your employability. Dress up, put on a happy face, and most important of all – read ahead about the company. Applicants who are interested in the company are more likely to be hired than interesting applicants.
- “The interviewer is always prepared”
While Human Resources are duly trained for this very situation, often, they are in the middle of a lot of other things within the company. Interviewing you might actually be taking time from other things that need their attention. With that said, make it as easy as possible for the HR to interview you. Don’t assume that they will already know everything because they’ve read your resume. Elaborate on what you’ve written. Also, even if you have emailed your resume, bring at least two extra copies during your interview to be on the safe side.
- “The interviewer controls the interview”
Although true, this doesn’t mean that you’re just going to be mechanically answering questions. Don’t restrict yourself from engaging and initiating conversation. Feel free to ask context and don’t be afraid to introduce some relevant information about yourself or share your ideas about the company.
- “I have some questions, but it’s better if I shut up and leave them for later”
The best interviews are those that feel like everyday conversation. Like we said, don’t be afraid to ask questions. In case you missed a point or did not understand something, let the interviewer finish his sentence first, then politely interject with your query. This shows confidence and leaves the impression that you are listening to the discussion.
- “I have no right to set a salary price”
“What’s your expected salary?” The question leaves many feeling awkward or worse, scared. They’re afraid that giving the wrong figure may cost them the job itself. Usually, for entry level jobs it’s safe to answer the basic salary. But if you want to make sure, you would need research and a little bit of asking around. With the range of information already at your disposal, it’s impossible to not have any idea of your prospective career’s starting salary.
- “I should be 100% honest during the interview”
Yes, job interviews are meant for your prospective employer to know why they should hire you, but it’s also their chance to know why they shouldn’t. A word misplaced or wrongly phrased may just very cost you the job. Be careful when telling stories, or giving information about yourself. The trick is to always play up your traits as positive so that even if you do have shortcomings, HR will still see you as a prime candidate with a defect that they can play up to their advantage.
- “Graduating from a top university puts me leagues ahead of other candidates”
Graduating from a top university doesn’t guarantee you a sure shot in a company. Sure you might land an interview with your degree from a prominent school but what happens during the interview, your attitude, and skill set will ultimately determine whether you’re fit for the job.
- “I should stick to what my resume says”
Don’t just repeat what your resume says. You were invited to an interview to tell them in person other information about yourself that your resume can’t tell them. Bring your resume to life by providing context and sharing relevant information on your skills and achievements. Bonus tip: Master the art of body language. Lean forward to let the interviewer know that you are interested in hearing what he has to say.
- “Less words, less mistakes”
In a report by Rappler recently, leading job search site Jobstreet found that companies dislike hiring fresh graduates because they lack basic communication skills. What many fresh graduates fail to realize is that in any workplace, while technical proficiency is a must, interpersonal skill is a need. Now, all the more, companies are in search for people with the competency to articulate and express themselves effectively. It’s best to practice answering with a friend so you can avoid getting tongue-tied during the interview itself.
- “I shouldn’t assume that I would get the job”
According to Forbes, employers are more inclined to hire enthusiastic, though less qualified, candidates. More importantly, even if you know there are many others who are more qualified for the job, make the interviewer feel that you are willing to learn and trump those other candidates. Act like you want it and act as if you would get it. Nothing turns off success like self-doubt.
What are some job interview myths you have discovered and debunked yourself? Share them with us in the comments.