So, I am about to graduate from university, and I am getting nervous. I have not yet received my results, and one bad mark could knock my grade, and I have not yet secured a graduate job. I have probably sent off about forty job applications, had at least ten telephone interviews, and will have had four face-to-face interviews by next week.
During this process, I have been rejected, confused by recruiters/hiring managers, told how great I am at ‘X’, but that I lack ‘Y’, and the truth is, it is hard. Every time I write an application, or a cover letter, it improves. Every telephone interview I have with a recruiter/hiring manager is more confident. This is for one simple reason: you start to get used to the process. In some ways, I am thankful. As difficult and upsetting as this process can be, I have learned so much already about simple things that not many schools teach. I have learned how to apply the STAR technique in interviews, so as to stop myself from rambling. I have learned when it is best just to discuss, or describe a skill rather than explain it fully with a situation in mind. I have especially learned how different the values of companies can be; one company seemed a lot more invested in what I already knew about them and their brands, rather than what I might bring to the role, while another did not ask a single question about themselves, and wanted to discover the extent to which I met the role requirements. In some interviews, you can have a chat and relax, so you can properly get to know each other, as they will consider how well you will get along with the rest of the team, while at others, you need to answer the questions according to their specification.
In all this, however, the main thing I have learned is that it is not always your fault if you get rejected at any stage. For example, I received a rejection yesterday; they said I performed wonderfully in the interviews, and did well in the tests, yet my nerves came through in the group task. Now, I am usually seen as a confident person full of energy, who can get their point across, but imagine being in a group with four other candidates just like you, but some are louder, some more knowledgeable, and some more confident within those kinds of situations. Then you are tasked with planning a campaign for a product you know next to nothing about, while two of the members of your team know everything. That is called the luck of the draw. And in that specific situation, I unfortunately let my nerves get the better of me, and fell short. Given a different day, and a different task, I may have landed the role, but we live and learn. I have been rejected for a number of reasons; not enough experience (for an entry level role), cannot start early enough, salary expectations too high (£20,000 in London), and the list goes on. At the end of the day, whatever their reason, you must dust yourself off, and get back on the application horse to go through it all again.
Now I am faced with the nerves of this situation:
Next week, I am interviewing with a high profile publisher in London for the ideal job role. I really want this job, but have not received very useful feedback thus far to know what to do to secure the position. I am also interviewing early on, as they have interviews the next week also, so I need to ensure that they remember me.
Good luck to me!