In my last few articles I gave various tips on how to handle technical phone interviews, technical virtual interviews, and technical in-person interviews. Now I want to focus on a segment of candidates who are usually ignorant of the interview process: College graduates. In this article I have several interview tips for college graduates seeking Technology roles.
Interview Tips For College Graduates: Be On Time
I made this the first of the interview tips for college graduates because lateness is somewhat ingrained in college students. When I attended university I had professors who didn’t care if their students came on time or not. As they explained it students paid for the class, and they had the right to waste their money or use it wisely.
While some professors will allow lateness, the working world will not. Interviewers hate it when their candidate is late. And lateness is a big reason why candidates don’t move onto the next round of interviews, or don’t get the job.
Another reason why to be on time for the interview (or even a little early) becasue it gives the candidate a chance to prepare and calm their nerves. If the person is late then the person rushes. And rushing throws off the balance of the interivew. It’s difficult to improve things once that happens.
So if you, the reader, are constantly late to class then you need to change that bad habit now! I don’t want you to lose out on a great role just because you can’t get to the interview on time.
Interview Tips For College Graduates: Learn To Dress Professionally
My second of the interview tips for college graduates is to learn how to dress professionally. When I attended university all those years ago it was perfectly fine to roll out of bed and wear pajamas to class. Yeah, some people would say something, but it wasn’t that big of a deal. The same goes even today. However, the working world looks down upon that.
Even though the interviewer may be wearing a graphic t-shirt because the employer allows it, doesn’t mean you can do the same. So learn how to dress professionally. Some colleges provide resources and even clothing for interviewing. Or graduates can watch YouTube videos or read blog for those tips too. If money is a factor, and for many college graduates it probably is, there are groups who either provide professional clothing (like suits and dresses) for little to no cost. I suggest searching online ot find those groups.
Final Tip: Keep Expectations In Line With The Role
My final tip is for college gradutes to keep their expectations in line with the role. I think there’s a disconnect of the type of salary, benefits, and perks that come with various Technology jobs becasue of social media. There are plenty of videos about “The Day In The Life” of a particular job showing free lunch and free snacks and expansive game rooms and other great perks. In turn, college graduates think their job will be like that even if it isn’t at Google or Meta. Even at those companies do the employees have time to play games. They’re working!
Next, too many college graduates have unrealistic beliefs about how much money they will make. While making six figures (at least $100,000) is possible for roles in Silicon Valley or New York City, most graduates will receive salary offers ranging from $50,000 to $75,000. These aren’t bad salaries at all, but I think seeing social media posts from other Tech employees showcasing their high salaries gave college graduates the wrong idea. The high salaries will come with years of experience.
Finally, I want college graduates to realize they aren’t going to work on really cool projects at their employer. Really, the first three months on the job is for them to fully ramp up. Then they will get small tasks while receiving mentorship. Depending on the employer, graduates may not get the opportunity to take on more work until nine to twelve months on the job.