Manager of the legal and compliance division at Robert Walters Hong Kong
Arm yourself for interviews
This is the first time I am posting here, so thank you for providing this useful function. I have worked for six months now and I am trying to change jobs. I think interviews are things that can be practised to be perfect, so I want to ask if you have any suggestions on how I can achieve that? I know there are quite a number of courses out there to prepare you for interviews, but I don’t know which are good and which are not. Also, I graduated in 2013, so do you think I should keep applying to graduate programmes or seek other methods?
You are right – interview practice and preparation is vital in terms of preparing how you are going to talk about yourself and your background. It is also vital in demonstrating your knowledge and desire to join the company, for example by researching the person who is interviewing you, the company’s recent results and news releases, and of course, the wider industry topics. You are competing against others, so you must be as well-armed as possible.
Interviewing is all about demonstrating the skills and benefits you can bring to the employer. You must therefore concentrate on drawing this experience out of your background and emphasising it.
Of course your goals and ambitions are important, but your main objective must be to demonstrate that you are the right hire for them.
Use your friends, family or, if you have one, your recruiter to practise interviewing. What sounds good in your head when preparing alone may not sound the same when actually spoken. Different people will offer different responses. This approach should lessen or remove the need for interview courses that may well overcomplicate the issue.
It is also important to think about who is interviewing you and what their role is. A trader will certainly be looking for a different approach and answers to someone from the HR department.
For example, the fact that you are moving after only six months in your current job will probably alarm someone in HR, but may show ambition and drive to the trader. So you must tailor your answers to your specific audience.
As a 2013 graduate, yes do keep applying for graduate courses – they are open to all. In the current market it is not uncommon to take the year or so that you have to secure a course, so remain confident and keep applying. But do also explore other options, such your own personal network.
The market is competitive, so you must give yourself as much chance as possible by casting your net wide.
Oliver Allcock is manager of the legal and compliance division at Robert Walters Hong Kong.