How to stand out as a junior looking for work
It’s hard enough to stand out and find a job as a grad or a junior professional – you’re up against all of the other graduates from your year who have similar levels of experience and skill – so why not make it a bit easier for yourself?
Our clients are always interviewing junior talent and keep us across what they see and experience – good and bad – when speaking with Gen Z candidates. So if you want to set yourself apart from the crowd and have a fighting chance when trying to get a junior role, keep these handy hints front of mind.
Do your research
Research the company and the hiring manager. Know what they do, their mission statement and values, so you can refer to them in the interview. Check out the company blog and investigate whether any company leaders have written thought leadership pieces or have been guests on podcasts – there could be something in there to help you stand out from the pack.
⬆️ Your interviewers discussing you, post interview – via GIPHY
Be prepared to actually do work
You’re getting a job to work and workplaces are paying you to work. This may sound incredibly obvious, but the amount of clients who tell us about juniors they met who are not interested in actually working is astounding. If you want to get a job or want a new job with higher pay, you need to talk about how hard you’re going to work – and if you get the job, do it. No quiet quitting or doing the bare minimum.
Connect with your interviewers on Linkedin beforehand
This is such an easy way to not only build your LinkedIn network, but to also get great insight into the people you’ll be speaking with. Use the information to your advantage to help build rapport and a connection throughout the interview.
Dress smartly for your interview
Appearances matter. If you’re going into a workplace, dress smartly – make sure your hair is neat and clothes are clean and semi-professional. You can still wear clothes that show your personality, but look smart – think dark jeans, a shirt and boots or a skirt, tshirt and sneakers.
Even if your interview is virtual, your top half needs to be professional looking – rock a shirt with some footy shorts or a turtleneck with a pair of leggings. Don’t forget your background – consider blurring your background or uploading an image to replace your background if behind you looks a little messy.
Interest and passion go a long way
It may feel a bit cringe, but show passion and enthusiasm for the company and the job! Employers want to hire someone who is excited by what that company does and what it stands for, so when it’s between you and three other grads who have similar experience and skills, you can’t go wrong with showing that you’re keen on the job and the company.
Be professional when talking about your current role
They’re going to ask you why you want to leave your current role. Everyone’s circumstances are different, but if you’re in a not-so-great working situation, exercise some control and be professional when talking about your current role. Basically, don’t bitch about them – while it may be true, it reflects poorly on you as you’ll look super unprofessional.
Come prepared with questions to ask
You’re not going to be grilled for the entire interview – interviews are a two way street, so you need to be prepared with some questions to ask. Many people struggle with this and find it hard to think of interesting and insightful questions, but we have your back.
We have a list of the best questions to ask in a job interview, so check them out today!
A couple of extra tips:
- Prepare a minimum of five to eight questions, just in case some get answered during your interview
- Write them down and if it’s an in-person interview, don’t be afraid to bring them in
- Ask everything you want to know. Don’t skip questions if you don’t think they’re super exciting, you need all of the details to make the right decision for your career
Be open about your other opportunities
If you have other interview opportunities but you’re keen for one particular role, be honest with them and give timelines. Tell them that you’re interviewing for another role on Friday or that you’ve been offered another role and need to let them know by Tuesday. Not only is it professional, but if they like you, they’ll probably speed up their process so they don’t lose you to another business.
Send a follow up email
This is a big one as it’s not really done anymore, but it’ll definitely get you noticed. Send a follow up email, thanking your interviewers for their time and restating your interest and enthusiasm for the role. If there’s something that you wanted to clarify or mention as you forgot, this is also a great opportunity to mention it.
Want more advice, tips and tricks? Join our Graduate Workshop! We run them on the last Tuesday of every month (except December) and you can register for them here.