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With grad season so close now, it won’t be long until the soon-to-be graduates begin swarming job sites and employers inboxes with their decorative resumes and applications, hoping to wow companies and secure their first, dream graduate jobs. Justin Cobb sees his marketing enterprise experience this influx of graduate applications every year, as an innovative and exciting company, prospective graduates are attracted to the exclusive entry-level training programs that Justin Cobb and his business partners have to offer. From his experience of interviews with students and graduates, Justin Cobb has kindly offered some helpful advice for those who will be interviewing against an army of other graduates this year.
From his experience, Justin Cobb shares with us his top three interviewing tips for impressing the recruitment team and management. Firstly, Justin says “You can expect to be asked to declare your strengths and weaknesses and give a brief summary of the two. You should have already thought about this and have prepared some answers before the interview. You want to be prepared but also don’t want to sound robotic or over scripted, so you should still use your answers but tailor them to suit the situation and current conversation in the interview. For example, if the interviewer has declared what qualities they are looking for, this gives you the opportunity to fit your answer around those expectations which have been set for you.
As well as this, Justin explains that one good skill to practice is addressing your work-related weaknesses and turning them into positives, to make them seem less of a weakness and more of a strength. If used wrongly, some examples can come across arrogant, one example of this could be ‘I work too hard.’ You should offer an honest but constructive example of your greatest work-related weakness which wouldn’t be a major handicap to the job you’re applying for and is also fixable. An example of this might be, “My greatest weakness is Sometimes I can be a bit too honest when I provide feedback to coworkers. My personality is naturally very straightforward and to the point, and most of my colleagues really value that, but I have learned that there are times on the job when more diplomacy is required. I took a training class on conflict management, and it really opened my eyes to the need to communicate differently with different people. So now I am much better at providing constructive feedback, even if it doesn’t always come naturally.”
Justin Cobb says employers want to see honesty, authenticity and the self-assuredness that inspires an individual to build on both their weaknesses and their strengths. As well as this, Justin offers his final piece of advice for you graduates who are heading up a sandstorm of job interviews this year. This is a simple one, yet its value is often immensely overlooked – ask questions. “You are not expected to ask 21 questions; however just one or two questions shows your integrity and inquisitiveness. The questions that you do ask will test your character, so make sure to ask smart and constructive questions, and make sure the answer hasn’t already been given to you during the interview,” explains Justin Cobb.