Grads Find your Ideal Office Job: Advice Pre, Post and During an Interview

Office job interview success

For many people, the prospect of leaving university is the most daunting milestone in life. You’ve gone as far as you can in education (unless you’re considering a post grad) and it’s time to jump on that career ladder. It can seem like the start of the rest of your life but don’t panic, take a breath and re-group. Londonoffices have a little bit of advice for those hoping to bag themselves an office job post-graduation.

The modern day job market is a hectic one and often, with little or no experience it can seem like you’re flogging a dead horse trying to get a foot in the door. Well, when in doubt, resort to a cliché – if you don’t succeed, try, try again. Enthusiasm and passion will go a long way in helping you stand out from the crowd so don’t lose heart, perseverance pays!

Pre-Interview Advice

Firstly, it is a good idea to put some time into really thinking about where you want to be in the long term and discovering which roles are going to get you there. Your first office job doesn’t have to be, and probably won’t be, your forever job but experience is key and getting the right skills from the start will benefit you greatly in the long run. Once you’ve decided this, your enthusiasm and dedication to the role will naturally evolve.

Career plan for an office job

Being proactive and informed are also invaluable qualities when searching for an office job. Mark Bradford, resourcing specialist at Stem Graduates says, “Show your interests in a career path by joining in discussions on Twitter/LinkedIn. This will make employers familiar with your name.” Use social platforms to connect with relevant people from your chosen field, join in with conversations, bury your name within their consciousness and furthermore, educate yourself.

Being proactive also means creating your own experience and contacting employers directly. While searching for an office job it may be beneficial to create yourself a blog, or a portfolio to showcase your skills. Interning or volunteering are also great ways of boosting career opportunities. Whatever you do, it is important that you don’t rest on your degree or wait for opportunity to come knocking. Take control of your job search and even consider contacting people who currently have your ideal office job for advice.

Internship office job image

Finally, tailor your CV. If you are applying for a creative position, reflect your eye for design through your CV using templates such as these created by Etsy. However, don’t risk coming across unprofessional. If the office job you are applying for is a corporate position in a financial role for example, keep your CV smart and professional to reflect the company brand.

During the Interview

Londonoffices’ CEO Chris Meredith has been interviewing candidates for many years and during this time has developed some solid advice on the dos and don’ts of interviews. Below are his tops three tips for acquiring that office job post-graduation:

  1. Know your goals

I always question people about their goals. For me, this goes much deeper than “I want to earn as much as I can”. I tend to get people to break it down into yearly milestones finishing on what they are looking to achieve within the next three years. I have big concerns if someone has not taken time to think about what they are trying to achieve on both a personal and professional level. Knowing that the role I am recruiting for is able to help people achieve their goals is critical for staff retention.

  1. Be Positive

I am looking for someone that is going to add to the team that I already have. We have a great dynamic at Londonoffices so anyone going through the interview process has to convince me that they are going to add something to the team. A negative mind-set is never going to do that. You can often spot someone with a negative mind-set when they discuss their previous employer.

Office job team player

  1. Reflect Upon your Journey 

I am looking for people that are respectful and not afraid to ask for help. I have no issue with someone being confident that they will be successful in a role but, are they aware of who has helped them get to that position? Parents, teachers, colleagues or a manager maybe. I am looking to find out who is it that has helped them get to where they are today. Do they appreciate what has been done for them and who do they look up to? In my personal experience, successful people identify people that have helped them and appreciate the fact they have.

Office Job Etiquette

Once you’ve sent out hundreds of e-mails, CVs and cover letters, connected with endless new contacts online and have finally nailed that interview, it is important to remember business etiquette throughout the probation stage of your new office job.

  1. Be Anti-social

By this I mean social media. Ignore the temptation to check that notification, mute the group chat and refrain from picking up the phone. While you may not have an enormous to do list straight away, it is important to show interest in your job not your social life.

Social Media Apps

  1. Don’t Suffer in Silence

Although you may think asking for help shows incompetence, employers do not expect you to know everything about their business within five minutes. Asking for help is completely acceptable and often preferable as it usually avoids mistakes.

  1. Don’t be Time Precious

You’re starting out and tasks may take you longer than your colleagues. This is expected and, of course accepted however, if you really want to make a good impression and show your team spirit, stay late here and there to get the job done. Not only does it paint you in a good light it will also help you feel less overwhelmed with your workload the following day, a win, win.

Overall, the advice here is to be positive, proactive and prepared when looking for the ideal office job. Sometimes things won’t go your way but simply learn from your mistakes and move on. Often things happen for a reason and it will all work itself out in the end.