We’ve written a lot of blogs about how to prepare for interviews over the years. What to wear, what to say, how to cover for that gap in your CV when you ran away to join the circus, or that bad grade you got because you didn’t realise that Godot is never actually going to turn up. What we haven’t told you how to prepare for, however, is another type of interview – an appointment with a careers consultant. While you don’t actually have to prepare for this, sometimes a bit of healthy prep work can help you make the most out of your thirty minutes of one-on-one time with your friendly careers advisor (they are very friendly, promise!). After all, you don’t want to be like this poor man here:
Moral: Before you decide you want someone to help you become a Lion Tamer, make sure that you know what a lion actually is. It will save a lot of time, and potentially some embarrassment.
So, you’ve finally taken the big step and booked yourself an interview with a careers consultant – you either visited CareerHub and booked yourself in under ‘appointments’, gave us a phone call, or came in and saw one of the lovely people at the front desk (or me). But here’s the rub: your appointment is not for another two weeks. What do you do?
If you don’t know what to do with your degree and your graduation date is fast approaching… Not a problem! We’ve got a lot of resources on our website that can help you. Check out the graduate destination survey, and our Career View magazines. The ‘what can I do with my degree?’ and ‘what jobs do graduates get?’ links on our website can help you get some ideas, and then you can use your thirty minutes to have a chat with our consultant about which of them sound interesting to you, and how you can go about getting into your new dream job. Or, if none of them sound interesting at all, then you can sit down and have a chat about what does interest you, and why these other positions don’t appeal. Chances are, there will be something to spark off an idea.
If you have an interview coming up… Then use your Google skills and find out a bit about the people who want to hire you. Check around their website, FaceBook or Twitter to see what you can find out about their values, previous projects and why they stand out from the crowd. If it’s the interview itself that’s daunting, you can check out our handouts which give you some idea of what you might be asked, and how to prepare for it. Or, you can drop by our office and have a read through any of our books on the topic from our library, or even sit down and watch a DVD which gives you some pointers. Then, when you come to your appointment, you’ll be able to narrow down what you want help to prepare for. You can also search this blog for more posts on how to prepare for interviews – as I said, there’s a few of them.
If you have absolutely no idea what you want to do, and you don’t even know if your subjects are right for you… Then have a go at CareerQuest, or My Next Move. While I pointed out in my last blog that there is no all-purpose test that can tell you what you should devote the rest of your life to, these can give a good indication of where your true passions might lie. You can even save the results and bring them into your appointment, so you can look through them with your career consultant and find out what jobs and subjects you might like to take based on these interests. It does pay to do both tests, for comparative purposes – the more data, the more we have to go on. If it’s your subjects that are worrying you, again, not a problem – check out our Career View magazines, or read through the undergraduate or postgraduate prospectuses to see if anything jumps out at you.
Random Fun Fact!
There’s a lot of information out there in the world, and your brain can store a surprising amount of it. The human brain has an estimated storage capacity of 2.5 petabytes. To put that into perspective, if your brain was a digital recorder, you would have to run your television continuously for over three hundred years before your brain would be full. So why not put some useful career advice in there before you go in to see one of our consultants – after all, it’s not as if you’re going to run out of room in there.