The biggest interview mistake
The number one way in which graduates fall down at the interview stage is not having their homework done. Graduates often get to the interview stage and haven't adequately researched the company and the role they're applying for.

It sounds simple but that's probably the most important yet simplest way in which candidates can improve when preparing for an interview. It's also the greatest differentiator between grad applicants because if a candidate is very aware of the business, the role they’re applying for and how their skills and abilities would fit into that role - they can really separate themselves from the crowd.

So, where should grads begin their research?
The Accenture graduate page and blogs are a great place for grads to begin their research into the company. The grad page is really the bible for finding out about Accenture. Researching the overall business and the type of work that Accenture does is more important than researching too much into a specific role. Because if an applicant is successful, they are often placed in a role based on their experience, background and strengths - and not necessarily placed into the role they applied for.

Attending the UNSW Business Society careers fair with some recent graduates and more experienced employees.

Interviewing is a skill, not an ability
It's important for grads to understand that interviewing is a skill, not an ability and you can continue to improve on your interviewing technique. One way to do that is by developing answers to the most common interview questions.

  • Prepare an answer for the 20 most common interview questions. This will allow you to adjust those answers to most questions.
  • Don’t get too hung up on preparing for tricky questions. While some interviewers might throw in a tricky question - I would say it's few and far between. You're better to prepare for the more common interview questions.
  • The most common open-ended question and one you will most certainly be asked is to "tell me about yourself?" This is something that should be prepared so you know how to best sell yourself. A big no, no for this question is to give a chronological answer. It shouldn’t start with where you went to primary school. Your answer should be about what's most relevant to the role and the skills you are most keen to highlight.
  • You can prepare the answer for this by picking three key things about yourself that would make you suitable for the role. That could be achievements or successes, jobs that you worked in, internships you've completed, universities clubs or societies that you've had a responsibility in or your academic achievements. Then match these achievements or successes to the role you’re applying for.

Demonstrate a desire to learn
When you're coming straight out of Uni you may feel like your achievements and skills aren't enough to enter the workforce. But we're not looking for managing directors at the graduate level. We're looking for people who have a high level of interest, a personable nature and a desire to learn, grow and contribute. If you can demonstrate these characteristics you will come across well in an interview. Not demonstrating them and you will sell yourself short.

Develop a connection with the interviewer
Building a rapport with the interviewer is important so it’s a good idea to research who will be interviewing you – if you know who it is. During the interview, you could ask your interviewer questions about their career, why they like the company, how long they've been there and what it takes to succeed. It shows you're a personable candidate who would be able to talk to people of all levels and talk to clients.

Dress for success
And lastly, dress so that you feel confident in your appearance and you look the part for the role. Corporate attire is fine, but generally think smart business attire.

Very often graduates’ biggest concern is self-esteem related and wondering whether they are the right person for the job or have good enough qualifications. What’s more important is to ask yourself whether you’re willing to develop and grow, and practice how to demonstrate that in order to ace the interview.

Remember, interviewing is a skill and can be learned.

Welcoming future Accenture graduates to the business at one of our in-house recruitment events.

For more advice and information on our graduate opportunities check out our website.


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Tom Hundleby

HR Career Advisor Sr Analyst

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