Saturday, 7 July 2012

My Graduate Success - My Journey Part ll

Day 5: Today was the day of my first interview at IPC Media. As I mentioned previous, this took place around lunchtime. I got into London early and went to a nearby café for a coffee, and once again I looked over/revised the research pack and the Q&A’s pack that I had created.

It wasn’t until I was actually in the interview did I find out that this was my first interview and if I were to be successful, I would be offered a second one. So, despite what I had thought previous, this was just an interview with the HR person. All this really meant was that a lot of the questions I had prepared weren’t asked. There was just a minimal selection of the standard ‘why do you want to work for us?’ ‘Why do you fit the role?’ ‘why should we hire you?’ etc – really they just wanted an idea of my personality.

I believe I answered all the questions well and I really built up a repartee with the interviewer. Plus, I asked the interviewer good questions at the end, which really helped to create a good impression. Impressions are very important so I tried to show off my research as much as possible.

Overall, my first interview lasted 35 minutes and I left feeling happy that I had done all I could.

Day 6: This was really a day where I was meant to have a ‘day of rest’. However, by 4pm I was emailed and offered a second interview for the very next day – I was shocked that the HR person had got back to me so quickly. As well I didn’t have much time to prepare, so I was glad that a lot of my preparation had already taken place. On top of this, I had 2 tasks to complete and considering my interview was in the afternoon the next day, I worked out I had about 23 hours to prepare.

For the rest of day 6 and early morning day 7 I mostly prepared my task answers as I knew that would be a significant part of the interview. I ended up going to sleep at 1am and waking up at 7am on day 7.  

Day 7: My early morning get up was spent completing my task answers, which was finally done by 10am. I went to the gym afterwards to clear my head and then focussed on getting myself ready, in terms of interview attire. Like day 5, I arrived early in London, went to the café and revised my interview packs and task notes. At this point I was feeling very nervous sitting in the café as I knew I would be having an interview with two people.

Once the interview began I managed to contain my nerves. All in all, I was interviewed for an hour. I got asked a lot of the standard questions (why do you want to work here?) and other behavioural questions that were specifically linked to the job role. For example, I was asked ‘You’ve stated in your CV that you pay attention to detail, can you give me an example of when you’ve shown this?’ These types of questions became very easy for me to answer as I had already got 4/5 scenarios all figured out beforehand. The only killer-ish question that I got asked was ‘is there anything else you want to tell us?’ Of course, those savvy will know that this is a request not a question. Make sure you’re prepared if you get asked this question. I just referred back to a point they had picked up before about self development – I spoke about my relevant experience over the past few years and went into more detail than what was stated on my CV.

I left the interview feeling that I had answered the questions well, but of course I wasn’t sure whether I had secured the job or not. They informed me they had a few other interviews and so, I wasn’t too sure of my chances. I came to the conclusion that whether I secured the job would really depend on the calibre of the other candidates.     

By the end of the day I was taking rest and trying not to get my hopes up.

Day 8: As I was set to go on holiday the following week, I knew that if I had got the job I would probably be informed on day 8 (the day after my second interview), as it was the end of the week and my interviewers knew I’d be going away the following week. I had assumed that if I hadn’t got it, I’d probably get an email the following week with a rejection.

On day 8, I received an email that morning from the HR person asking me to call them at my earliest opportunity – so I called straight away. I was asked how I found the interview and of course I said it was good and my interviewers were lovely. I was then told the interviewers thought the same about me. That was when I found out I had got the job. My mum practically screamed the house down and my dad jumped for joy. It was probably my most happiest experience to date. Of course, mum contacted all the family and I told all my friends, Facebook, Twitter and so forth.  I was glad that all I had been working towards for the past three years had paid off.

So, I guess what I’d like to say is that there is light at the end of the tunnel for graduates, like me. One’s who don’t have contacts in the industry but willing to fight for their dreams. Some may say I was lucky, I say I made my own luck – what about you?

Use the comments box below and state your success story. 


  1. I just wanted to say congratulations. I am a headteacher in a girls' secondary school and I've used your blog to show my students that they can be successful at developing a career in publishing if they want to (and lots of them do!)... so it's great to be able to show that hard work, detailed research, and preparation pay off. Many of them think that it's not what you know, or how well you do it that works - but who you know. You've proved otherwise. Well done! Please keep posting as you start the job because my girls will want to hear more!

  2. Well done- your determination is vey inspiring!!! I hope you have a happy and successful career xxx

  3. Wow your so lucky to get a job just 4 weeks after finishing uni! I graduated 6 weeks ago and have just finished a Press Office internship with a luxury fashion website. I'm hoping to get my first job soon and this blog is super helpful. Are you going to keep updating this blog now you've got a job? I'd love to hear about your first day etc

    K x

    1. I will be continuing my twice weekly blog posts :) This Saturday I'll be posting 'My Graduate Success: Interview Preparation Essentials'. I will definitely do a post soon about my first day. I hope you all continue to read my blog and start subscribing :-) xx

  4. I have just received news that I have an interview next Wednesday!!! So really looking forward to your next post.

    K x

    1. Well done.

      Don't miss my blog post on Saturday - I go into more detail regarding 'packs' for interview prep. You may find it useful.

      Good luck!

  5. Congratulations on your succes. I just want to comment on your story. You said you were getting worried after only 2 weeks. I have graduated from a first degree 3 years ago and a postgrad 2 years ago. And I am STILL looking for a job. After 100s of applications I haven't had a graduate calibre job. (First starting my search in my industry of choice and now for any kind of grad job) I never thought it would be this hard as I did lots of placements in fashion and was a full time intern for over a year. Ive had about 25 interviews, mostly with good feedback but nothing I can use to get better results. So I just want to say you are very very lucky.