Stepping into the real world from the "uni bubble" is daunting; long gone are the late library shifts, wavy shirts and £1 shots... Time to get a 'proper job'.
You've probably applied to dozens of jobs by now, gotten to the interview stage and then just haven’t heard back. Often, the initial face to face interview, or at least the first 15 minutes, is an assessment of you as opposed to your credentials. You have obviously been brought in because the credentials on your CV, which will be discussed later in the interview, but a large part is the way in which you present yourself - your presentation, what you say and how you say it.
Here are the top 5 things to avoid in an interview:
Misunderstanding the general dress code: As common as it sounds, first impressions go a long way. If in doubt, keep it simple and safe; suitably fitted, plain ironed shirt (and tie), nice clean shoes, neat hair. If you need to wear trainers, at least change before you enter the reception. If your coat is more suitable for the outdoors, take it off and show off the effort you made to dress smart. (Also, definitely take it off when in the actual interview - it makes it look like you aren't comfortable and is also quite off-putting and makes it almost seem like a casual meeting.)
General phrases that don't actually mean anything: What are you saying about yourself when you use phrases like "I just want to develop myself." Yeah, everyone wants to, that's what we do naturally as we mature. With phrases like that, you are not inferring what you can do, or your capabilities, but rather suggesting that you don't really know yourself, or why you are there, etc. Be bold, be definitive, show what you can bring and why - this will make more of an impression.
Being flaky: If you don’t show up for an interview or are running late, a quick message telling your whereabouts wouldn’t go a miss. Sometimes rescheduling can't be helped, but if this is the case, at least email in advance with the reason as to why, employers will understand. But constantly rearranging times and moving things around make you seem less committed - if you really wanted it, you would make the effort.
Being dry/bland. Being a grad, or being young isn't a hindrance. Yeah, you might not have bountiful years of work experience, so use your energy and personality to win people over. Speak with enthusiasm, like you want to be there; give extended answers, explain and ask questions! Even smiling can help loads. Humour also goes a long way.
Overly casual speech: Yeah, showing your personality is good, but avoid "like" - it gets really annoying as a filler - take your time, slow down and think about what you want to say. You don't have to be well spoken, just clear and not sounding so casual like you are with friends. Even simple things like not missing out your "t's". Not speaking clear enough can be a deal breaker especially if its phone based, or personable roles.
These are the most basic things, and there are probably loads more. But simply avoiding these simple things can help loads.
All the best with your job search!!