FORD &

MAMEC

COLLABORATION

MAMEC has been collaborating with Ford to provide members with a nine part series. Ford have created these articles to provide students with an insight into the journey of a graduate. 
Beginning with essential advice and skills to boost your personal brand right though to tips on how to settle in to a graduate job. Follow along right here, and prepare yourself for your graduate job.

Must-know tips for Grad Job - Interview

Introduction & Background Information

Congratulations you’ve made it to the finish line! This is the final step before that all-important employment offer reaches your doorstep. For most individuals this is the toughest portion of the recruitment process as it is somewhat the most competitive. Before we get into tips, it is very important to realise that it has taken tremendous effort and perseverance to get to the interview stage and you should be very proud! The employer at this stage is comparing the best of the best to see who will be the best fit for the company in terms of experience, personality, and potential. You will most likely have two to three interviewers with a set of standard questions (it’s a requirement that all potential employees be graded against the same criteria) and they will be writing notes on your responses.

Tips

Preparation tips beforehand:

  • This is the stage where the most prepared will come out on top. There are numerous online examples of engineering interview questions that you should write out your answers to and make sure that you know them off by heart. Specific examples will help you demonstrate the skills required for the position. Research the STAR method of question response as it is very helpful.

  • Personal Story: I had a friend in his late 30’s (I was 21 at the time) who had lots of experience in interviews and industry. He had already obtained a grad position at a large mining company in WA where I’m from. He gave me 3 sheets of very general interview questions about times I've overcome adversity, spoken up when something was wrong, worked well with a team etc. I flew over to Melbourne for my interview (flew over and back in the same day and was only in Melbourne for 2 hours!) and I spent a good portion of time writing the answers to these questions and memorising them. I believe this is what cemented my position at Ford as I was confident in my answers and I was well prepared!

  • One major question that is asked is your weaknesses and how you can overcome them. The response to this question says a lot about the individual and how they will grow with the company. Speak to your peers, mentors, and teachers to really nail this while also thinking of how you will attempt to overcome it.

Interview Day

  • Some very easy but essential tips include:

    • DON’T BE LATE (obvious but essential)

    • Formal dress code

    • Politeness to receptionists and any staff at the workplace

    • Bring a pencil case, notepad, your resume/CV, and any documents that they have asked you to bring along 

  • Don’t be afraid to talk yourself up. Make sure you come across as confident (not cocky!) and if you are onto a good subject or example, don’t be afraid of continuing to talk and make conversation. It is also not a race, the interviewers should be able to get an accurate representation of you and if you rush, they may miss information

  • You will need concrete examples of your experience. Technical questions can be asked along with various team orientated questions that they will ask for specifics in. If you are prepared you will be fine! Also make sure they are your own stories, the interviewers will see right through any stories you are faking

  • Transparency and honesty are key. Showing friendliness and openness with the interviewers will relax the room and you will find yourself feeling at ease. Asking the interviewers about some of their hobbies and experience is a great way to find connections and talking points.

  • They will most likely invite you to ask any questions at the end of the interview. Use this opportunity to clear up any queries you had and leave a good impression before the interview ends. Avoid any hard-hitting questions about wage and compensation. Graduate positions are for developing your skills and moulding you into the future leaders of companies. Asking about compensation as your first industry position will come across poorly.

  • Finally, just try and relax. If you mishear a question or get a bit flustered, just calmly ask the interviewers to repeat what they said or tell them that you’ve lost your train of thought and take a couple seconds to compose yourself and ease your mind. The interviewers will actually appreciate this because you will appear to be passionate and attentive, while not rushing the interview.

Conclusion

This is the last hurdle before you land that all important graduate position. It can be scary and overwhelming but preparation is key! Having a plethora of varied answers will give you an edge over the competition. Try to relax and enjoy the experience. You can find out some very vital information about the type of company you could be working at and you can begin the networking process easily. Good luck and all the best for the interview!

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