Heads Up College Grads: The World Owes You Nothing

by Kevin on March 4, 2012

A little more than 6 years removed from college I am still shocked by the number of college graduate duds we interview at my company. Great companies hire a small percentage of the total applicant population that sends in a resume to a job opening. In fact, if there is a company that is hiring almost everyone who applies then you should probably be running the other direction. The same is true for my organization. We interview many people and our interview process is long. Some of the candidates we see are just… almost unimaginable.

Characteristics of Dud College Graduate Interviews

Want to avoid having panel interview teams roll their eyes at each other after you leave the interview? Avoid these critical mistakes.

The world owes me something

The overall theme of the bad interviews I’ve sat in on is that the world owes you something. Now that you’re in the real world you feel entitled that your opinion suddenly matters. Of course you deserve this job, you’re a college grad. Isn’t 4 (or 5 or 6…) years of partying in college worth something these days?

I’ve talked to too many candidates that feel that just because they have a degree they deserve everything. Newsflash: you have no experience. Your piece of paper is nice and some employers require it, but it doesn’t make you the best thing since sliced bread.

Sorry, I don’t know how to iron

Seriously. I don’t care what kind of background you came from or if you never stepped foot into the career development center at your school. Showing up to an interview, any interview, without a half decent suit (or minium, a jacket) with an ironed shirt and a tie is simply inexcusable. You need at least one suit to go to funerals or big events in, you can use the same suit for interviews. A suit is a life requirement.

What time was my interview?

My Dad always used to tell me: “Son, being early is being on time. Being on time is late.

You can imagine how he felt about actually showing up late. It’s inexcusable. Yet many of the people I interview on a weekly basis show up right at the minute of their interview (which is borderline acceptable) or late. If you’re late I’ve made sure to give you all of my contact information. You have a cell phone… call. Apologize for getting lost (because you didn’t take the time to pull up a map or drive to the interview location the day before to make sure you knew where you were going), but at least call.

Showing up late means you aren’t getting hired. If you can’t show up for the interview to get the job, how can I trust you to show up to a client meeting?

I’m sorry, what is it that this company does again?

The internet is a beautiful thing for research. It’s hard for companies to hide what they do when they have a website. Even if the company site is vague, Google can be insightful as to the company’s background. I’ve talked to many college grad interviews that are showing up just because a company wanted to interview them. They’ve done no research on the firm, have no idea what the company does, and have no questions at the end of the interview. I’ll let you guess as to how many get invited back for follow up interviews.

{ 1 comment }

Golfing Girl March 6, 2012 at 8:59 am

It is so sad that the average college grad applicant falls into this. My former company spent a lot of money searching for the best of the best, and even some of those “top” candidates had mommy or daddy call to negotiate their offers!!

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