Preparing for your first interview at a junior level can be incredibly overwhelming. We sat down with YFs Head of Recruitment, Kate Johnson, so she can help make the process far less daunting.
Never underestimate the importance of an exceptional CV
To secure an interview, you need to make sure your CV represents you in the best way possible. Your CV is only a snapshot used to reveal your best characteristics, passions and skills before you are called for an interview. So make sure you tailor it the best you can to suit the position that you are applying for.
It needs to be clear, concise and the spelling is perfect. Remember, as a recent graduate, your life experience is just as useful as a previous job position. For example if you play in a sports team, that can be a helpful indicator that you are a team player. Or if you have a personal social media account showing your foodie interests, this is a useful way to showcase your passion for the industry.
High-growth brands want employees that live and breathe their ethos – they want believers. Show them you are a believer.
Our Recruitment team at YF are always on hand to help advise candidates they work with on their CV and can sense check it before sharing more widely.
Seek out opportunity
Many startup businesses don’t have the platform or outreach to share their opportunities widely enough resulting in new graduates missing out. Brands may not even know they want a graduate just yet.
Working with a recruiter that specialises in the industry is a no brainer. Not only will you find out about more opportunities but you also can ask all the questions that you might feel less comfortable asking directly to the potential employer.
We also help graduates find job opportunities suited to individual interests and level. With connections to many F&B brands and founders, we can help you do the groundwork so that you can focus more carefully on preparing for the interview.
Map your CV to the JD
Back to the CV. Before the interview, it’s best to cross check your CV with the job description that you are interviewing for.
Highlight the key responsibilities and attributes the company is looking for and then match that with the skills and strengths you are conveying through your CV. Be confident about knowing where your strengths lie; do not be modest but equally dishonesty rarely pays off. And as always, YF are available to help you uncover your talents.
Truly understand the role
Do all you can to investigate what the role will entail. Across different industries, and even brands, job titles can mean different things. So read the description incredibly carefully. If you are working with a recruiter, make sure you ask them to expand on the elements of the job role.
Remember the recruiter will probably have access to more information as they will have been speaking to the hiring manager.
Do your detective work
Make sure you research the company before your interview. Of course read through their website but also think about scrolling their social media accounts and LinkedIn profile too. It’s useful to find out what the company is sharing and what their interests are.
Also, if you know who you will be meeting in your interview, it is worth finding out about their journey too. It means you can have an understanding of who you will be meeting but also understand potential progression for your own career path.
An interview is just as much for you as it is for your potential employer. You might want to ask; ‘What does a week look like?’ or ‘What area of the job would I prioritise the most?’ or maybe even, ‘What will the most challenging part of the job be?’.
Be confident to ask questions, it might be your only chance before you decide if you want to accept a new job.
Enthusiasm and understanding of the industry is a must
Whilst a brand focus is incredibly important, having an understanding of the industry as a whole is also vital. Research the company’s competitors as well as market trends. And remember to take a look to see if there has been any new legislation put in place that might affect the company.
Think you could use a helping hand to find that dream job?
Here at YF we are always keen to help anyone seeking out opportunities within the FMCG space. If it’s your first job interview or your hundredth, we want to help give you the best shot at success.
Reach out to our team today if you would like to chat further about graduate and junior positions within the FMCG industry.