“Every single role has an element of sales and or service to it”

When it comes to graduate recruitment, ultimately every recruiter from every company is searching for the best and brightest talent that is out there to join their business and make a difference. The big challenge for the recruiter is finding that talent.

At Enterprise I manage talent acquisition for the UK and Ireland, recruiting over 800 graduates and undergraduates into the business. We receive over 25,000 applications so our talent acquisition team really know what they are looking for in the recruitment process for graduates.

The majority of companies will look for certain competencies throughout the interview process and we are no different. I want to share with you some of my top tips on how to impress a recruiter during the interview process and how to demonstrate you have the competencies many of us are looking for.

Customer service and sales acumen

Every single role has an element of sales and or service to it, be that pure selling, negotiation or persuasion. Don’t be surprised when asked about your sales experience in an interview.

But I don’t have any sales experience! you might think. In fact, you probably have more than you think. Sales isn’t always about knocking on doors, it could be working in a restaurant and encouraging your customers to order the specials or the dessert. Selling the latest product in your local store.

“You won’t always have had lots of leadership experience but think about what you have done on campus”

You should also think about your role at university. For example, working in a group on a project and convincing the rest of the group that they should go with your idea. Tell the whole story though, not just that they went with your idea but what your action steps were to get them to this point!

Don’t say in an interview that you don’t like working with customers, especially if this is in the job description. Many roles will involve you having to work with unhappy customers, this again you can relate to sales by showing how you’ve turned any bad situation around.

Leadership

Every employer wants to find future leaders. I have run skills sessions at universities on helping students become future leaders. A great example of this is the Leicester University Future Leaders award, where students develop skills such as problem solving, decision making, generating confidence and buy-in and resolving internal differences.

As a recruiter we know that you won’t always have had lots of leadership experience but think about what you have done on campus; captain of a sports team, a leadership role in a club/society, leading a project at university, part time work or even organizing your year out travelling.

Communication

This is being assessed throughout the whole recruitment process; how are you communicating your experiences, what is your body language, are you asking questions at the end of the interview?

As well as being aware of this you should be prepared to talk about communication, from how you deliver bad news to how you have work in a team.

Top 5 Tips

To finish, here are some general tips for the recruitment and interviews process: 

  1. This is a sales process – SELL YOURSELF
  2. Never use the words ONLY and JUST. They can be perceived as you underselling.
  3. Always be professional whoever it is you are meeting.
  4. Research the company and your interviewer.
  5. Smile and enjoy the experience! The more you show passion for what you are talking about the better you will come across.

You can find more great employability hints and tips on our website. Good luck! 

Ashley Hever is European Talent Acquistion Manager at Enterprise Rent-A-Car. Follow him on Twitter.

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