3 Tips to Graduates

We’ve recently been hiring Graduate’s for a FinTech company in Sydney. Competition is high with an average of 80 – 120 candidates interested in one position. I really enjoy working with Graduates, their enthusiasm and energy is infectious and it’s great to see young people step out into the world in their first real corporate opportunity. I get a buzz out of it.

3 Tips to Graduates

I have noticed that there is a huge gap in the quality of those candidates who make it to shortlist or interview stage and those who don’t. Here are my 3 tips for Graduates looking to secure work.

Don’t be unrealistic

So you’re ambitious. That’s awesome, and I wish I could bottle that enthusiasm and drive, but no one hiring a graduate wants to hear that you want to be the CIO in the next 3 years. It’s not going to happen. Never ever. Also think about it, don’t be telling your potential manager you want their job and their boss’ job in the next 3 years. You’re fresh out of Uni and although I am sure you will build a truly awesome career, your knowledge of the corporate world right now is limited. You need to earn respect and you won’t do that being unrealistic.

Take a customer service job during School or University

The Corporate world these days is all about Customer Experience. Those Graduates who have worked at companies such as McDonalds, Kmart or Woolworths have bonus points. They understand the importance of good customer service and have experience dealing with conflict resolution. These places give you a great customer service foundation and you will use this throughout your life. Don’t rely on Mum & Dad, get a casual job in Customer Service during School or Uni.

Go to this interview like it’s the only job on the market

If you are lucky enough to be shortlisted this is your chance. You are ahead of the other 112 candidates and it’s now down to you and two others.


You research the company, get dressed in your best suit and shine your shoes, ask your recruiter for any last minute tips, make sure you get there ten minutes early, smile, sit up straight and show enthusiasm right through the interview. You do this EVEN if you went to another interview yesterday with your dream company, who are going to put you on a fast-track program, who have a dog in the office and unlimited beer in the fridge (and the recruiter rang you just before the interview today to tell you they want to reference check you!). You do this because nothing is ever concrete, and wouldn’t it be better to be in the driving seat and get to choose which role you want out of the 5 offers you have rather than being dropped off at the last minute for your dream job because you thought you had it, but it turns out they had an internal referral at the 12th hour and they have been offered the job.

Now go forth and conquer! But stay humble too.