Are you a finance student looking for a broad perspective and understanding of the financial services as a whole? Finsia can help sharpen your skill set, build your knowledge and maximise what you have to offer employers in the financial sector through the Finsia CareerConnect program.
Finsia is the leading organisation for Australasia’s financial services industry, connecting its members with career services, resources and professional networks to build their professional capabilities and strengthen the industry.
Aiming for a career in science? Education? Creative arts? Politics? Working through an undergraduate degree? Embarking on a Masters or a PhD? Whatever you are doing, you’re not going to be the only person finishing university and looking for a job with that particular qualification in hand. What will make you stand out to employers?
Your qualification should give you specific know-how and technical skills and standing out by achieving good marks is one part of the equation. That said, your personal qualities, achievements, interests and employability skills are also a critical part of what you will bring to a workplace. Continue reading
What skills, knowledge and attitudes do students need to succeed in life and employment? La Trobe University Graduate Capabilities lists the university’s findings on this question and it’s very similar to the 8 key employability skills mentioned elsewhere in this blog. If you match the two lists up and reflect on the skills and qualities required in your field, you can actively improve your chances of getting the job you want when you graduate. It’s about being strategic – taking charge of your learning by consciously building (and keeping evidence of) your skills while you are at uni . Continue reading
Graduates in demand will be those who have not only a good academic record, but also the skills that enable them to readily adapt to change.
Graduates are entering a labour market that’s going through rapid change. New occupations, industries and markets are being created while many traditional areas are undergoing significant transformation. Even the way work is organised is changing. Graduates can expect to work in environments that involve multi-skilling and participation in multi-disciplinary teams, in a mix of full-time, part-time, casual, contract and project activities. Continue reading
The idea behind behavioural-based interviews is that past behaviour is a good indicator of future behaviour. Generally an employer is assessing a candidate against a range of competencies such as team work, problem solving, communication, customer service and so on. You’ll know when you are being asked a behavioural question as it will start with something like ‘Tell me about a time when…’, ‘Give me an example of…’ and ‘Describe a situation when…’.
For behavioural questions, your responses need to demonstrate how you’ve developed or used a competency in the past. It should be quite easy to identify the competency the employer is interested in as key words will form part of the question, for example communication skills, organising ability, problem-solving.
How to give good answers to behavioural questions
Use examples from your past experience to demonstrate each skill. Most of your examples will come from university or work but don’t be afraid to draw on your experiences from volunteer work, participation in sporting teams or community activities if they demonstrate your relevant skills in a clear, positive, credible way. Most importantly, focus on what you did, not what you could have done or what others did.
You’ll need to structure your responses to tell stories about real situations you have been involved in. It’s best if you use examples from paid work but you can also draw on experiences from university or other areas of your life. The STAR method is a clever way to structure your responses and help make them meaningful to the people interviewing you.
- Describe the Situation or the Task/problem that needed to be performed/solved
- Explain the Action you took and what skills you used
- Specify the Results.
Examples of behavioural questions you might be asked in an interview
- As a member of a team, how have you handled someone who wasn’t pulling their weight?
- Tell me about a situation that you have been in that has required excellent communication skills.
- Give me an example of your organising ability.
- Tell me about a recent problem you have faced and how you dealt with it.
- Think of a situation when your plans have been upset by unforeseen circumstances. What did you do?
- Has there been a time when you were unhappy with your performance at work? What did you do about it?
- What has been your biggest disappointment and how did you handle it?
- Describe a recent situation when you have been under a lot of pressure. How did you handle it?
- Have you ever had the opportunity to use your leadership ability? What challenges did you face?
- Give me an example of when you have motivated people.
- Have you ever had to make an unpopular decision? How did you handle it?
- What have you done that shows initiative?
- Describe a situation that has required you to do ‘that little bit extra’.
- How can you demonstrate your flexibility to me?
- Please describe a situation when you have had to deal with a difficult customer.
Getting relevant work experience while you study is a great way to get ahead in the graduate job market. Working on a paid or voluntary basis introduces you to the realities of the workforce, enables you to develop your employability skills and helps to build your professional networks. Continue reading
Employability skills are the skills and capabilities that make graduates more likely to gain employment and be successful in their chosen occupations as they navigate their way through a dynamic labour market.
To be competitive, you will have to demonstrate to employers that you have the discipline-specific technical skills they require, as well as the broader range of employability skills. Your employability skills provide the link between your academic studies and graduate employment.
Finding work experience will involve the same strategies as looking for a job; in that regard, it can provide you with valuable experience of the activities involved in seeking graduate employment. Work experience positions are often not advertised – you will have to explore, research and network in order to discover your own work experience opportunity. Continue reading