Students graduating as Geologists can find it to be an exciting but daunting period of their lives. After years of study, commitment and hard work, graduate Geologists can finally close their text books and start looking forward to putting all that theory they have learned into practice and join the working world.

This period can however be overwhelming and can create a lot of uncertainty for those who have recently graduated, especially in today’s times. The world is highly competitive, mining is in a slump, and graduate geologists are as a whole painfully aware that they are going to be competing with a lot of other young graduates for the few jobs that are available in mining.

For this reason, it is so important for young graduates to give themselves the best chance of succeeding in a job interview, and for them to do some research and preparation in order to give themselves the best chance they possibly can, at acing that interview and getting the job.

First and foremost in order to succeed a graduate needs to be competent in the field of Geology, that is a given. However apart from that young graduates needs to be able to stand out amongst their peers, during the interview process. Graduates need to ensure they are noticed and for the right reasons.

The years spent studying will lay the foundation for a successful career but ultimately how young graduates handle themselves in an interview situation is what will determine whether they get the job or lose it to somebody else.

So what types of questions can you expect to have to answer in your first interview?

• Why do you want to be Geologist?
• What aspect of Geology are you most interested in, and why?
• What made you chose Geology as your degree of choice?
• What do you think you will be doing in this role?
• What draws you to this industry?
• Why do you want to work for us?
• What do you know about us – or – what do we do?
• What is your greatest weakness? and / or strength?
• Why should we hire you?

They may also ask more technical related questions, especially if you have had some internship or work related experience, such as:

• What experience do you have in this geological field?
• What computer experience do you have?
• Tell me a suggestion you have made that was implemented in this geological field?

At the end of the interview, there is a very good chance that you will be given the opportunity to put your own questions to the interviewer. Always remember:

• Keep them brief: there may be other interviewees waiting, and recruiters are often busy and do not have a lot of time to answer long winded unnecessary questions
• Ask about the work itself, training and the potential career development. DO NOT ask about holidays, pensions and work hours
• Prepare some questions in advance. It is acceptable to write these down and to refer to your notes to remind yourself of what you wanted to ask

The bottom line is that for Geologists who have just graduated and facing their first interviews, it is very important to prepare for interviews and to give the above some thought. Going into the interview prepared, helps in knowing what to expect but also gives young graduates some confidence. Remember as well that it is only natural to feel nervous during an interview, but part of performing well is not letting this anxiety show, and one of the best ways to appear confident is to be able to perform well under pressure and to be prepared for the interview.


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