What's your name and job title? What did you study?
Elliot Martin, Graduate Civil Engineer. I studied Engineering at the University of Auckland.
How did you get to your current Job position and for how long have you occupied it?
I went along to multiple seminars held at the University by different engineering consultancy firms (perks of these seminars included free pizza!), and Stantec caught my attention. I was interested in the 3-year grad program, as it seemed well thought out and structured. I followed the instructions to apply, had a skype interview in Auckland and answered a questionnaire, got the call, then moved down to Wellington to start my new job in November 2018. Since I had 400 hours left to complete after my final year of study (I left my compulsory hours to the last minute), Stantec allowed me to start as an intern with the possibility of continuing on as a grad. I have now officially been a graduate in the transport planning team for a year.
How can students best prepare for interviews?
You should keep in mind that your interviewer/employer won't expect you to know everything straight away and that they want to know what real-world skills you have / if you are switched on - even if your experience doesn't have anything to do with the job. When preparing for an interview, make sure you have good examples of how some experience/skills you have gained could apply to the job, and make sure to research projects the company is doing and the company values!
How can students set themselves apart from their peers?
Make sure to ask heaps of questions if you don't understand something, and always check-in with your managers or the people you're working with. There's nothing worse than being given a job and sitting with it and not knowing how to do it! You need to be switched on. Ask questions, listen, and be willing to learn!
What are the do’s and dont's in an interview?
Do research the company values and projects they're doing, ask questions at the end of the interview (have some prepared), have good examples of real-world experience/skills that could apply to the job, relax! (remember they won't expect you to know everything). Don't try to schmooze too much (make sure what you're saying seems believable and not fake), look down or away when you're talking, answer the question without thinking about it (you are allowed to think before answering).
What is your number one tip for students when interviewing?
Research the company's values or projects and work that into how your values align with the company's, that way when you're answering questions it can be authentic.