What’s your name and job title? Where did you study?
My name is Patrick Leslie and my current job title is as a Graduate Transportation Engineer. I did my undergraduate studies at the University of Waikato with some additional post-graduate papers through the University of Canterbury
How did you get to your current job position and how long have you had it?
My current position has evolved over the past 2 years since beginning my time at Stantec. Firstly, I got offered the job straight out of university and began working in Christchurch, mainly in the road safety space. Shortly after beginning, I was selected to go to the Queenstown Lakes District Council engineering department and assist them with their workloads. A year after getting sent down to Queenstown, the transport team leader in Stantec Queenstown offered me a role as a transport engineer and assisting with large scale subdivision developments inspection and evaluations of works on site. Now I live and work in Queenstown.
How can students best prepare for interviews?
The best answer I can give, from a few mistakes I made before I was interviewed for my current job. Be familiar with the company and what they currently do. Have a look online at current and past projects, what areas they work in, investigate the role and how that could fit into these types of projects. Think about how one sees themselves fitting into this role if the interview is successful. There could be questions on this, and it is always hard to answer if thought or research beforehand has been done. Having a summary of personality strengths and skills that will be a benefit to the company is a key thing to have prepared for any question about how one sees themselves fitting into this role.
How can students set themselves apart from their peers?
This is a tough one as I don’t think there is a generic one-line answer for this question. I think for me and how I set myself apart from others was the way I presented myself to future employers. Remember the first thing any future employer will see is the CV or cover letter. Having a simple, eye-catching and well put together CV goes a long way. For me, no two applications, CV or cover letters were the same. I customised my skills lists and past experience, with various part-time and volunteer jobs to fit the job I was applying for. This way all the relevant skills and experience are at the top of the lists. This way if they don’t read all of the skills, they still have read the important ones. Highlighting the relevant ones first on a CV will go a long way. Not all jobs are after looking for the same things in a CV so the CV should be altered to fit the company and job making it seem like you have put enough into applying for the job. Also, remember to include the personal things you do. The future employee is looking for a person to join them, so they want to know about the person too.
What are the do’s and dont's in an interview?
What is your number one tip for students when interviewing?
For me, it would have to have some confidence. Having confidence in oneself and their abilities will be very beneficial during the interview and show the interviewer one believes in one's abilities. They liked what has been presented in the application so now the interview is just to expand on it and find out more.