Jobs elude fresh graduates with poor interview skills

Experts here say that new graduates often fail to get jobs because they do not have the skills to market themselves, write out good resumes and negotiate properly during interviews.

Ghassan Abdullah, a former marketing manager, said: “At my old job, I interviewed new female graduates for vacancies at our company. Despite the fact that most of them were highly educated and graduates from well-known universities, they were unable to express themselves and had no clue how to negotiate. I think this is one of the most common mistakes graduates tend to make.”

Nouf Al-Ghamdi, a strategic analyst, said new graduates often give up more of their rights in interviews because they are desperate to prove themselves and find work. In contrast, a person looking for a change would not easily do so.

Habiballah Muhammed Turkistani, a faculty member in the department of business administration at King Abdulaziz University, said young people need to learn how to market themselves. He said he discusses this issue in his book, “How to Get a Job.”

“This lack of self-marketing skills is not because there are no academic courses to cover these weaknesses. There are courses on this subject that have been taught for 10 years, including on work ethics. Graduates do not need indoctrination, only practice. A diploma is not a true reflection of a person’s skills.”

Lama Ba Ja’aifer, a regional manager at IKEA, said graduates should also take care of how they write out their resumes. This is a reflection of the person’s language and writing skills. She said resumes need not be written out in a traditional way, but graduates must have a cover letter and try to present it in two languages.

“Preparation for an interview should begin with arming oneself with the necessary information to prevent nervousness. I would also like to point out that English is very important. Finally, there is overall appearance. Men must wear clean and neat clothes. As for ladies, they should avoid wearing too much makeup.”

She said graduates must also ensure that they have some idea of the salary they want to earn, which they can discuss at the end of the interview with their prospective employer.

Hassan Tamraz, 26-year-old civil engineering graduate from an Arab university, said that he was unable to find a job for a year because of his poor English, which is a major requirement at most companies. Tamraz said that it is essential for job seekers to exude confidence and not give up their rights.

Haya Al-Souri, 25 who graduated three years ago from King Abdulaziz University, has been unable to find a steady job. She said a company she worked for previously did not pay her because they were in dire financial straits. She said graduates must be confident during interviews and not say things like: “I will take whatever job you have, or the salary is fine.”

Farah Qahwaji, 20, believes that her sister Sara has not been able to find a job for two years because of her unwillingness to improve her personal skills. Sara graduated from the foreign languages department at her university.





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