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The graduate recruitment day

Many companies will talk to you when they visit your universities, or will look at your job applications and ask you along to a graduate recruitment day, but don't be fooled. It might sound fun and informative but it is as much a part of the recruitment process as a formal interview, and indeed, a graduate recruitment day usually includes an interview. So go prepared.

A graduate recruitment day is a good way for companies to compare and contrast the students they think will work well with them, decide what jobs they are best-suited for and even what sectors. A typical day is likely to include a meet-and-greet coffee and some presentations from the recruiting company to put you at your ease. You might then be divided into small groups to undertake some tasks or games with observers looking on to see how you perform. You don't have to be the one in charge, or the one with the loudest voice to be noticed. The observers are looking for different types of people – thinkers, doers, extraverts and introverts, so don't be intimidated by the process.

There will be a chance to ask questions of senior directors from the business during the day so take advantage of the opportunity and remember that they are doing the same to get a feel for you and your personality.

And be prepared for a one-to-one interview on the day – do your research and read our tips on the interview.

To help you some more Lisa Tyler, recruitment manager for leading consultant WSP, has the following advice.

"Be prepared," she says. "Research the company and turn up for the event in plenty of time."

"Dress smartly – first impressions are important. If you look the professional you will be perceived as professional. And if you are unsure of the dress code be sure to ask.

"Get involved in group activities and be sociable during breaks. Talk to people, share your thoughts – how can a company know if you are suitable for their organisation if you don't speak?

"Relax and enjoy the event. People perform best when they are relaxed and are enjoying the experience rather than worrying.

"And listen to the organisation's representatives and to your fellow recruitment day attendees. You can learn a lot from listening to what other people say.

"If you are successful as a result of a recruitment day you will need to make a decision about whether this organisation is right for you and your career. The more information you can get, the better informed you are to make the right decision for your future."

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