Job interview tips

Preparing for your job interview is the key to success. Make sure you can explain everything in your resume and cover letter, including examples and explanations of your experience. Be clear about why you want the job and why you want to work for that organisation. Do as much research about the company or business as you can. Visit the company’s website to find out about what they do and their mission or vision statements.
During the interview you may be interviewed by one or two people, or by a panel. Ask the person who notifies you of your interview time who will be interviewing you.
And remember to do the following:

  • Prepare and write down questions so you can refer to them during the interview.
  • Dress appropriately for the interview.
  • Get to the interview on time.
  • Turn off your mobile phone.
  • Be confident and speak clearly.
  • Show you are keen by listening and paying attention.
  • Ask specific questions.
  • Leave the interview on a positive note by thanking them for their time.

If you’re not sure about a question the interviewer is asking, ask them to explain it. Sometimes it’s helpful to note down the various parts of a complex question.

Be sure to keep your answers relevant to the job and why you are the best person for it. The interview is not a time for:

  • true confessions
  • discussing politics, religion, race or marital status
  • expressing anger over past jobs
  • talking about family problems
  • complaining about looking for work or the number of interviews that you have had.

After the formal questions, you will be asked if you have any questions of your own. Always have at least one question ready. A good question could be about a special project you noted on their website, which shows you have done some research. Other questions could be about:

  • opportunities for further training and professional development
  • the organisational structure
  • the way performance is measured and reviewed
  • transfer policy to other sites including overseas transfers.

There is no set number of questions, but generally allow five minutes for your questions to be answered.

It is a good idea to send a follow-up email thanking the employer for the interview. This does lead to job offers. Sending a thank-you email shows that you are polite and considerate, which might be the difference between you and another candidate.

If you do not get the job you have been interviewed for, ask for feedback to help you improve your interview performance. Ask questions like:

  • Do you have any suggestions or feedback regarding my approach or attitude?
  • Do you have any hints on how I could improve my interview skills?

Searching for a job takes time and patience. Talk to friends who have found work and ask them what they did, or talk to people employed in industries that interest you about how they got their job.

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