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Preparing for Job Interviews

First things first:

Research the company you are interviewing with and make sure it’s a good fit for you.  This is crucial: not only will your knowledge of their company help to impress your interviewers, it will also give you confidence to ask the right questions.

Ask friends and family with careers for their advice. If they have a job, they've probably been interviewed, so they'll understand the nervousness. Heck, you can even ask them to do an interview practice session. Get them to ask you interview questions and rehearse your responses.  It's also worth re-reading the job description to make sure that you know what the hiring manager will be looking for.

Once you’re prepared, it’s time to land that job

Here are our top five interview tips to successfully navigate through your job interview: 

  1. Make sure you have appropriate, clean and pressed clothing to wear on the day. Skillsroad employers tell us that many candidates turn up for interviews looking unkempt. Remember, first impressions really do count!
  2. Make sure you have taken care of your personal hygiene – we recommend steering away from the use of strong perfumes as some people find certain scents offensive.
  3. Make sure you have organised transport and arrive on time. This will make sure that you have enough time to gather yourself and calm your nerves.
  4. Make sure you have two copies of documents required by the employer, such as your resumé, police checks, driver's licence and so forth, preferably in a protective cover to keep them clean and tidy. One copy can be handed to the employer and the other is for you to refer to if necessary.
  5. Make sure you rehearse expected interview questions so that you are ready to give your best responses. Practice in front of a mate, your parents or even your computer if no one is around. Simply using your iPhone to record yourself can help give you some insight into how well you are getting your points across and how fast/slow you might be speaking.

Dress to impress

Once you arrive at your potential employer's office, remember these key tips:

  • Turn off your mobile phone, or turn it to silent so that it doesn't ring mid-interview.
  • Establish a rapport. This means to smile and be friendly. Sit up straight, lean forward slightly and always maintain good eye contact with the interviewer or panel.
  • Don't discuss wages. Generally, this would be addressed in a second interview.  Discussion of wages in the first interview can be perceived as inappropriate.
  • Be a good listener. Listen to what the employer tells you about the organisation and the position - generally they will ask you questions based on this information. Maintain eye contact whenever possible.
  • Be enthusiastic and confident. Sell yourself! Let the employer know you want the job, but never interrupt and answer only what is asked.
  • Be gracious. At the end of the interview smile and thank all the people involved for their time.  

Fail vs. Nail interview tips:

Practice the answers to questions the employer may ask

Here are some typical questions that may be asked of you in an interview:

  • Which parts of this job interest you the most?
  • What do you consider your special skills and abilities to be?
  • What is your experience in this type of work?
  • What do you know about our company or industry?
  • What are your leisure activities/hobbies/interests?
  • Why do you think you would be suitable as an employee?
  • What are your strengths/ weaknesses?
  • As an employee, what would you have to offer us?
  • How would you manage study and work while undertaking an apprenticeship or traineeship?
  • What are your long-term career plans?

Good luck and remember... You have done well to reach this stage, so put your best foot forward and be as prepared as you can be.