10 interview tips to land a job in Australia


10 interview tips to land a job in Australia

Congratulations! You applied for a job, managed to get past the first step in the recruitment process and you’re now preparing for the interview. Your resume was clear enough to spark an interest, but don’t relax just yet. It is at the interview stage that the hiring manager will decide who’s the best fit for the job (and company), so if you’re serious about wanting the job, you must prepare yourself accordingly. You only get once chance to make a first impression!

In this article, we will lay out ten valuable interview tips that we hope will set you up for success, no matter if it’s a job or an internship you’re applying for. The tips cover pre-interview preparation, during-interview implementation, and post-interview follow-up.

#1 Gain an honest understanding of who you are, how you work and what motivates you

Why do you actually want this job? What makes you think you’re the right person for it? Qualifications are important, but organisations today will also want to know that you are motivated to do it, and that you’d be a good fit in the organisational culture and in the team. Cohesive teams are better set up to achieve business goals and make for a more conducive working environment for all.

There are quite a few psychometric tests out there that intend to identify and evaluate various personality traits, and it’s a good idea to familiarise yourself with your preferred style when it comes to learning, communicating, working, leading etc. It could also give you some clarity on your strengths and weaknesses. The widely known ’16 personalities’ test is one of them (click here).

Consider the characteristics of the job you’re applying for and how they align with your personality and passions before you walk into the interview. You should also try to research the business culture through what they write on their website, social media or professional community pages. Most companies will have a mission statement and core values shared on their site in their ‘About Us’ section. Don’t just memorise these, but actually consider how they align with your values so you can provide a personalised, meaningful answer when you’re asked why you want to work for them. Often, this is the first question you will be asked in an interview and is the perfect opportunity to really stand out with an authentic, memorable answer.

#2 Find out what there is to know about the job and the company

Google the company and conduct thorough research through their website in order to gain a better understanding of the company, what they do and how they do it. They are going through a lot of work to get to know you, so it’s only fair that you do the same. Knowing more about the job and the company will enable you to adapt your answers in a tactical way during the interview.

TIP: Connect with the company on LinkedIn, to find out more on their current activities.

#3 Research the interviewer

You may also want to look up the hiring manager on LinkedIn, in the event you know his or her name in advance. Doing so allows the interviewer to know that you viewed their page and that could hopefully make them remember you over other applicants. It could also be advantageous to know a little about their professional backgrounds, and a bonus is that it quickly puts a face to the interviewer, which helps you recognise them easily when it comes to the interview. However, this is not the time to ask for a LinkedIn connection.

“First impression in the interview plays a crucial part for your interview success. On the day of the interview, get up early, take a shower and dress up neatly and professionally.”

#4 Practice common interview questions

Before going in for an interview, you should prepare some compelling answers to common questions. These could be on your personal background and motives, your work experience and academic background, technical skills and behaviourally based questions. Try to also think of examples that prove the impact and results of your past responsibilities and achievements. Quantifiable results are even more effectful.

Search on Google or YouTube for tutorials on how to make a successful, quick “elevator pitch”, as time is often of essence during interviews.

#5 Look the part!

First impression in the interview plays a crucial part for your interview success. On the day of the interview, get up early, take a shower and dress up neatly and professionally. If you are male, wear a suit jacket and trousers. For females, the suit jacket can be combined with trousers, a skirt or a dress. Clothes should be ironed, shoes polished, nails cut and hair combed and pinned back or put up in a hair tie if it’s long.  For further information on how to dress up professionally, click here.

#6 Plan your commute

If you haven’t had the chance to drive or travel by public transport to the interview location before, Google maps can give you an indicator of how long it will take. When it comes to job interviews, there is absolutely no justification for coming late, so make sure to calculate any possible delay time caused by peak hour traffic, roadworks, difficulty finding a car spot, etc. Calculate being at the location about 30 minutes early, in order to be able to show up at the reception 10 minutes prior to the interview time. Being punctual is the first thing you can do to set a good first impression.

#7 Give a good handshake – remember non-verbal communication

Your handshake plays an important part in creating a good first impression. Keep good eye contact, make sure your hands aren’t sweaty, reach out your hand and clearly introduce yourself, and then shake firmly, not too weak or too strong. This shows a level of confidence and professionalism.

For non-verbal communication, follow these tips on how you can use your body language in a successful and professional way to give out the right signals.

#8 Interview time! Answer carefully

Listen carefully to the questions and think before answering. Give a clear and relevant response that represents your experiences and skills, and provide examples where possible. Show confidence and play on your strengths, while remaining humble about the things you don’t know, as long as it comes with an attitude of being eager to learn and improve. Have an extra look at the job ad before you go in and remember some key words. Don’t forget: You’re there to get the job, not to talk about yourself. If customer service is one of your greatest strengths, but you’re applying for a job in a different industry, you must think of a different strength. In every situation, think about what the interviewer wants to hear and choose your responses accordingly, but stick to the truth. It will come back to bite you if you don’t.

The following STAR model is a great way to formulate responses at an interview:

S: Situation – Talk breifly about the context

T: Task – What task did you have to complete?

A: Action – Specific examples of the actions you took

R: Result – What was the result of your actions?

#9 Keep a few backup questions ready for the end of the interview

At the end of the interview, you will normally be asked whether you have any questions for the interviewer. This is a great opportunity to show that you’re interested in the company and keen to get the job. The best questions are those that build on the conversation you had during the interview as they demonstrate that you have been listening. If you don’t have a spontaneous question that pops up, you might want to consider one or two of the following:

  • How would you describe the company’s organisational culture?
  • What do you like most about working here?
  • What are the qualities you do/don’t like to see in your team members/interns?
  • Why has this position become available?
  • What would a typical work day look like for the role on offer?

However, you should NOT ask about monetary issues (wage/salary), leave, or further career opportunities, unless they bring it up for discussion first.

Your final enquiry should always be into the next steps of the recruitment process. Showing interest in knowing when you will be informed of the outcome of the interview makes for a good last impression. Don’t forget to thank the interviewer for their time; say that it’s been a pleasure and shake their hand again before you leave.

#10 Follow up after the interview

It is good practice to send the hiring manager a thank you email one day after the interview, to show that you are indeed interested and to make sure you’re not forgotten amongst the other applicants. Use formal business language and proofread it carefully before sending. Normally, you will be told that they will get back to you some days after having reviewed all applicants.

So, there you have it, our top 10 interview tips that could help you land your next job or internship! We’re wishing you the best of luck in your career pursuit!

For further information, please contact our consultants at Quinlan Consulting Team below.

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