A job interview is very much like an exam. It requires you to prepare for it and practice questions you might be asked.
First and foremost work on the basis that an interview is a marketing exercise - you are trying to sell yourself to the employer. The employer is making a choice between you and other applicants. It’s a competitive environment where you must convince the employer that choosing you would be the best possible outcome.
You should go in with the clear understanding that the interviewer knows very little about you. Your task is to project your personality without making the interviewer dig and scrape the answers out of you.
Finally, all companies are interested in your ability to communicate- the interview is your opportunity to demonstrate how well you have mastered the art.
If you are preparing for an upcoming job interview, you may benefit from:
- Reviewing interview resources via CareerHub > Resources> Interviews
- Registering for a Back to Basics – Interview Skills workshop* during semester to increase your confidence at interviews and get advice focusing on what employers look for and how to prepare for interviews, you may register on CareerHub via Events or call us on 9514 1471 for the details of the next workshop.
- Visiting us for a Drop-in
*Please note: this workshop is only open to current students and your attendance will be recorded.
Use any opportunities you can to answer interview questions. We recommend you practice with people who have some skills or experience in interviews or interviewing. Friends who are able to provide constructive critical feedback can be very helpful as well.
Practicing allows you to:
- retrieve your most appropriate examples
- find words and language that you are comfortable with to describe your strengths and achievements
- provide fluent and complete stories and examples, and
- grow in confidence.
You’ll already have strong research skill from your studies; when it comes to interviewing, it’s a matter of applying them to starting and managing your career.
Employers want to see motivated individuals who want to work for their organisation- you need to use your research to show them that you know about their company and the industry, as well as the role. You need to show them you have the skills, experience and capabilities to succeed.
Researching the role
- What will you be doing day to day?
- What skills are needed?
- Who will you work with?
- Who will you be accountable to?
- How does the role fit in with related sections of the organisation?
Researching the organisation
- What is the mission and what are the objectives of the organisation?
- Who are its clients?
- What are the products?
- How big is it and how is management structured?
- Who are its main competitors?
- What is the organisation’s current status?
- What has been published about them in the media?
Researching the industry
- Who are the main players?
- What is happening in the industry?
- Where does the prospective organisation sit within the industry?
- What are the current issues in the industry?
Researching your experience and skills
Having completed your research on the role, organisation and industry, you need to review your experiences, skills and attributes for relevance to the work that you are expecting to undertake. You’ll need to expand on the information that you have already provided in your application.
Here are our top ten tips for successful interviews:
- Be prepared.
- Demonstrate your knowledge of the role, the organisation and your desire to work for the organisation.
- Be able to communicate your key capabilities.
- Highlight your achievements – but also be prepared to discuss what you have learnt when things haven’t gone as planned.
- Dress professionally – it’s better to be a little over dressed than the reverse.
- Be on time - not overly early, and certainly not late.
- Ask questions when invited to - don't make the interviewer drag information from you.
- Be pleasant and look relaxed. Do not look petrified - even if you are. Smile and be good-humoured.
- Be mindful of all possible cues e.g. body language. These will give you hints when to stop and when to continue.
- Turn your mobile phone off.