When it comes to job interviews, preparation is your key to success!

Before the big day

  • Take 50% responsibility for the interview; remember the people interviewing you are busy and may be interviewing several candidates for the role so meet them half way and be prepared.
  • Ensure you have a full job description for the position you are applying for.
  • Try to find out how the interview will be conducted; for example, will it be a phone interview, a casual face-to-face chat, a formal interview, or a group/panel interview? Will a second interview be required? Are psychological/medical assessments or a police check required?
  • Research the company to gain as much knowledge as possible about their culture, mission and values. Information can be gained on their company website, LinkedIn page and via Google.
  • Google yourself to check your online profile.
  • Think about the questions you might be asked during the interview and prepare answers; for example, 'How will your experience gained in past roles benefit you in this one?'
  • Be ready to explain gaps in dates of employment or reasons for moving onto new roles.
  • Remember that the interviewer doesn't just want you to state your skills and proficiencies (ie. 'I am flexible and adaptable'), they want you to explain how you apply them and how they make you the best fit for the role (ie. 'In my previous role I quickly learnt and adopted new production procedures.')
  • Take a look at your accomplishments and how you achieved them as well as the skills you have developed along the way. This reflection can help you understand your strengths and make you feel positive and confident, which is important before an interview.
  • Be ready to tell the interviewer what you are looking for and the reasons why you want to make this change or have applied for this role.
  • Ensure your resume is up to date with all relevant information including current referee contact details.
  • Practice your interview skills with a family member, friend or your recruiter.
  • Choose your outfit to suit the style of the company and the role you have applied for.
  • Prior to your interview ensure you know the exact location and plan how you will get there and where you will park and allow plenty of time so you arrive on time, rather than late and stressed.
  • The day before your interview, review your interview portfolio, check your interview outfit, eat properly and try to relax. And try to get plenty of rest the night before the interview.
  • Think positively and walk in with confidence and a smile on your face.
  • And remember if you have secured an interview, the company are interested in you for the role.


On the day of the interview

  • Arrive on time, even a little early and certainly not late – no excuses are acceptable.
  • Be aware that from the moment you walk up to the front door you could be on show (camera), so walk tall, sit straight, look interested, read posters or industry magazines in the waiting area, don’t fidget, chew gum or file your nails, don't finish off a coffee or eat, and don’t chat on the phone (this should already be on silent and tucked away in your bag).
  • Take your resume and references with you, along with any achievement awards that may prove helpful to the role (first aid certificate, RSA, forklift licence, recognition certificates, proof of further studies).
  • Take 50% responsibility for the interview. Remember the people interviewing you are busy and may be interviewing several people for the role you have applied for so meet them half way and be prepared.
  • If the company has asked for you to come in for an interview then they are already interested in you; they would not be wasting your time or their own if there was not a possibility of you getting the role (so you are already half way there!).
  • Smile! Be forthcoming with your greeting and ensure your handshake is firm (but not bone breaking!). Help them assess you by talking to them readily about relevant information. If you make the interview easy for them, they will warm to you more quickly and the rapport you create will be stronger.
  • Some interviews are less formal, however try not to fall into the trap of relaxing too much. Mirror the interviewer's approach, chat and have a laugh, but be aware that as far as they are concerned, it is still part of the official process and should be regarded as such. Swearing and chewing gum is a definite NO-NO! You may laugh, but occasionally this happens in interviews.
  • Don’t give yes/no answers: elaborate and converse but remember the interviewer doesn't need to know your entire life story. Keep your answers succinct, to the point and focused, and don’t ramble.
  • Try to let your personality shine. If you are on the quieter side, don’t try to be vivacious. Be yourself -you want to be accepted for who you are, but open up enough for them to gauge your personality.
  • Know your achievements and how you have achieved them, particularly the results and the skills you have developed along the way.
  • Know your strengths and weaknesses.
  • Be ready to tell the company what you are looking for and the reasons why you want to make this change or have applied for this role.
  • Remember that your answers must be tailored to the role you are applying for or the company will not be interested.
  • Listen attentively to questions and take a moment to prepare each answer.
  • Never 'bag' (ie. talk negatively about or criticise), the company you are currently working for or a previous employer.
  • Never lie or discuss salary at an initial interview unless asked directly and then be careful how you answer; ie. “Ideally I am looking for a salary of $x, however this is negotiable for the right role.”
  • Lastly, at the conclusion of the interview thank the interviewer for their time, let them know you are interested in the role and that you look forward to hearing from them. Don't be afraid or too shy to ask when they will get back to you regarding a second interview or their decision.