Tips and advice for going for job interviews

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Job interview tips
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Job interview tips

Interviews can sometimes be a nerving experience, however there are some basic tips you can follow which should assist you.

Before the interview

During the interview


Resume layoutBefore the interview

  • Research the company you are applying to - visit their location, get hold of brochures, search the internet, look at their website, do a Google search to find any other interesting things about the company. You are really just trying to learn some basics about their business, what they do, how long they have been operating for, any positive news stories about them, future product initiatives. You are trying to show your enthusiasm and preparedness towards the role and hopefully be able to answer any questions they may ask about this area.

  • Conduct a detailed review of the job advertisement, position description, selection criteria and any other material available and figure out responses to how you can meet these requirements. It could be a good idea to come up with actual real-life examples of where you have applied these criteria to specific roles so you can better demonstrate your skills to the employer.

For example; if the role involves dealing with difficult customer situations, you could talk about a situation where you positively resolved the issues for an unhappy customer.

A good format for answering these questions is to describe:

      • Situation - what was the situation (e.g customer complained about having to wait a long time for service at a restaurant).

      • Action - you apologised to the customer and offered them a complimentary drink and then ensured them that you would follow up immediately with their order.

      • Outcome - they were appreciative of your helpfulness and how you made sure the rest of their dining experience was a great one. They even passed on a compliment to your manager about how well you handled the situation.

  • Have answers prepared that relate to your resume - they may ask you questions about information in your resume, so be prepared to give actual examples and to explain in more details information you have written down.

  • Prepare responses to questions like:

      • Why do you want to work for the company?

      • Why do you want to do this type of role?

      • What personal attributes can you bring to the role?

      • Why are you the best candidate for the role?


InterviewDuring the interview

  • Dress appropriately for the type of job you are applying for (better to be more formal, than too casual).

  • Be aware of your body language, this can make a lasting impression.

        • Have a confident hand shake.

        • Have a genuine smile when you meet the interviewer.

        • Make eye contact with the questioner and make sure you include everyone if being interviewed by a panel.

        • Sit upright in a comfortable position (don't slouch).

        • Try not to fidget.

  • Always try to answer questions with a reasonable amount of detail - not just "yes" or "no".

  • If they ask for real life examples of situations, try and state them in the SITUATION / ACTION / OUTCOME format (described above).

  • Be honest. If you don't have experience in something tell them, but explain how you're keen to learn.

  • Be professional in your manner, be friendly, positive, not too casual - just be yourself.

  • Be concise with your responses to questions (this is much easier if you have prepared in advance possible answers to questions).

  • If you don't understand anything, always ask for clarification.

  • Sometimes they may ask some unpredictable questions. In these situations they are not usually looking for the answer but how you respond and deal with the unexpected.

  • It doesn't matter if you need a moment to think about a question, just let them know you need a minute to think about your response.

  • When you feel you've answered the question, stop speaking; don't continue rambling for the sake of it, they will ask if they require any
    further information.

  • Don't be afraid to ask any questions if you have them.

  • Above all, just be yourself.