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Many people find job interviews intimidating, but there's no
great mystery about what interviewers are looking for or the questions
Be prepared and present well
Which means it's not too hard to arrive well prepared. Dress well –
it's always better to be overdressed if in doubt. Your interviewers
need to be able to picture you working in their company and
representing their brand if you're in a customer-facing role.
You may also find yourself being interviewed anywhere, from a noisy
coffee shop to a corporate boardroom. You might be meeting one very
friendly person or a formal interview panel with up to five people,
possibly including the company's owner or CEO. Whatever the situation
you find yourself in, try to give the impression that you're perfectly
comfortable with it.
What to say
Lots of applicants turn up to interviews with only a vague idea of
what the company does and what the role involves. You‘ll no doubt be
asked what you know about the company and the position on offer, and
it's obvious when you haven't done any research. This shows you're
either not serious about the job or not the type of person who can be
trusted to prepare properly for important meetings. Either way, don't
expect your application to go any further.
Google "common interview questions" before the interview
and make sure you have responses ready for the topics likely to be
discussed. As a general rule, it's good to have three answers ready
for any question – for example, the three qualities you have that will
benefit your employer, or three examples of how you've dealt with
workplace conflict in the past.
Many interviewers use ‘behavioural interviewing', which assumes the
best indicator of future behaviour is past behaviour. Always be aware
that when you're being asked questions, such as how you've previously
dealt with challenging workplace situations, the interviewer is
looking for evidence you have the people skills as well as the
technical abilities to do the job well.
At the end of the interview, you'll be invited to ask your
interviewer(s) any questions you have. Make sure you have three
intelligent questions ready to go, but this isn't the time to ask
If you're preparing for an interview, it's a good idea to ask your
teachers and lecturers for advice, or contact student
services for career counselling. If you're interested in a career
change, or simply looking to expand your skill set, you can visit TAFE NSW and see the wide
variety of courses on offer.