It’s such a relief when you’re called for an interview! It means your resume and cover letter successfully convinced the selection panel that you’re a high-quality candidate with the skills, knowledge and experience to do the job they’re advertising. This isn’t easy to do.

How should I prepare for my job interview in Australia?

Here are four tips to prepare for your interview in Australia:

1. Review the job advertisement and position description (PD).

The job advertisement and PD will explain the requirements of the role. You will also learn more about the skills (technical and soft) that the organisation want in the successful candidate.

If you know what the job requirements are, you’ll know what questions are likely to be asked in your job interview.

The selection panel will test you on each requirement listed in the job advertisement and position description so you need to go through this carefully so you’re prepared for your job interview.

Tip: Make a list of the requirements and write a response on how you meet each one. For example, if a requirement is “Demonstrated skills liaising with customers”, tell the panel how you engage with customers. What do you do well? Perhaps you established new long term relationships or encouraged customers to purchase again. Use an example where you helped customers.

2. Memorise your resume and cover letter.

One time during an interview, I asked a candidate how they “reduced order processing time from five days to three days”. He said that they worked faster! That’s not a good answer. He should have been able to talk about how they reviewed the process, analysed each step and developed strategies to improve efficiencies through technology or by removing barriers.

Memorise every sentence and statistic in your resume. If you use examples, make sure you can talk through each one in detail.

3. Research the company.

Many candidates don’t spend enough time researching the company and the team. I remember one interview when I asked the candidate who our competitors were. He gave the wrong answers. This highlighted that she had not done any research.

Tip: We have so much information at our fingertips: LinkedIn, Google and the organisation’s website. Make sure you know three key things about the company. The panel may ask “what do you know about us?” or “What are the biggest challenges and opportunities in this industry?”

LinkedIn is a great way to find out more about the selection panel too. They won’t mind that you’ve looked them up! Their profiles may have information about recent projects that you can talk about in the interview.

4. Storytelling.

Your interview is a forum for you to tell stories about your experience, skills and knowledge. The panel wants to hear examples of how you can do the job being advertised. It’s important to tell them about the skills you have and how you’ve used them previously.

Good candidates will frame their answers like this:
“In my role as a Junior Business Analyst with Haynes Accounting Services, I was part of a team that worked on a process improvement initiative to reduce duplication…”
“When I worked at Georgios Restaurant as a waiter, I was often required to mentor junior staff and manage our busiest shifts on weekends when we were at 95% capacity. I had to multitask and manage orders from the kitchen, process customer payments and oversee take away orders. This was a terrific role that allowed me to perfect my multitasking skills. I think working in a busy restaurant develops these skills immensely.”

Successful candidates who get offered the job spend hours developing examples about how they meet the specific requirements of the job. They’re never caught ‘off guard’ in an interview. They have numerous examples to respond to most questions the panel will ask of them.

Final thoughts on how to prepare for your job interview in Australia:

Preparing for your interview in Australia takes time and practice. Interviews are like performances where you’re on the show! It’s an opportunity for you to convince the panel that you can do the job better than any other candidate.

You need to come across as genuine, easy to work with, committed and driven. You must know the position requirements back to front and be prepared with examples and stories to convince the panel that you can deliver.

If you need advice on how to perform well at your next interview, feel free to check out our services for international students and skilled migrants. 

Good luck with your job search!
Career Coach and Director at Career Success Australia