Acing your interview

Congratulations! You have made it to interview stage and now is the time to really sell yourself. Follow the steps below to give you the best chance of success at the interview. Taking the time to research and prepare for your interview is key to your success on the day.

Prepare for question time

Rehearse your answers to the most common job interview questions below:

  • What is your greatest strength?

  • What is your greatest weakness?

  • How do you handle stress and pressure?

  • Describe a difficult work situation and how you overcame it

  • Why do you want this job?

  • Why are you leaving your current job/why did you leave your current job? Always stay positive, and never badmouth your boss or the company

  • Why should we hire you?

  • What are your goals for the future?

  • Do you prefer working alone or in a team?

And when your time comes... What should you be asking?

  • What do you like about working for this company?

  • How would you describe the culture of the company?

  • Could you tell me about a typical day in this organisation for someone in this position?

Check the details

  • Confirm the date, time and place of your interview and research how to get there

  • Know the name of the person interviewing you

  • Have several copies of your resumes packed

  • Prepare your interview clothes the evening before

Research the organisation

  • How old is the organisation, and how has it developed over the years?

  • Where are the plants, offices, or stores located?

  • What are its products or services?

  • How does this organisation rank in the industry?

  • Are there any plans for expansion?

  • What is the organisational structure?

  • How does the organisation fit into the community? To what degree is it committed to solving community problems?

Interview etiquette

  • Arrive about 10 minutes early. If you’re not early, you’re late!

  • It may be a receptionist who greets you, or the business owner. Either way, this is the beginning of the first impression. If you are rude or even just aloof to the receptionist, this may be conveyed to the interviewer

  • Use your manners and maintain a professional image in the waiting area. Don’t play Angry Birds on your phone, or check messages etc. Your phone should be switched off already

  • Greet the interviewer with a firm handshake and a warm smile- use the TENS rule – TOUCH (handshake), EYE CONTACTNAME (use the interviewers name) and SMILE

  • Wait until the interviewer invites you sit down before doing so

  • Be confident, but not arrogant. This is your time to shine!

  • Listen carefully to the questions and take your time and answer them carefully

  • Don’t forget to ask the questions you have prepared

  • Always thank the interviewer for their time

Know yourself

  • Identify and be ready to talk about your skills and abilities

  • Be ready to talk about how your skills and abilities are aligned with the position and the organisation

  • Identify your core values and how these are aligned with the organisation

  • Have a small handful of related success stories from your working life prepared - Remember the STAR model – Situation, Task, Action and Result

Research the position

  • Obtain a copy of the position description and/or dissect the advertised position, paying close to attention to the selection criteria.

  • Find out the average income earned by people in this or a similar position