The Interview Guide

Obtaining an interview means that you are being seriously considered for the job. How you appear to the employer, and what you say at the interview, will have a dramatic effect on your chances.

Follow these tips, along with the advice provided by our Workforce Connect team and your Link Worker or Employment Consultant to support you to do your best.

As soon as you find out about the interview:

  • Research the company. Employers are constantly amazed at the number of applicants that know absolutely nothing, especially when it is very easy to find out the basic information. An easy way is to search online – this will provide lots of information, including what the company does or produces and the locations of their factories, offices or stores.
  • Work out how long it will take to get to your interview location, making allowances for traffic. Check out a road map so that you know exactly how to find the address, and if you are using public transport check the timetables.
  • If you are able to, do a practice run so you are familiar with the route you will need to take to get to your interview.
  • Practice some common interview questions, ask a friend or relative to listen to your responses before the interview.
  • Prepare any relevant documents to take with you to the interview. This can be organised into a vinyl folder if you have one with clear pastic pockets containing a copy of your resume, certificates, licences, clearances, any special awards or certificates of merit, written references, and anything else you think may help you to get the job. Also take a copy of your application form or letter. You can ask your Link Worker or Employment Consultant to help you print this information if needed.

The night before:

  • Work out exactly what you are going to wear so that you don’t have to rush in the morning. Remember to make sure what you plan to wear is appropriate for the position you are being considered for – the Workforce Connect team and your Link Worker or Employment Consultant can help you with this.
  • Have a good night’s sleep so that you are fresh in the morning.

On the day:

  • Before leaving home, read through your resume and research notes; make sure that you are well prepared
  • If you are a smoker be conscious of the smell and do what you can to mitigate this including not smoking immediately before the interview, washing your hands and eating a mint
  • Arrive with time to spare
  • Announce your arrival to the receptionist, or whoever is organising the interviews. This could be part of the interview and you could be under scrutiny from the time you arrive.
  • Greet the interviewer and wait to be invited to sit
  • Always wear a smile

In the interview:

  • Maintain great eye contact
  • Listen carefully and ask questions if you need it
  • Expand answers where you can and avoid providing simple ‘yes’ and ‘no’ answers
  • Avoid making bad remarks about past employers
  • Indicate you have brought documents with you if they would like to see them.
  • Be aware the language you are using is suitable for the workplace, if in doubt ask the your Link Worker or Employment Consultant for tips
  • Be aware of distracting habits you may have such as playing with hair or fidgeting

Ending the interview:

  • Thank the employer for the interview and their time
  • Let the interviewer know you are interested in the job, this can make a real difference!
  • Enquire about the timeframe for applicants and how you will be notified of any decisions

After the interview:

  • Call your Link Worker or Employment Consultant as soon as possible to tell them how the interview went. This is very important as the employer may contact us for more information

Some questions an employer may ask you:

  • What do you know about the company?
  • Why do you want to work with this company?
  • Why have you applied for this position?
  • What do you consider to be some of the special qualifications you have for this position?
  • Do you like working alone or in a team?
  • What do you consider to be your strong points in communication with others?
  • What tools do you use to plan and organise your work each day?
  • What are your goals over the next few years?

Some questions you could ask:

  • Could you give me an example of the daily tasks this job requires?
  • Could you tell me more about the company?
  • Would I be working with other people or by myself?
  • What are the plans for the company in the future?
  • What are the dress requirements?
  • What safety requirements are there? (especially for industrial employers)
  • What shift times are there? Is overtime worked?
  • What training is available?

We recommend you be honest in your answers, and enthusiastic and interested throughout the interview.

Following an interview:

You may have some unanswered questions which your Link Worker or Employment Consultant can assist you with:

  • When should/shouldn’t you contact an employer?
  • How is the offer of employment accepted
  • How can you negotiate salary/conditions of employment?
  • When do you do this?
  • What is the commencement date etc?

If you do not get the job don’t be discouraged. Every interview is a step closer to employment. You may suggest to the interviewer that you are willing to be considered for any other vacancies. Remember if a new position comes up you may be considered even six months later!