Congratulations! You’ve been asked to participate in a job interview.
Interview preparation helps you feel more in control and appear cool and calm. It is an opportunity to understand the role and organisation even before you start working with them.
Here are 30 ways to prepare yourself for a job interview.
- Write down the exact date and time for the interview. This could be on a calendar or in a diary, or as a reminder on your mobile phone.
- Write down the address where the interview will be held, then work out the best way to get there. This could be by public transport or by car. If going by car, check out the carpark options nearby. If catching public transport, check how long it will take you to walk from the train station or bus stop. You must be on time for your interview.
- Learn about the workplace before you go to the interview. What do you know about the company? What kind of products or services does the company offer? What type of customers do they have?
- Do some research via the company’s website. Most companies have an ‘About us’ or ‘What we do’ section.
- Call the Human Resources (HR) department to discuss the role and any questions you have about the company.
- Find out who will be interviewing you so that you can practice saying the person’s name correctly.
- Think about what you might need to take to the interview. The employer may ask you to bring some examples of your work to the interview. Even if they don’t, it’s a good idea to take the best examples of your work that show your skills that are relevant to the role. For example, for a receptionist job you may take documents you have typed. Or for a landscaping job you may take photos of gardens you’ve worked on.
- Think about the questions the interviewer may ask you and have some answers ready. You won’t be so nervous if you have practised what you will say. Some examples may be: Why do you want to work for us? Why do you think you would be good at this job? What do you think are your best qualities?
- Have some questions to ask the interviewer. This shows you are interested. You could ask: How much training will I receive? How many people will I work with? When will they let you know if you have the job or not?
Do’s and don’ts
- It is important to try to look confident, even if you are very nervous.
- Smile and be polite. The employer wants to see a friendly face.
- Call the employer by their title; for example, Mr Donaghy or Ms Perry.
- Use full sentences and professional language when you are speaking.
- Sit up straight in your chair.
- Look at the interviewer when he or she is talking to you.
- Listen to what the interviewer is saying and show you are keen to get the job. Nod your head as the interviewer is talking and ask questions to show your interest.
- Turn off your mobile phone so you will not be interrupted.
- Don’t chew gum or slouch.
- Don’t use slang words or swear words.
- Don’t interrupt. Wait until the interviewer has finished speaking before you reply.
- Don’t answer a question with just a ‘Yes’ or ‘No’. Give the interviewer more information.
- Don’t ask a question if the interviewer has already told you the answer.
- Don’t ask about money or holidays at the interview. You can discuss these things if you’re offered the job.
- How you present yourself can say a lot about you. Think about what you will wear for the interview and get your clothes ready the day before. Your clothes must be neat and clean. A suit with a tie, or a dress or skirt is best for an office job. Slacks and a shirt are fine if the job is more casual.
- Do not wear a lot of jewellery, make-up or perfume. Ensure you have a shower, clean your nails, comb your hair and brush your teeth before the interview. Remember, the better you present yourself, the more the employer will consider you for the job.
On the day of the interview
- Arrive at the interview 5-10 minutes early. This shows you are prompt (on time) and allows you time to relax and calm down.
- When you arrive, greet the receptionist and let them know you are there for an interview. Smile and introduce yourself. Look at your surroundings. You can learn a lot about the workplace from just looking around while you are waiting.
- When you greet the interviewer, smile and say hello. They may offer their hand to shake. Say their name correctly; for example, ‘Good morning, Mr Maxwell. It’s lovely to meet you.’
- Sometimes, the interviewer may ask you to do a test. If the job includes typing, you may be asked to type a document on the computer. If the job is in a factory, you may be asked to operate a machine.
- If you forget what to say, take a deep breath, concentrate and ask the interviewer to say the question again. If you can’t answer a question, always be honest. Tell the interviewer you don’t understand the questions. Tell the interviewer if you don’t have a skill he or she wants, but that you learn quickly.
EPIC Assist helps people with disability prepare for meaningful employment. Your Employment Consultant will work with you to develop your skills and job interview readiness.
For more articles about preparing for employment, visit our job seeker toolkit.
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