In this article you’ll find:
- The essential tips to prepare for a professional job interview in Australia
- Tips to be applied during a professional interview
- What to do after your job interview
- Extra: How are job interviews in Australia (specific characteristics)
Getting a professional job interview in Australia is a dream we all have when we arrive in a new country as students, and we have to start from scratch. Some of the questions that arise are “what should you do if you have never experienced a job interview in another country?”, “How different are job interviews in Australia?”, or “what matters most to survive the interview successfully?
After having mastered the English language by doing a course or studying a postgraduate degree, time’s up to join the Australian professional market in your industry, which is undoubtedly different from what you know – therefore it can be a bit shocking when you first face it.
To know what to expect of the experience, we share with you the essential tips to ace a professional job interview in Australia:
Before the interview
Research and understand the company you are applying to: It might seem obvious, but most candidates know very little about the places where they are applying to. Think like an employer: would you like to interview someone who wants to work with you but has no idea of your business? The answer is probably “NO”. Researching about the company is one of the most important things that will help you to familiarise yourself with its objectives, its products, its vocabulary and, consequently, this will make you feel more confident when expressing your interest.
Prepare and rehearse key questions: A typical question is “tell me about yourself?” Seems pretty straightforward, though, the answer can be as short or as exciting as you make it. Other commonly asked aspects are your strengths, weaknesses, examples of success or failures, objectives at a particular stage, reasons why you want the job, your leadership style, and so on. All these questions require you to know yourself well besides having the ability to summarise and make your profile interesting from the beginning of the interview.
Sleep well before the interview and take care of what you eat: Sleeping well, as in, relaxing and being calm at least the night before the interview. Being rested will lower cortisol levels so you can think more clearly and respond better.
Choose your outfit according to the company profile and your desired position: Dress for the job you aspire to have, not the one you already have. Even if the company’s work environment you are applying to is rather casual, try to dress up a little more since you are NOT part of that environment yet. It is always safer to dress more formally than to make a wrong impression for not caring enough about something as basic as your appearance. If your personality is very relaxed and casual, choose to wear basic and modern clothes, and add seriousness to your look. Get a casual business look by wearing trousers and shirts without having to wear a suit or dress. A blouse and a pencil skirt in neutral colours are enough to look formal and not overdressed regardless of the work environment in the company.
Think of some doubts about the position: Asking questions during the interview can save some severe headaches in the future. What is the organisational structure? What are the routines of your position? What growth opportunities are there in your area? These are all valid questions that someone who values themselves will want to know to make sure they fit in a job. Employers highly appreciate this.
During the interview
Arrive at least 10 min before the agreed time: Again, we insist on this point since punctuality is BASIC in business. If you are going to ask for a job, arrive at least 10 minutes before, this will give you time to relax and show genuine interest.
Breathe before talking and remember that nothing happens if you don’t get the job: It is proven that breathing reduces the level of stress and decreases your blood pressure. Hence, deep breathing before speaking can help make your answers more eloquent whilst modulating your tone and speed. You will look more relaxed in general.
Mirror the tone of communication with your interviewer: Quickly analyse your interviewer’s behaviour and try to mirror his style. It is not about not being yourself, but to adapt your form of communication to that of your interlocutor. If you are very outgoing and confident while your interviewer speaks softly and very little, you are likely to intimidate him, and he could even misjudge you. You must calibrate your tone to that of your interviewer to generate rapport and understanding.
Sell yourself, but don’t overdo it: Nothing like being able to demonstrate your worth and experience with more facts than words. Rather than talk about your strengths and embellish your profile, let your achievements speak for you. If you implemented a marketing campaign that increased lead conversion by 75% in one month, talk about how you made it happen and explain in detail the skills you used to get those results. Nothing will sell better than verifiable facts.
Be succinct in your answers: In Australia, it is crucial to be concrete and direct while remaining polite. The communication style at work is generally very relaxed. However, this doesn’t mean that they want to hear endless & emotional stories of how your work life has developed at the interview. Try to get straight to the point and take between 1 or 2 minutes maximum to answer the questions. Filter & sum up all the essential facts to make a good impression and generate interest in you. Keep it short & sweet.
Smile and relax: Being friendly is key to being able to establish a connection with your interviewer. If you seem nervous or hesitant, you can make a wrong impression and close the door to yourself. Remember that job interviews always translate into an experience for you. There is always something to learn, so it is not like it’s the end of your career if you fail. Bearing this in mind will take away the pressure and make you indeed enjoy the interview. You could see it as a challenge where you can only win, no matter what happens next. Be careful, don’t go to the other extreme and look excessively comfortable because it could seem as though you don’t take things seriously.
Don’t be afraid to ask or negotiate: Questions like “what is the job’s routine?”, “What would be my key responsibilities?” “What organisational structure does the company have?”, and “what are the growth opportunities?”, are invaluable questions. They help you discover if a particular position is what you are looking for. Asking about salary is not badly perceived as long as it is not the first thing you talk about or insist a lot on it. The pay is relevant, but you shouldn’t look as if that is the only factor that attracts you from the position.
Never speak inadequately or judge your past jobs or ex-colleagues: We know that this point is self-explanatory. However, nerves can betray you and make you start sharing that tragic story when you fought with your boss. When you are asked about things related to failures or crisis management, it is vital that you stay factual and do not involve emotions. Doing this will always make you look professional before a potential employer.
After the interview
Send a thank-you email and stress your interest: It is not about being insistent, but if a week of the day that they told you they would contact you has passed, it may be a good idea to reach out the recruiter. Emphasise your interest in the position or in receiving feedback from your interview. The comments made to you can significantly help you improve your next interview by becoming aware of the details you should consider to get better.
Extra: How are job interviews in Australia (specific characteristics)
Interviews in Australia can be face-to-face with an interviewer, with a couple of managers or in front of a panel with other candidates. The format can be through questions or resolution of hypothetical cases. Be sure to practice all styles or ask your contact what kind of interview you’ll face so you can mentally prepare for it.
If you get hired, congratulations! It is an excellent achievement since you are in a country competing with people of all preparation levels and backgrounds.
Do not forget that there are services that you can use to practice your interviews and improve critical points, such as our Interview Simulation service. In Latinoz, we set an appointment with you as if you were going to apply for a position with us, we interview you in English, and at the end, we give you a super detailed analysis of your strengths and areas of opportunity, in writing.
We hope these tips can help you find that dream job in Australia or overseas and that the process helps you keep discovering the best of you.
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