So you’re through to the interview stage!

Building a new life in a new location is no small feat. You’ve got to sort out your visa application, find a new house, a new social network, and a new job! Finding the right job is essential to sustaining yourself and the right role will make the rest of your immigrating to-do list so much easier.

So you’ve applied for a role and you’ve been shortlisted for the interview process. What do you need to know before you go?

Preparing for the job interview questions

Interviews can be stressful situations. Despite how competent you may be, many people struggle with interview scenarios. The good news is, you can easily prepare for the most common interview questions so you’re ready to roll on the day.

Common interview questions tend to take a similar format and you can prepare answers for them.

You will hear things such as:

  • What is your greatest strength?
  • What is your biggest weakness?
  • Here is a work situation you will typically face in the role. How would you approach it?
  • What relevant experience do you have?
  • What skills do you have that will help you in the role?
  • What do you want from your career in five years?
  • Why are you the best candidate for the role?
  • Tell me about a time when you overcame a challenge at work and how you dealt with it?
  • What are your hobbies and interests outside of work?
  • How have you shown the following qualities? E.g. Leadership, management etc
  • How would your friends describe you?
  • Why do you want to move from your current role?
  • What is your current visa status and do you have any work limitations?
  • Why did you have a gap in your employment during this time?

Depending on the job role, you are likely to get a set of behavioural interview questions. This will test your problem solving ability in a stressful situation in a task that’s relevant to the job. When answering these questions, use your analytical mind but also think about what they’re actually looking for.

Research the company

So many people forget to simply Google the company. Look at their website to see what they stand for, what services they offer and what they value. Look at their social media profiles to see what they’ve been up to recently. Consider how they differ from their competitors. Whilst you’re in the interview, drop in current references or any common ground you may have with them. Doing your research shows you’re diligent, proactive and, most importantly, you care!

Some candidates go one step further and even research those interviewing them on LinkedIn to see if they can make a personal or professional connection with them.

Look at the job description!

Job descriptions are created with a lot of thought and consideration. Each point is a window into what the employer is looking for. Study this in detail and think about how your skills and experience will satisfy each point. The hiring managers will often use the job description to tick off points as you go through the process.

Why are you fit for the role?

Spend time thinking about what sets you apart from others. You will be one of many candidates, so how are you going to make them remember you? Ultimately, it’s a competitive market and those who go over and above the norm will be recognised. Recruitment agencies and employers in Australia will all tell you a ‘go-getter’ mentality is a very attractive quality in potential employees. Think outside the box and ask friends, family and colleagues for advice!

Don’t forget to mention

It may be a cliché, but it’s as much an interview for you as it is for them. With your visa application often relying heavily on your employer or job role, you may have to stay with the company a while, so make sure it’s somewhere you will be happy. Speak to the hiring managers about your long term career path. Explain your goals for the future and where you’d like to progress to. This is both an attractive quality in a potential employee but also gives you an idea of where you’re going.

If their answers don’t match your expectations, this may be a red flag that they won’t offer the progression you’d hope for. Australia is an incredible place full of opportunity; don’t sell yourself short or jump at the first job offer that comes along if you have reservations.

Secondly, be honest about your salary expectations. If you try to appease them and undersell yourself, you will only regret it later when you’re unhappy with your earnings. Do some research using online salary guides, consider your previous earnings and how they’d translate in Australia. In Australian culture, it shows your personal value and maturity if you’re willing to have an honest and open conversation about salary.

Company culture: will you be happy there?

Do you like the atmosphere or the vibe of the company? Do they look after their employees? Do you think you’ll integrate well there? You need to consider if they’re a good fit for you. There are tell-tale signs of how companies treat their employees with things such as employee perks, progress plans and company values. If you’re interested in finding out what their employees actually say about the company and want to look beyond the recruitment brochures from the HR department, check out their profile on Glass Door.

Relax and be confident

Beyond the interview questions are your demeanour and general communication. Take deep breaths, stay calm, don’t rush and approach it like a conversation, not an interrogation. Your personality and likability is the secret weapon when it comes to the interview process. You have to show them that you’re someone they’d want to work with. Many candidates use the ‘what do you do outside of work’ question to show what kind of person they are.

Questions for the interviewer?

This is a golden opportunity. Ask a question that shows you’re genuinely interested in your future at the company. It gives them an extra little insight into you as a person and shows you’re willing and engaged.

Another really effective tactic is to ask the following question, ‘Do you have any reservations or questions over my ability to do this job? If so I’d love to hear them now to put my case forward in case there’s something I’ve missed’. This is both a pleasant surprise for most hiring managers and also allows you to argue your case live in the room, ensuring you’ve got the best chance possible of landing the job.

Want to learn more about finding work in Australia?

For more valuable info on finding work in Australia, check out some top tips from locals, and also see which industries are crying out for skilled workers.

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