Helpful Hints

Do's and Don'ts at the Interview

  • DO arrive a few minutes early. Never more than 5 minutes early though (unless you have been asked to come early to fill out forms) – if necessary take a walk around the block. This will ensure you are composed and give you some time to go over what you have prepared.
  • DO arrive well presented, neat and tidy. Wear appropriate business attire, be it a suit and tie or shirt and pants, with polished shoes. If you are not sure what to wear, always opt for a suit. Being overdressed will never put you at a disadvantage. Men should be clean-shaven or have well groomed facial hair. First impressions count.
  • DO your research. Look up the company’s website and find out a bit about them. Find out as much as you can about what services/products they offer, and what type of culture there is.
  • DO ask questions during the interview – at appropriate times. This may be to clarify something they have asked you, or it may be at the end where most interviewers will ask if you have any questions.
  • DON’T smoke just prior to arriving. Mints are a good idea if you are a smoker.
  • DON’T say negative things about previous employers or jobs – regardless of what the situation was, it will reflect poorly on you. Respond by saying a position wasn’t as challenging as you hoped for, or that culturally it wasn’t the right fit for you.
  • DON’T ask immediately about the pay. Wait until the very end – they may address it during the interview anyway.
  • DON’T speak too quickly or mumble. Ensure you answer questions relevantly and provide examples where appropriate.

How to Write a CV

  • Generally your CV should be no more than 3 pages in length.
  • Include your name and contact details – address, mobile number and email.
  • List education and other qualifications and training, including the institution and date completed. Include any professional affiliations/memberships.
  • List your work experience in chronological order starting from the most recent position. If you worked as a contractor please state it. Include the dates worked, the position you held and the company you worked for.
  • Under each position, detail your roles and responsibilities, and then your achievements. Bullet points are a good idea.
  • If necessary explain any significant "gaps" in your work experience, for example if you took time off for extended travel.
  • Include referees, and be sure to get their permission before you provide their details.
  • Keep it simple. No fancy borders, fonts or matrices. Word format is best.

Interview Questions

  • An interview is a two-way process, and is the best way for both the candidate and prospective employer to determine if it is a good fit for both. It may be appropriate to ask questions during the interview, but if not, usually you will be given the chance to ask questions at the end.
  • Below are examples of the types of questions you may be asked during the interview, and then some suggestions for you to ask.

Questions for the Candidate

  • Tell me about your experience? This is a good time to ensure you mention you have specific skills/experience/training in a type of technology or area that they are looking for in this role.
  • Why are you looking to move on? There are a number of valid answers to this question. Examples could be, contract end, seeking more hours, seeking less travel, looking to expand/progress your career, or reached your full potential at your current company.
  • What are your long-term goals? Be sure to talk about realistic goals that relate to the position and company you are applying for.
  • How do you deal with working to deadlines? It is always good practise to answer questions with examples of how you have achieved this in previous roles. Think of a situation where you were under pressure to work to time and talk about how you were able to deal with it.
  • How do you cope with difficult situations? This is a great opportunity to talk about an issue you have had and how you resolved it; or, if you couldn’t resolve this issue and you had help, then talk about how you learnt from the situation and can apply the lesson going forward. A difficult situation could be anything from not being able to meet a deadline, making a mistake, or dealing with a confrontation with a customer or peer.

Questions for the Interviewer

  • What is the company’s culture like?
  • What will I be doing during a usual workday?
  • What do you see the biggest challenges in this role are?

Be sure to leave the interview with all your questions answered. The above are just a few examples of questions you could ask.

Remember your Recruitment Consultant is a source of good advice and should be able to provide answers to some of these questions too.

Video Interviews

  • Be sure to check your Internet connection and your systems are all working just prior to the interview time. It would be a good idea to do a quick test call to someone to double check everything is working.
  • Remember to be as well presented as if you were there in person. Grooming and appropriate dress is just as important. Ensure you have a quiet place with a neat and tidy area around you – remember it's not just you they can see, so you might want to position yourself in front of a bare wall and clean up any mess around you.

What to Expect at an Interview

  • An interview is a two-way process; you also want to find out about the position, the company and the type of people and culture there is, so don’t be afraid to ask questions. See the Interview Questions area for ideas on this. Have some general responses ready, so when asked “tell me about yourself” you can provide a brief rundown of your education, experience and career interests.
  • Be prepared on where you are going, with whom you are meeting (is it one person or five), and how long you will be there. Always allow for plenty of time to get to the right place. You don’t want to arrive flustered, or worse, late.
  • It is a good idea to take with you copies of your CV, and job application (if required), and any related paperwork (work visa for example).

It is reasonable to ask what the whole interview process will be –

  • Are there further interviews or presentations required?
  • What is the expected timeframe to find out if you have been successful?
  • When would they like you to start?

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