Got an interview? Here’s how to make the most of it

The interview is an important part of the selection process. It’s an opportunity for employers to learn more about you and for you to assess if you’re the right fit for the role and the organisation. It’s important to consider the organisations values and how they fit your own values – do they align? Remember, the interview is a two-way communication. Both you and the employer are entitled to ask questions.

Here are some tips to make the most of your interview:

First impressions matter

  • Ensure you have researched the organisation thoroughly prior to your interview so that you understand the vision, mission and values of the organisation. This will assist you to ask the right questions at the interview which will best help you to make the right decision for you.
  • Turn up a few minutes early to ensure you’re not stressed and rushing into the interview. Time to gather your thoughts is always a good start!
  • Have you thought about how you would present yourself to the interviewers? Consider things like: What is the dress code? How will I introduce myself? Will the language I use be conversational or quite formal?
  • When you arrive at the interview be sure to introduce yourself confidently and clearly. If you’re offered a glass of water, don’t be afraid to say yes! It’s important that you are well-hydrated throughout the interview.

Hint: If something unforeseen happens on the day of the interview which prevents you from attending the scheduled interview time, it’s best to contact the Hiring Manager for the position or the office to let them know if you’ll be late or to see if it’s possible to reschedule a suitable time.

Ask, Confirm, Clarify

  • It’s worthwhile considering what information you would like to find out at the interview and develop some questions which you can ask the interview panel. Perhaps you have a question about the organisation, or you have points in the job description that you want to clarify.
  • You might find it helpful to write these questions down on paper and bring this with you to your interview. Make sure that you have read the advert and position description carefully so you don’t waste precious time asking questions you already have the answers to.

Answer them well

  • At the interview you will be expected to answer questions to assess your experience and skills in different situations. The best way to answer these questions is to use real life work examples from your past experience. Start by explaining the situation – set the scene for the interviewers (try to only share necessary information to the story). Then talk about your action – what action did you take in the situation? Then the result – what was the outcome from your action? This is commonly referred to as SAO (Situation, Action, Outcome).

Hint: If you don’t understand the question at first, it’s best to ask for clarification before preparing your answer to the question. This ensures that you have given yourself the best opportunity at providing a relevant response to the question.