Job Interview Skills

On average across Australia there are 21 applications for reach job. On average 3 will be selected for an interview1. To reach the job interview stage, you and your résumé and cover letter must have impressed the employer. Congratulations on your getting a job interview!

Types of Interviews

You may have one or more of these types of interviews during the recruitment process:

Phone Interview

Some employers may start off by giving you a brief phone interview. This may be to see how well you fit the hiring criteria for the job. Based on your phone interview, you may get a second interview.

Group Interview

You may be invited to a group interview. Several job candidates will attend the group interview at the same time. There is likely to be a group of people from the company conducting the group interview. In a group interview you will answer individual questions. You are also likely to take part in group activities. Based on your group interview, you may be invited to another interview.

Read Job Jumpstart's tips for group interviews.

Video Interview

There are two types of video interviews. One is a live, two-way video interview. The other is a one-way video interview:

Live two-way interview. This type of job interview is conducted using a platform such as Zoom. You will get a link to connect to an online interview meeting. You and the interviewer are present at the same time. The job interview will similar to a face-to-face interview, except that it will be online.

One-way digital interview. This type of job interview is where you get a personal login to an interview program. You will get interview questions in text or video form. You will record your answers to these interview questions. The interviewer will not be present at the time, but will review your digital interview later.

Read Job Jumpstart's article on types of video interviews.

Read myfuture's tips to prepare for a digital interview.

One-to-one or panel interview

ou may have a face-to-face interview with one or more interviewers. A panel interview is when there when you have an interview with more than one person.

Read Job Jumpstart's tips about panel interviews

On-the-Spot Interview

If you drop in to see an employer about a job, you may have an on-the-spot interview.

Read Job Jumpstart's tips for on-the-spot interviews.

For all job interviews you need to:

Plan

What will you wear?

Prepare

  1. Research into the business and industry

    Read Youth Central's article on what to research for a job interview

    Activity

    Read Job Jumpstart's article on how to research employers. Scroll down and download the Employer Profiling worksheet. Use this as a guide to research the business and industry.

  2. Plan answers to common job interview questions. Think about possible industry questions and how you could answer them.
  3. Prepare the questions you will ask the employer.
  4. Consider preparing a career portfolio. Read the myfuture's article on creating a career portfolio
  5. If you have a video or digital interview:
    • Read the myfuture's article on tips to prepare for your digital interview
    • Read the Job Jumpstart's article on tips to prepare for phone and video interviews

Practise

Practise answering typical job interview questions. Ask a parent, Career Practitioner, or mentor to give you a mock interview.

Activity

Practice answering job interview questions using jobactive’s YouTube practise interviews. You can choose from 26 interview practice videos for different jobs. For each practice interview video:

An industry employer asks typical industry-focused job interview questions.

You pause the video and record your answer to the question on your device.

The industry employer summarises what they look for when interviewing job applicants.

You can play back the answers you recorded to see if you are happy with your answers or if you can improve.

Present

Arrive early.

Read thorough your job application materials before interview.

If a face-to-face interview give a greeting to the interviewers. Before the pandemic it was appropriate to shake hands with the interviewers. A more Covid safe way may be to give a verbal greeting.

Make eye contact with the interviewer or interviewers.

Avoid fidgeting.

  • Be polite, courteous and confident
  • Speak clearly, using correct grammar
  • Show genuine interest in the position and the interviewer
  • Listen to questions asked and give relevant information when answering questions. Ask for clarification if you do not understand a question
  • Be truthful in your responses
  • Market your achievements, skills, qualifications and attitudes relevant to the job
  • Use non-verbal communication skills to create a favourable impression, e.g.
  • Sit up straight and lean slightly forward (an interested and attentive posture)
  • Smile occasionally to or show you are friendly, co-operative and cheerful
  • Make frequent eye contact with the interviewer or interviewers
  • Convince the interviewer(s) that you can do the job and will enjoy doing it
  • Read Youth Central's article on what to expect at a job interview.

    Read the myfuture's article on job interview tips.

    Activity

    Compare good job interview presentation with poor job interview presentation. Watch the Skillsroad video in Fail vs Nail.

    After the Interview

    After the interviewer you may feel a little anxious. You may be wondering if you will be the successful job applicant. It is a good idea to email a brief thank you note to the interviewer within a day or two of your interview. This could possibly give you the edge in landing the job.

    Read Job Jumpstart's article on following up after an interview.

    Sometimes you will be waiting and wondering if you are ever going to hear back from the employer. Employers handle the post-interview process in different ways. Some employers contact successful and unsuccessful job applications. Some employers only contact the successful applicant. Some employers put a notice on social media or in the newspaper to let applicants know the job has been filled.

    Read the Job Jumpstart's article about why some employers don't call you back.

    If you are Successful

    Congratulations if you get the job! Read myfuture articles on what to do if the employer offers you the job


    1 National Skills Commission (2021). Australian Jobs Report.