Every job interview is a potential doorway to a new life.
Here are some interview tips that may help our working carers who are seeking a new job.
Practice makes perfect
You will have the most confidence going into an interview if you have practised well beforehand in an interview setting. This is where your best friend, partner, mum, dad or the cat come in handy! Sit them down and give them a list of potential questions and ask them to grill you, while you sit across the table and answer.
Well okay, maybe not the cat, but if that is your only audience, ask yourself the questions and direct the answers to the mirror! You should dedicate a few hours each day to practising for interviews.
Another idea is to pay for a career development or recruitment service that offers mock interviews.
Try and get interviews with lots of similar organisations – even if you don’t want that particular job – the practice will be beneficial and you will have much more confidence when that dream job comes along.
Keep a list of how you answered each question and reflect on how you could answer better next time.
Prepare a structure you can use to answer questions
You need to have a well-developed structure for answering questions – especially problem-solving questions – and memorise it.
You need an idea of how to start. Sitting there blank-faced will not help you one iota.
Always repeat the question to the interviewer. You want to be sure you understand it and have all the relevant details. This will clarify your thinking and buy you a little bit of time to get your thoughts in order.
Tell them any assumptions you are making. Be clear what the OUTCOME or OBJECTIVES are that they wish to achieve in the given scenario. Don’t be afraid to ask any clarifying questions.
Even if you don’t know HOW to solve the issue, give them the APPROACH you might use. Discuss the trade-offs of the approach (authority to act/staff conflict/time/space/complexity of issue/likely consequences of two different courses of action and so on).
They are more likely to be interested in your thought processes and approach than the ultimate solution you propose.
Create a bank of pre-rehearsed answers for standard questions.
Give job hunting dedicated time
Make sure you have enough time in your schedule to invest in your job search process. You should be checking job ads every single day.
Set aside necessary money for travel expenses (you may have to pay fares if the job interview is distant).
Be prepared to get on the bus, train, plane or drive halfway to the moon and back to attend interviews. Be on time, even if it means being an hour early.
Always, always call if you are going to be late or cannot make it – whatever the reason.
Get well informed
You need to treat every job interview as a test of your knowledge – and study for it.
Read articles or borrow books from the library about the industry in which you are seeking a position.
You need to be informed about the main issues facing that industry; the global implications to Australian businesses, the main problems your organisation is likely to be facing in their marketplace – even if it doesn’t directly relate to your particular position. What is government policy relating to that particular industry? What is the ‘bible’ for that industry? Read it!
Follow these tips and you will be prepared and relaxed for any interview, which will significantly increase your chances of getting that job. Good luck in your next interview!