How to Prepare for a Job Interview
Job interviews are an essential part of obtaining work.
Though often daunting, they are an important step in the employment process and therefore you should prepare for your job interview accordingly.
Preparing for your interview beforehand can make you feel more confident and more relaxed during the interview.
Research the company
It is important to carry out some initial research about the company you are about to have a job interview with and about the interview itself.
Some good things to research are:
- What the company does
- Find the company’s main goals and values (tip: search their website)
- Read through and understand the job description and the expected daily duties
- Who will be conducting the interview?
- Will I be required to perform tasks during the interview?
- What do I need to bring to the interview?
This can help you understand how and why you would be a good fit for them and you can begin to formulate answers to potential questions they may ask.
Presentation and professionalism
Presentation is a crucial part of the job interview.
It is important to always be dressed appropriately and be friendly and polite, as this is your chance to make a lasting first impression.
Useful tips for how to present yourself:
- Arrive 5-10 minutes early
- Dress professionally. Plan your outfit ahead of time and remember it is always better to overdress than to underdress
- Make eye contact with the person speaking to you, sit straight in your chair and smile
- Try not to fidget or cross your arms as this can show disinterest and nervousness
- Listen to others and avoid interrupting anyone speaking
- Avoid speaking negatively about any previous employers
Getting to the job interview
Depending on your level of ability it may be necessary to determine the accessibility at the company.
This may include finding out there are:
- Multiple Levels
- Public transport routes nearby
- Disabled parking allocated
Make sure the employer is aware if you need extra assistance.
Questions you may need to answer
There are some general questions that are asked during interviews, they are a way for the interviewer to get to you know and sometimes just to break the ice. These may include:
- Tell me about yourself
- What are your interests?
- Tell me about your last job
- What are your strengths / weaknesses?
When getting ready for your employment interview, know that there are other questions that you may be asked which are more job specific. These may include:
- Give me an example of a time you had to resolve an issue in the workplace
- Tell me about a time when you showed initiative at work
- Provide an example of a workplace situation where you met your assigned goals / tasks
- What would you do if boss asked you to complete a task that you did not know how to do?
One interview technique recommended by the Australian Network on Disability is the STAR technique of answering questions. This stands for Situation, Task, Action, Response and as part of your interview preparation, you should familiarise yourself with answering this type of question.
- Situation means to describe what you were doing and where
- Task means to describe what you were tasked to do
- Action means to describe the way in which you completed the task
- Result means to describe the final outcome, including feedback and anything you learnt from the process
It is important to know that not all interviewers will ask the same questions. Some may want to know more about you, and others may want to know more about how you work.
Questions to ask
Once the interviewer has finished asking questions, they often give you to opportunity to ask your own. You do not have to ask questions, but some useful suggestions include:
- What are the typical day to day tasks of the role?
- What is the next stage of the interview process or when can I expect to hear back from you?
- What are the reasons you enjoy working here?
- Have you ever hired anyone with a disability?
After the job interview
It is common that people follow up with employers after a few days if they have not heard a response from the interview.
This can be as simple as a phone call or email and it shows that you are still interested in the role.
It can also be a good opportunity to receive some feedback on how the interview went, and potentially any tips for future interviews.
If your disability may affect your day to day work-life then it is important to be open in discussions with your employer as changes may need to be made to the workplace.
An Accessibility Action Plan (AAP) details how a business is actively eliminating disability discrimination in their premises.
It is possible to receive government funding for changes that may need to made to your workplace to carry out your job. The Employment Assistance Fund (EAF) can be utilised at any stage of employment.
More tips on preparing for your job interview can be found at https://whatsnext.jobs.gov.au/preparing-interview
Be in it to win it
While you might feel a bit nervous getting ready for a work interview, remember that it’s likely that your interviewer is hoping that you will succeed – they would not be interviewing you if they didn’t believe you might be a good fit for a role.
If you believe in yourself, your interviewer will as well. And if it doesn’t work out, then don’t take it personally, there may be a better fit for your skills and experience right around the corner.
Make yourself feel confident by taking the steps of researching ahead of time; presenting yourself professionally; arriving with time to spare; thinking through answers and questions; and then following up afterward, and you will have the best chance of gaining employment.
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