Job interviews

Employers use interviews to meet the person behind the job application face to face, to confirm you really are as good as you say in your application, and determine if you will be a good fit for their organisation. The good news is, they already like you... otherwise, you wouldn't have been invited to an interview! 

Interviews can take several formats including a one-on-one chat with the employer or the person doing the hiring,  a panel interview where several people ask you a range of questions, or perhaps a role play where you have to demonstrate your ability to perform the skills required in the job such as answering the phone or dealing with a difficult client.

Job interviews don't have to be scary, if you're well prepared you'll do great. 

A woman waiting for her job interview

Preparing for the interview

Here are some top tips to help you prepare for a job interview.

If you didn’t do any research about the company when you were writing your application, do it before the interview.

You need to go into an interview knowing as much as possible about the company and the job/role, because not only does that show the employer you're interested but also helps you show them you’re the most suitable candidate for the job.

Review the advert, the job description, the selection criteria and your application so that you’ll be able to confidently talk about your strengths in relation to the role.

Think about any extra skills or experience you might have that could put you above other candidates, and be prepared to talk about these.

When you respond to the invitation to interview, ask if you need to take anything with you. Check where you need to go and when, who to ask for when you get there, and what the dress code is. If you're driving, check your directions and where to park.

If you're using public transport, check the timetable and leave yourself plenty of time to get there!

At the interview

Be yourself. 

Be polite and respectful but don’t be shy. Remember the interviewer needs to get to know you to be able to decide if you are suitable.

Be confident – you wouldn't have been asked to come in for an interview if they didn't already think you sounded like a good candidate for the job, so feel good about yourself.

If there's things you want to know about the job, or the company, it's good to ask but wait until the end of the interview for questions.

For more useful tips, read through the Job interview tips in the Information and resources section of this website.

Interviews don't have to be scary — We can help!

Job interviews aren't so scary when you're well prepared, you know a few tips, and you feel confident about yourself.

Do you need to organise and prepare yourself for a job interview? Get into your local Jobs and Skills Centre — they can help, and they're also available to help with applications and other documents you might need in the hunt for a job.

Jobs and Skills Centres also run free workshops on job applications, writing a CV/resume, and dealing with job interviews. Contact your local Jobs and Skills Centre to find out when the next ones are running.