Help others with their career development!

 If you have a job interview approaching, planning and rehearsing interview questions australia

is a MUST! Here are some expert tips on how to go about it.

interview questions australia

Let’s face it, job interviews can be intimidating! Typically they’re the part of the recruitment process candidates dislike the most. Even the most confident or seasoned interviewee will get nervous occasionally.

The key to overcoming nerves and acing your interview is preparation, research and more preparation! I’m going to step you through the most common interview questions asked and how to prepare for them.

This post is about the top 5 interview questions you need to prepare for interview questions Australia

So, tell me about yourself

Ugh, the dreaded ‘tell me about yourself’ question.

So many candidates feel uncomfortable or thrown when this question is asked, but there are very good reasons why so many interviewers ask it.

The interview question:

  • serves as a good icebreaker
  • allows the interviewer to get to know you
  • allows the interviewer to gauge some of your transferable skills and whether you are a good cultural fit for the organisation

‘Tell me about yourself’ is usually asked at the start of the interview. The response gives the interviewer their first impression of you (no pressure!).

Rather than dreading this question, use it as an opportunity to start sharing your skills, knowledge, experience and/or career goals. The interviewer wants to hear this information from you in the context of their organisation or the position you’re applying for.

The answer you provide will depend on your work history, your career goals and the reason you’re applying for the job.

As a general rule, you can follow this formula to prepare an answer: interview questions australia

  1. A brief overview of your work history, including your current role and specialisation. If you don’t have any work history, you can focus on your education.
  2. What your career goals are (making sure they align to the job you’re applying for!).
  3. The reason you’re applying for this job (tying together your career goals and what you may hope to achieve for the organisation).

As with all interview questions, be sure not to mention any personal details! Whilst the interviewer may ask the question with good intentions, you don’t want to reveal any information which may lead to any bias decisions, assumptions or discrimination (yes, unfortunately this is still rife in the workplace in many countries and cultures, including Australia).

Need more help answering this question? Check out How to answer the all-important Tell Me About Yourself interview question

Why did you apply for this job?

This can be a difficult question to answer when you’re desperate to leave your current job because you’ve had a negative experience.

interview questions australiaOk, so I wouldn’t recommend Bridget Jones’ approach!

Remember to keep the answer to this question positive! Under no circumstances should you speak badly about your current or previous employers (even if you did have a bad experience).

First impressions do count and we want to make sure the interviewer is focused on your awesome skills, knowledge, expertise, experience and traits 😊

All interview questions give you an opportunity to demonstrate your suitability for the job. This means demonstrating your skills, knowledge, experience, traits, goals and so on.

I recommend you respond in a way that demonstrates your knowledge about the organisation and how your career goals are aligned with the organisation’s goals/mission.

For example, “I saw on your website that 65% of your company’s client base are in the recycling industry. My degree specialisation is in environmental sustainability and my thesis topic was on recycling. I have unique and specialised insights in this field which I would like to contribute to the work you do here.

What makes you a good candidate for this job?

The purpose of this interview question is two-fold. The interviewer is assessing what you know about the job and wants to hear about your key skills, relevant to the job.

If you’re experienced in the workforce and you’re applying for a job similar to what you’ve done in the past, this question shouldn’t pose too much of a challenge for you. If you’re changing your career or are new to the workforce, it might be a different story.

If you don’t have much experience with similar roles, here are a few ideas about how to research a job:

  • Ask someone who is in a similar role (or better yet, the organisation) about the typical daily activities, the key skills and knowledge needed to succeed in the position or industry and the challenges faced regularly.
  • Pay close attention to the job advertisement. The job advertisement will provide you with obvious and not-so-obvious clues about the organisation. ALWAYS review their website, social media and search for news articles to learn more about your potential employer BEFORE the interview.
  • Australian career development websites such as My Future and Job Outlook are great resources to learn more about jobs including the common tasks, skills needed and expected salary range.

This interview question also provides you an opportunity to share your unique set of skills, knowledge, qualifications, experience and traits (capabilities) with the interviewer.

I recommend choosing 3-4 key capabilities and/or experiences to share with the interviewer, ensuring you provide examples which demonstrate your claims.

If you’ve already spoken about your capabilities throughout the interview, you can also respond in a way that demonstrates your knowledge about the organisation and how your career goals are aligned with the organisation’s goals/mission.

What is your salary expectation?

Job application or interview questions about salary expectations are still common and can make or break an application. It’s especially important to be prepared for this one.

To approach this question, I recommend having a salary range in mind, backed by research. It’s important to consider your own personal expectations, however you need supporting evidence, especially if your request is higher than the average labour market salary.

Two Australian resources I always recommend as a starting point are Job Outlook and Hays Salary Guide.

When formulating your salary expectation range, it’s important to consider a number of factors:

  • Location – in Australia, generally speaking, salaries in larger cities are higher than smaller towns. Don’t expect a business in Gympie to be able to pay you the same wage for a similar role as a business in Sydney! Exceptions may be found in remote locations due to relocation and other incentives.
  • Size of the organisation – generally speaking a smaller business may not be able to pay you as much as a large organisation can for a similar job. There are so many varying factors here, but the size of the client base will matter.
  • Type of organisation – whether the organisation is a private company, not-for-profit or government organisation will also influence salary. Government organisations make their salary ranges available which can be a useful comparison tool.

Can you give me an example of how you’ve demonstrated your <insert skill> recently

All interviewers will ask you about your skills at some point in the interview. Which skills will depend on the type of job you’re applying for.

As with all other questions, preparation is super important. interview questions australia

Firstly, review the job advertisement and identify all skills listed in the ‘Ideal Candidate’ section. For each skill listed, you need to prepare a response.

Your response should include a recent work example of how you used this skill to obtain a good outcome. This outcome could be solving a problem, meeting or exceeding a client’s expectations, completing a difficult task, learning something new, completing a milestone project etc.

The best framework for this response is the good, ol’ reliable STAR method. Whilst it’s useful to prepare an answer in a similar format as you would for selection criteria, when it comes to delivering the response in an interview, you should alter it slightly to avoid sounding rehearsed and forced. You’ll want the tone to sound professional, yet conversational.

Here’s a brief example of demonstrating good customer service skills. Note this is not as formal or in-dept as a response to selection criteria! interview questions australia

Situation: a customer approached me asking to return a pair of shoes, claiming they were faulty. The customer found this was a huge inconvenience having to come into the store to return the shoes, and was quite frustrated with the shopping experience and becoming aggressive.

Task: As a sales assistant, my role was to provide a great experience for the customer; to address their concerns, to establish if the return was allowable and to process the return within the retailer’s guidelines.

Action: I listened to the customer’s wishes and complains, and built rapport with them by using active listening techniques such as summarising and maintaining open and calm body language. I determined that the return was allowable under the retailer’s guidelines and processed the transaction appropriately. Afterwards, I assisted the customer to find a new pair of shoes to suit their requirements.

Result: The customer purchased a new pair of shoes plus a handbag and belt to match. The customer left the store smiling and satisfied with their purchases. Through my well-developed customer service skills, I defused a tense initial encounter with the customer, up-sold a number of items and ensured the customer had a great experience.

Summary

Job Interviews can be daunting. The best way to boost your confidence and to nail your interview is to prepare, research and prepare some more! interview questions australia

The primary aim of a job interview is for the employer to determine if you are a good fit for their vacant role (and organisation in general). Being prepared to answer these interview questions will give a competitive edge over other candidates and build your confidence!

This post was about the top 5 interview questions you need to prepare for interview questions australia

Hi there, I'm Danielle Ward

Hi there, I'm Danielle Ward

Your go-to career development and human resource practitioner, guiding your career towards true north.

career coach

Help others with their career development!

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Hi there, I'm Danielle! I've got a combined 15 years of experience in the career development and human resource industries. I'm passionate about helping people live empowered, purposeful and fulfilled lives through engaging in meaningful work. Calibrated Career provides innovative and affordable self-guided career exploration tools and resources to facilitate your career development and empower you to achieve your career goals.
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