Job interview advice

Interviews are always a nervous experience, whether you are in your own country or a brand new one, but remember that it’s as much a chance for you to find out about your prospective employer as it is for them to find out about you. The interview is your chance to shine, your chance to talk about your skills and knowledge, and an opportunity to show off your personality.

Your CV or job application got you the interview so all you need to do is use this time to shine! Show them the best version of yourself! Here’s some do’s and don’ts:

Do your research: Most importantly, be prepared! Make sure you research the company that you are applying for, so you know what they are about, and get a feel for them. If you can, research the job they are advertising, and see what skills and experiences they require from the position. Turning up to an interview prepared will make you feel more confident and will definitely help during the interview – you want to know what they are talking about when they discuss the position with you!

Prepare your answers: Try and think about the sort of questions you might be asked – about your skills, experience, non work interests, difficult situations you’ve managed at work, how you cope with stress and so on. Questions will be open ended so you’ll need to expand on your answers rather than give yes or no answers. Also be prepared to talk about why you want the job, why you think you’re the best candidate and what your travel plans are. Also be prepared to answer unpredictable questions. Interviewers aren’t so interested in the answer, but rather the way you deal with the unexpected.

Plan your questions: Again, be prepared! You never know who might interview you – it could be one person or a panel of people. Show them that you’re thinking about how the job relates to you and how committed you are by asking them questions. If you’re looking for a long-term or sponsorship role ask about promotion or training opportunities. Ask how performance is monitored or assessed, how they would describe the company’s culture and when you’ll be notified about the outcome of the interview. If you unfortunately do not get the job – ask them for feedback so you can learn from your mistakes and improve for next time.

Don’t lie: Be honest with them. If you haven’t done something that they are looking for, let them know if they ask, but let them know you are interested in it or are looking forward to learn about it. If you get found out, the consequences could be worse than you not knowing about the subject in the first place.

Don’t be too casual: Dress formally for an interview and be formal but friendly in your manner. You want to come across as professional but with personality. Try not to use slang or be over friendly and if you come across as too relaxed the interviewers will think you’re not serious about the job. Most importantly – be you! Show them your personality and show your best work assets off.

Don’t be afraid: If you’re not aware of the pay rate or commission structure, don’t be afraid to ask – you’ll look silly if you don’t!

When answering questions, try to:

  • Be enthusiastic but don’t over do it – you want to come across as genuine
  • Be concise, try not to ramble
  • Be positive and don’t dwell on the negative. If you have to deal with negative aspects, concentrate on what you learned from the experience.
  • Be truthful or you risk tripping yourself up
  • If you don’t understand the question being asked, always ask for clarification
  • When you feel you’ve answered the question, stop speaking. If you’re not sure that you’ve said enough ask the panel if they’d like more information
  • Don’t be afraid of silence. If you need a moment to think about a question, just inform the panel that you’d like a minute to consider the question.
  • Do use the right body language: Interviews are all about making impressions, so body language is important; it says a lot about a person.
  • Shake hands firmly
  • Smile when you meet the interviewer and in moderation during the interview
  • Make eye contact with the questioner and make sure you include everyone if being interviewed by a panel
  • Sit upright, but comfortably, rather than leaning forward or slumping, and don’t be afraid to change position from time to time
  • Try not to fidget, keep your hands on your lap, but do use them to illustrate your point where appropriate
  • Above all, be natural and be yourself

Find backpacker jobs in Australia

To search for bar jobs in Australia, visit Travellers At Work. TAW is Australia’s largest job database just for travellers, with thousands of positions available.