As jobs begin to flood back into our market, an increasing number of Australians face one of the most feared parts of the employment process – the job interview. With decades of experience in helping people secure the right roles, Dove Recruitment Manager Debbie Rawlings is on hand to give all of her advice to nail your interview and land your dream job.
Tell me about yourself.
This is a deceptively simple question and often interviewees struggle to articulate their worth without feeling like they are bragging or unselling themselves. Most employers use this as an opening question, and it will give them a basic image of you to base following questions off. Try to stay on track by looking at the question as a more complex version of the question “why?”
Why did you choose to attend university?
Why did you take your first role at that particular company?
Why do you want to get this role?
What are your strengths?
While you should be very confident with your answers, make sure you also place a high emphasis on clarity. It’s tempting to simply use buzzwords like “I’m loyal” or “I’m hard-working” but make sure that you utilise examples so that your interviewer knows you really mean it.
What are your weaknesses?
A very common misconception is that this question is a chance to highlight another strength that you masquerade as a weakness. A large factor of this question is to show that you know you aren’t perfect, and you know how to identify weaknesses and grow from them. Avoid saying things like “I work too hard” and try to identify a real weakness in yourself, making sure to follow this up by explaining how you’re working to improve.
What attracted you to our company?
A very important part of attending any interview is the research conducted prior. Use questions like these to show that you know the ins and outs of this company and reference these when describing what you like. Where possible, try to avoid vague statements like “I agree with your company’s values” and try to elaborate on what makes you passionate about this job.
Do you have any questions for me?
As this question is almost always the very last question of an interview, it sometimes appears unimportant or avoidable. However, questions like these are a brilliant way to show off some valuable skills such as assertiveness and willingness to ask when you’re unsure.
While this question can often be intimidating for people, you can often gain yourself an advantage by asking:
“What is your ideal candidate and how do I measure up to this standard? Are there any skills, qualifications, or experiences that you think I may be missing?”
It may be hard to set yourself up to hear what isn’t working in your favour, but you will also have the unique chance to explain how you may fill these gaps in other ways, or how you are willing to learn.
With whatever question you ultimately go with, always avoid asking questions that could easily have been answered by an internet search. This will only reflect that you didn’t do your research properly.