Darryl from the Department of Labour has just dropped off our copies of Linkz Magazine, a magazine for migrants to New Zealand. We'd recommend the magazine as a great read for people who've recently arrived in the country - it's filled with migrant stories and tips about living in New Zealand - but we'd particularly recommend this issue for the contents of page 26. Yes, the article on Job Interviews is from us at The Johnson Group.
Here's the article in full, but it looks a lot prettier in the magazine!
If you’re new to New Zealand, going in for a job interview may seem like a daunting challenge. Here are some interview tips to help you get into the job you want.
Before the interview
Do some research on the company by looking at their website. You may be asked questions about the company’s services in your interview.
If you aren’t confident of your English skills, practice some possible interview questions with a friend. You can watch television or listen to the radio to familiarise yourself with the Kiwi accent!
How you choose to dress for your interview is important. For most office-based jobs, interviewers will expect both men and women to dress conservatively and wear a business suit. Another way to choose what to wear is to visit the company’s shop front or work site to see what their employers wear.
Wear conservative business attire if you are attending an office-based job.
Avoid wearing too much jewellery, cologne or perfume.
Remember to bring copies of your qualifications, references, and any useful information that relates to your work—for example, a portfolio of your design work, or awards for customer service.
In the interview
Aim to arrive a few minutes early. Arriving late (without a good reason) suggests that you’re unreliable. If you’re going to be unavoidably delayed, call the interviewer to let them know.
You may be interviewed by one person, or an entire panel of people. Be aware that to get the job, you may have to attend several interviews, and be interviewed by different people within the company. You might also have to perform some tests, such as behavioural and numerical tests.
When greeting your interviewers, it is common to shake hands. In some cultures direct eye-contact is seen as disrespectful, but in New Zealand it demonstrates honesty and openness. First impressions are important, and a bright smile will show that you are friendly and confident.
Speak slowly and clearly. If at any point you don’t understand a question, ask the interviewer to repeat it.
During the interview, do not smoke, chew gum, or eat. However, it’s acceptable to drink water or coffee if it is offered.
In New Zealand, many interviewers ask what are known as behaviour-based or competency-based questions. These are used to help the interviewer assess what steps you would take when faced with a problem. A straight yes-or-no answer is not acceptable.
For example, if you are asked, “Have you dealt with conflict in the work place?”, talk about a situation in a previous job where you used your negotiation skills to resolve an argument. Begin by explaining what happened, what you did, and the end result of your actions.
Some other common questions you might be asked are:
- Tell us about your work history?
- What relevant experience do you have for this job?
- Why do you want to work for our company?
- What are your strengths and your weaknesses?
- Where do you see yourself in five years?
Don’t be afraid to talk about your achievements and skills. This isn’t considered boastful or arrogant, and it lets the interviewer know that you are a keen and accomplished worker.
Don’t talk badly about previous employers. Always focus on the positive things you’ve learned from your experiences.
At the end of an interview, you may be asked if you have any questions. Asking questions is looked on positively—it shows you’re interested and eager about the role. Some questions you could ask are, “Who will be my manager?” and “Which projects will I be involved in?”
After the interview
If your interview was successful, you may be offered the job, or asked back for a second interview. If you don’t get the job, don’t feel too disheartened. Ask your interviewer what tips they could give you to improve your interviewing skills.