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A job interview is your opportunity to convince an employer that you’re the right person for the job.

It’s a great achievement if you’ve reached the interview stage with your job application – it shows that your application has met the employer’s key selection requirements. An interview is your chance to impress and extend the employer's knowledge of your skills, experience and qualities.

How do job interviews work in Melbourne?

During a job interview, employers want to gain an understanding of why you have applied for the position, your level of interest, how well you could fit into their organisation's culture and the contributions you may be able to make.

There is no one particular way interviews are conducted in Australia. Interviews can be face-to-face meetings, or be held over the phone or by video conference. Job interviews can be very informal or formal and you may be interviewed by a panel of people representing the employer.

Sometimes you may have to attend several interviews with different people before being offered a job.

During an interview, you will usually be told about the role and you should be given the chance to ask questions about the job. Interviews can involve a specific approach such as behaviour-based interviewing or take a more general approach to finding out about your work experience and personality. Find out more about job interview techniques and the questions you may be asked on the Seek website.

When you’re invited to attend an interview, it's important to get the details right and be on time. Find out:

  • when and where the interview will be and how you will get there
  • who will be interviewing you
  • whether you need to prepare anything or bring anything to the interview.

How to prepare for a job interview

To prepare for job interview questions:

  • research the organisation by reviewing websites, annual reports and other company publications to prove that you’re knowledgeable about the organisation and you will be better able to show why you’re a suitable candidate
  • look at the organisation's competitors and know why they’re different, or at least why they think they’re different
  • review the position description so you can prepare examples that demonstrate how you have the specific skills, experience or qualities the job requires
  • re-read the job advertisement and your resume
  • think about what makes you a good choice for this employer, specifically which of your skills, experience and knowledge make you a valuable asset to the organisation
  • practise talking about your education choices and achievements, your strengths and weaknesses, and your work experience – identify key examples of achievements that you want to promote and how they’re relevant to the job you’re applying for
  • practise responses to common interview questions and have friends or family help you with trial interviews
  • make a list of any questions you'd like to ask
  • have extra copies of your qualifications or certificates to leave with the interviewer if they want them.

What to do at the interview

Here are some job interview skills to help you:

  • listen carefully
  • speak clearly and concisely
  • show you have prepared for the interview by referring to your research about the job and the company
  • promote yourself and your skills and qualities
  • ask relevant questions
  • ask for clarification of a question if you don’t understand it
  • find out the next steps, whether there is another interview or when you can expect a decision.

Practise your answers

If you feel nervous about speaking English during a job interview. Before the interview, practise with some local friends or acquaintances and ask them for feedback. The more you practise your answers aloud in English, the easier it will become. Focus on speaking clearly and concisely.

Try a different approach

If you find that you’re getting job interviews but are not being called back for a second interview or offered the role, it’s time to try something different. It doesn’t mean you’ve been doing anything wrong in the interviews, it’s just time to change your approach.

Review the answers you have prepared and try to work out new ways to sell your skills and experience to an employer. Think of some different examples to use. Ask for feedback from friends, family, colleagues and even from the people who interviewed you.

Please note: The information, services and views expressed that may appear on any linked websites are not necessarily endorsed by the Skilled and Business Migration Program and the Victorian Government. It is recommended that you make your own enquiries as to the appropriateness and suitability of the information on this site for your particular circumstances.