10 Tips to help you ace your Australian job interview

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australian job interviewGot an Australian job interview? You’ll be forgiven for being nervous! Interviewing internationally and online is…different.

The truth is that virtual interviews don’t differ from in-person interviews too much. It’s just the medium that’s different – computer screen instead of face-to-face.

Want to know how to interview well in this format? Here are eight great tips we found on Forbes Magazine:

1. Position yourself properly

Don’t sit too far away from the camera. This makes you appear smaller, which can send a subconscious message that you’re ‘less powerful, nervous, or otherwise disengaged’.

2. Look level

As during in-person interviews, strong eye contact is key. If you set up your camera at eye level, you’ll easily achieve it. Don’t position your camera too high or too low. Instead, use a desktop stand for your laptop or prop your webcam on a stack of books.

3. Light it up

The interviewer wants to see you clearly. The worst thing you can do is sit with your back to a window or with a light behind you. Either of these will creates shadows and obscure your face. The best strategy is sitting facing a window with the curtains drawn open to let in natural light.

4. Smile at the camera

We tend to look at the people on our screens when meeting virtually because that’s what we do in person.

However, this is not the best strategy for virtual meetings.

Instead, look straight into the camera to connect with the rest of the people in the interview. It sounds silly but if you do this, you’re actually looking directly at the other attendees.

5. Don’t use virtual backgrounds

Zoom offers the option of using a virtual background, but you shouldn’t use it. The virtual backgrounds often glitch or pixelate. The interviewer might also regard your background as unprofessional! Rather stick to a neutral background.

6. Use a strong voice

When you’re interviewing online, you want to speak up and speak clearly to ensure that everyone heard and understood you correctly. Keep in mind that many of the non-verbal cues we rely on when speaking in person is not obvious or visible online.

7. Stay stable

Posture is everything! Don’t slouch or hunch over and don’t sway in your chair or fidget when you’re nervous. A bouncing chair is only going to serve as a distraction and that’s not something you want in an interview.

Instead, sit up straight, relax your shoulders and look straight into the camera. And smile!

8. Mute notifications

Deactivate all your desktop notifications before you start the interview. The ping of an incoming notification is going to be disrespectful to the interview and it’s going to distract you. You can catch up on conversations after the interview.

We’d like to add these two tips to Forbes’s list:

9. Test your equipment before the interview

Even if you’ve had your laptop, earphones and webcam for ages, test all the equipment you’ll use prior to the interview. Ensure that you can hear and be heard properly. If technical glitches still crop up during the interview, remain calm and friendly while you troubleshoot.

10. Dress the part

Don’t slack when it comes to choosing an outfit simply because this is a virtual interview. You still want to wear a crisp and ironed shirt; you still want to look your best. Dressing the part means you show that you’re serious about the job.

You get invited to an in-person interview…

You might get the job based purely on your performance during the virtual interview, but you might also get asked to do an in-person interview. Travelling to Australia for an interview is going to be expensive but if you really want to live and work in Australia, you’re might not have a choice.

Here are practical tips for this sort of interview:

  • Make lists. It’s the best way to ensure that all the essentials are packed. Passports, interview outfits, and documents – it all goes on the list!
  • Arrive at least two days before your interview. That way you’ll ensure that you’re not dealing with interview nerves and jet lag too. You can also use the extra day for last-minute prepping.
  • Pack more than one interview outfit. More pieces give you more choice on the day. Plus, should the unthinkable happen – toothpaste on a cuff or a missing button you didn’t notice back home – you still have something to wear.
  • Take documents in double. Print your CV but also have a backup on a memory stick. If you have a portfolio and you’re taking the hard copy, also have it online or on your laptop. This way, you’ll always have something to show should prints get lost or damaged during your travels.

Here’s another good idea –schedule a couple of interviews while you’re in Australia, so that you don’t have to travel again.

What if the interviewer first wants to speak to you over the phone?

This might happen with or without warning! Either way, keep in mind that the person speaking to you cannot see your face. It’s all in your voice, so speak confidently and clearly.

It’s also important to stay in the moment. Don’t get distracted and don’t let your mind wander. Really listen to what the person on the other side of the line has to say.

Final tips for your Australian job interview

Due to time differences, your interview might be scheduled before or after your normal working day. Don’t let this hinder you from getting the job; be flexible with your time.

Finally, get yourself and your equipment ready at least 15 minutes before your interview is due to start. It doesn’t matter that this is a virtual interview – being late is never an option!

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