How to prepare for a job interview?

Finally you got the phone are invited for a job interview...

This is your moment to get the job you want (or maybe you just need it for the money), so you have no time to waste...


When it comes to job interviews, most people (read: there was a study and they came up with 92% !!!) get nervous, so don't worry...the managers who hold the interviews are quite aware that people are nervous (for whatever job it is).


Maybe you are worried about the language which might not be native to yours, or maybe you forgot what the company does again, or maybe you are worried that you do not have the skills asked for in the job ad.

Find here some tips so you feel a bit more secure and (hopefully) less nervous when you go for the interview.

  • Do research on the company and the position you applied for

First of all, when a company calls you to invite you for an interview, always ask which company they are from and what position it was for. We understand that many backpackers apply for over twenty jobs a day online, and that you might get lost in all the applications. However, when you are showing up at an interview and you actually have no idea what it is for, it might come across as not interested and not serious, and will definitely not give you a good chance to get the job.

  • Dress for the job

Of course this all depends on the position you apply for. If you have an interview as a labourer, you really do not have to dress up in a suit.

Just the golden rule - make sure you always look good (no holes and torn parts in clothing, rundown sneakers, washed hair, no low-cut tops or a low waist pants, no things and always a smile on your face). If you do not want to spend lots of money on an outfit to go for an interview, you can always go to a Kmart or a second hand shop to get some basic items.

  • Be on time

Make sure you will be at the interview on time, about 15 minutes is perfect. It is a better look to show up on time than too late. In case you are running late due to unforeseen circumstances, just ring the company and tell them you are running late. You can better inform them in advance so they still know you are coming. 

  • Be friendly and confident

Be friendly, put a smile on your face, maintain eye contact and be enthousiastic. Just by putting a smile on your face, you will get positive reactions from other people, and this also helps your confidence too. You have applied, they have seen your CV and they invited you for an interview. Be proud and confident...they want you :)! Of course, do not overdo it and get cocky, as this might work only against you.

  • Be honest

We know that you might only want to work 2 weeks and apply for a job that states you have to commit to a minimum of 4 months. So you show up, tell the company that of course you will stay for 4 months, and after 2 weeks you decide to not come in anymore and quit. It happens a lot, but remember that first of all, you are ruining it for yourself (as you know you will not get a good reference from this company), but secondly, you also ruin it for your fellow travellers. When companies have this happen many times, do prefer not to hire backpackers anymore.

But of course, if you have a horrible time at a company and you really do not feel good going there daily to work, just have a chat with your employer and find another job. You are only in Australia for a short time and you want to have the time of your life, so being miserable is the last thing you want to do.

You can always be honest and say for example you just arrived and not sure how long you will stay for. And of course, if you already know you cannot commit to 4 months, save yourself (and the company) the time and the energy to go for an interview for a job you probably won't get to start with. But maybe you start working and will like it that much, you might end up staying for 5 months...who knows.

  • Come prepared

Bring a copy of your CV and maybe if you need to sign up with an agency, make sure you have your TFN, copy of your ID and maybe your white card/RSA details with you as well.

If you have any questions at all about the position (this could be from work uniforms to wages to working hours to lunch breaks or eligibility for a second year visa or anything else), do not hesitate to ask the person you have the interview with. Wait with all of these questions during the interview (unless the interviewer brings it up), as if it is a first interview they might do a second or a third round after this, in which you would be able to ask your questions. If it is a one time interview, do not hesitate and check. You can better know before you start than 3 weeks in the job.

Questions they "might" ask you, so you might as well prepare them. Of course these depend all on the job you are applying for. If you want to be a pick/packer in a warehouse, they questions might be completely different of course.

1) What are your salary expectations?

2) How would your colleagues describe you?

3) What are your strong and weak points?

4) Why did you apply with our company and why do you want to work here?

5) What did and didn't you like about your last job position?


Just remember....