Job interviews

Job interview Australia

Job Interviews


1. The application process from A to Z

2. The importance of your first impression

3. The various forms of interviews

4. Interview preparation

5. What you need to do right after the interview

6. Wrap up: key takeaways 

Job Interviews could sometimes be tricky. If you want to go through the recruiting process, read our guide carefully!

The top 3 difficulties foreigners experience during job interviews in Australia are:

Don’t worry, you will overcome these problematics. The more you commit yourself, the better is your chance to find work!

1. The application process from A to Z

Here are the different steps of the application process:

job interview australia australiance

a) Market research: “What company could I work for?” Think about the industry you would like to work in, about the companies that could suit your expectations, and the job positions you would be interested in. At the end of this first step you should be able to put a name on a wide list of companies you would like to work for. You can check our blog post about the Australian job market to have a better understanding of which organisations and positions you should target.

b) Find open positions: Once you have your list of companies, you will have to find open positions on the Internet. And don’t forget that the only thing more important than your resume is your LinkedIn profile. Seriously, Australia has one of the highest rate of LinkedIn users in the world.

c) Prepare the application process: Do some research on the companies you apply for.

d) Resume: Prepare your resume with the right keywords: the keywords that are in the job description you found should be written in your resume. Remember each job description is unique, so each resume should be unique. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you need assistance to improve your resume.

e) How to apply: There are different ways to apply for a job. You can use Seek, LinkedIn or even use a direct contact (referral or HR). Do not send the same email to everyone and always personalise your resume to the job you are applying for. LinkedIn is very popular in Australia, so having an outstanding LinkedIn profile can help you make the difference from other candidate. Australiance can help you improve your LinkedIn profile if needed.

f) 1st contact: You will generally receive a phone call from the recruiter to fix an appointment (1 minute conversation).

g) Job interview: You will meet the hiring manager. In Australia, job interviews are commonly coffee catch-ups. Stay professional, don’t be colloquial.

h) Different rounds: There could be several rounds of interviews.

i) Contract: At the end of the process you will have an answer about your application.

2. The importance of your first impression

At the beginning of an interview, the first thing a recruiter will generally say is: tell me about you. That is why you should be prepared to this tricky issue. You should be able to tell who you are, why you are here, and why you are the right person for the position in less than a minute. Being precise, concise, and confident is key to success.

The interlocutor is looking for someone who has the skills he is looking for. That is why you should say: « I’m good at » and feel confident. As you’ve probably understood by now, this 1st impression is really important for recruiters.

Here is a list of the most common mistakes observed:

  • Wait for your dream offer to appear on SEEK
  • Abusive use of the FACCI directory
  • Copy-paste and other « automatic sending »
  • Resume and cover letter that don’t fit the expectations of the Australian job market (read our guide on how to write an Australian resume)
  • Make a confusion between JOB and SPONSORSHIP
  • Underestimate your ‘personal brand’ (Google)
  • Underestimate the importance of networking
  • Unprofessional voicemail and way to answer the phone
  • Turning late to an interview/coffee catch-up
  • Unprofessional attire

For all those reasons you should work on your first impression… Especially in Australia!

3. The various forms of interviews

Depending on the industry, company size or position, the interview may differ. Here are some examples of the different interviews you could be confronted to:

  • Formal vs informal
  • In person vs through digital means
  • HR vs Operations
  • Specific to certain jobs (case study, online personality tests…)

You should be prepared for each type of interview.

In Australia, there is what Australian people call “coffee catch-ups”: your interviewer will ask you to come to a coffee for your first interview. What he is waiting for is to see if he feels like working with you and having a beer every Friday after work. Look professional and do not forget that even if it’s in a coffee, it’s still an interview!

Interview tips:

  • Listen carefully and feel free to ask for clarification before answering a question
  • Project energy and enthusiasm
  • Be honest while focusing on communicating your professional achievements
  • Be polite to everyone you meet during the interview

4. Interview preparation

  • Know the company and its industry

What you need to know before the interview:

– What the company sells

– The company’s history

– The bios of the leaders of the organization

– What the organization has been up to lately

– Its strengths and weaknesses

– Its competitors

  • Know your interviewer

First of all: Google your interviewer. You have to do some research to know as much as possible about him/her. If you find that you have something in common with your future interlocutor, talk about it.

Our advice: arrive one hour before your job interview so that you can visit the office and feel more comfortable. You could also speak to people within the company to feel the atmosphere and know more about the person you replace.

  • Know the position you are applying for

Use LinkedIn to do research on the position you are applying for: who used to have this position, who currently has the position… If you can have some insiders that’s even better.

Some other tips:

  • Your voicemail must be professional.
  • Have a professional tone when you answer the phone, for instance saying “Hi ‘your first name’ speaking” is a good way to introduce yourself.
  • Come more professional than you should. This is part of the 1st

The STAR technique is a good way to frame the answers about your past professional experiences in an organised manner. When you prepare your interview you should organise your answers by answering each of the following components of the STAR technique:

Situation: Describe the situation/environment you were in. Include details and time. For instance: “I was working in this company at that time, I was in charge of … the deadline was on Friday morning…”). Be sure to give enough details so your interlocutor understands.

Task: Describe the task that required solutions.

Action: Describe what happened including a particular focus on what YOU did. Focus on the ‘why’ and the ‘what’.

Result: What happened? What did you accomplish? What did you learn? What value did you bring? Think about relationships and task outcomes.

Examples of common interview questions you should be prepared to:

  • Give me an example of a time you had to make a difficult decision
  • Give me an example of a situation that could not have happened successfully without you being here
  • Tell me about a time when you influenced the outcome of a project by taking a leadership role
  • Tell me about a time when you failed to meet a deadline. Why did you fail? What did you learn?

5. What you need to do right after the interview

  • Follow-up email: thank you note just after the interview.
  • Connect on LinkedIn
  • If not successful, ask for feedback

If you have no news you can wait a week or two before contacting the company again. If you unfortunately haven’t been hired stay calm and ask for explanations so that you can do better for your next interview!

6. Wrap up: key takeaways

The four things you must do to have a successful interview are the following:

  • Prepare your 1st impression and your introduction
  • Know your audience and business environment
  • Be ready to answer typical tricky questions: be consistent
  • Follow up after the interview, send a mail to thank the interviewer/in case of a negative answer ask for a feedback


Australiance can help you improve your resume, revamp your LinkedIn profile, and find a job in Australia. We are frequently contacted by recruiters that are looking for candidates for jobs in various industries and job positions. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you need additional information about our offers and the Australian market.

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