Job interviews can be stressful. The good news is that being interviewed is something you can learn how to do better, just like any other skill.
These job interview techniques can help you to perform well in your next job interview:
1. Prepare for interview questions
Being well prepared is the first step to appearing relaxed and confident in a job interview. One way to prepare is to think of answers for questions you might get.
Here are some tips for answering different kinds of interview questions:
- Have some answers ready for common interview questions.
- Prepare for some tricky interview questions.
- Be ready for any inappropriate interview questions so you know what to do if you get asked things you really shouldn't be.
2. Research the employer
It helps to find out about the employer and what the job involves. Employers like it when you show them you understand what they do, how they do it, and what their challenges are.
Some ways to do research include:
- searching online for information about the employer
- talking to your friends and family to see if they know anything about the employer
- finding out what similar jobs involve (for example, searching online for the kind of job you’re going for, like ‘warehouse worker’).
Our page on what to research before a job interview has more research tips.
3. Know how to get to the interview
You'd be surprised how often people turn up to the wrong place for a job interview! It's an easy enough mistake to make, but there are ways to avoid it:
- Check you've been told where the interview will be (if you're not sure, contact the employer and ask to confirm the location).
- Look up the address where the interview will be held.
- Work out how you’re going to get there on the day.
- Double-check you’ve got the location right.
- Do a trial run to see how long it takes to get there.
4. Do a practise interview
It can help to do a practise interview with a friend or family member. When you’ve finished, ask how you could improve your answers. After you’ve practised a few times you’ll be better prepared for the real thing.
5. Don’t be late for the interview
Being late for a job interview can create a really bad impression.
Double-check the right date and time of the interview. Plan to arrive 30 minutes early. That way, even if you’re delayed you’ll still be on time.
6. Look your best at the interview
Employers will judge you on your appearance, so it’s important to look your best at an interview.
Make sure you're showered, your clothes are neat and clean, and your hair is neat and tidy.
We have tips on how to dress for a job interview.
7. Bring your resume or folio to the interview
Its something worth bringing a copy of your resume to the interview. If you've been asked to prepare a folio of examples of your work, bring that too.
If you don’t have a folio of your work, you could bring other things that demonstrate your experience. For example, you could bring brochures from a program you did work for, or the flyer for an event you were involved with.
It’s good to have things to show and tell, but don’t go overboard. A thin folder with your resume and one or two other items is enough.
Our how to answer interview questions page has tips on answering questions well.
8. Listen to the interviewer
Listening carefully, or paying attention, to what an interviewer says shows that you have good communication skills.
Don’t be in a rush to speak or communicate. Don’t interrupt or talk over people either. By paying attention to the interviewer you can learn as much as you can about the employer and the job.
Pay attention to the questions that interviewers ask, and make sure you answer them. This might mean you have to adapt your prepared answers to the specific questions they ask.
Make sure you’ve understood the interviewer by communicating things like, ‘So it seems like the job involves…’ or ‘It looks like what you want in a staff member is…’.
9. Ask questions in the interview
Asking questions shows you’re interested in the job. It’s also a chance for you to find out everything you need to know before you decide you want the job.
Open-ended questions that begin with ‘How’ and ‘What’ are good ways to get started. For example, you could ask, ‘What do you see as the biggest challenges for the person doing this job?’ or, ‘How will you make a decision about who you’ll hire?’
At the end of the interview, you’ll usually be given a chance to ask some final questions. Here are some things you could ask about, if they haven’t been discussed already:
- How big is the team?
- What are the hours?
- Who will be my manager?
- When are you looking for someone to start?
- Will the job be ongoing?
You can also ask about salary or wages at the end of the interview. It's better to ask that question right at the end, unless the interviewer brings it up earlier. Our salary and wages and What is my minimum wage? pages has more information.
10. Remember you’re interviewing them, too
Remember that a job interview is also your chance to decide if you want to work for this employer.
If, after the interview, you don’t have a good feeling about the job or the employer, it might be better to turn the job down rather than working somewhere that you won't be happy.