Are you ready for a job interview?

Ten tips on preparing for an interview

School leavers can improve their chances of securing a job straight out of school if they prepare for their job interview, says careers counsellor Kevin Nelson.

Mr Nelson, who advises students at the Australian Science and Mathematics School, says there are five key things job hunters should do and five actions they must avoid to be more likely to succeed.


  • Be prepared

Research the firm or organisation for which you are being interviewed and find out about the position for which you are applying.Use the internet, friends and relatives or contact the organisation to get information about them and the position. Be prepared totalk about the organisation and why you want to work there.

  • Dress for the job

Wear the most formal attire that you would likely need to wear in that position. Show the employer how you could represent their organisation.

  • Be aware of your skills, abilities and experiences

Be able to talk about how you could contribute to the organisation. Show that you believe you can do the job by referring to your skills, abilities and experience.

  • Be ready to ask relevant questions

The interview is not only for the employer. The interview is also for you to learn about the position and see if it really is for you. If you are properly prepared, you should generally know about the position and can ask questions relevant to you if your application is successful.

  • Take relevant material to the interview

For example, copies of your resume, certificates, references or names and contact details of referees.


  • Don’t be late for the interview

Plan your time to arrive early and compose yourself before the interview.

  • Don’t Panic

An employer will not be trying to trip you up during the interview.

  • Don’t lie about your skills and experience

It is important to be truthful and positive about your skills, abilities and experience but do not make things up. Show the interviewer who you really are.

  • Don’t post too much on Facebook and other social networking sites

Employers now use social networking sites to gather information on prospective employees. Be careful what you post.

  • Don’t be discouraged if you do not get the job

Remember that there are probably many applicants and only one will get the job. Try to get feedback about why you did not get the position. Learn from the experience and aim to be better at the next interview.

CareerOne, The Advertiser, December 2010.