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Preparing for Job Interviews: Our Top Tips for 2021

NZ Careers Expo —

Employers are very clear about what makes a job candidate appealing in a job interview, even if they don't fit the job criteria! Read on to learn what they said to us.

Job interviews can provoke a lot of anxiety and you are not alone if the very thought of them leaves you feeling worried.

The good news is that being prepared can go a long way to help you feeling calm and confident, which will help with your prospects.

We talked to a number of employers who filled us in on what they really like to see when interviewing candidates. We think these tips are really helpful:

Be engaging, friendly and personable:

Most employers are not only looking for specific skill-sets, they want to find someone that they are able to easily work with. Bring your personality to the interview!

Arrive early and dress appropriately:

This is about making a lasting impression. If you arrive bang on time, you are already late. Aim to get there at least 10 minutes early to give yourself time to appear enthusiastic, to calm yourself and to get a good sense of your surroundings so that you feel as comfortable as possible.

Do your homework:

Most employers will have an online presence, and if not there will be printed material you can find to read. Spend time learning about the company, read their values on the website and work out how yours align with theirs. Spend time looking at the role and figuring out what you can bring to it - including any limitations you might have, and how these can be overcome so that you are still the right person for the role.

Look into the industry as a whole and work out where this company fits into it and how you can add value to it. 

Be honest:

It is far better to be honest about your skills, with ideas for how to grow them than lie and say you can do something you can't. Employers often don't mind if you are missing a skill if you are able to learn quickly or show initiative to get around it.

Take questions:

Show them that you are interested in the business or opportunity by asking questions at the end of the interview and don't be afraid to show a genuine interest in the industry with your questions.

Questions to think about and plan before the interview takes place:

1 How to discuss your experience, personality and skills

2 Why you would add value 

3 Why you like the business / industry

4 What you know about them

5 Challenges you have faced and how you overcame them at work

6 Areas of weakness and how you overcome them

7 Skills you are proud of

8 Your plans for your long term career

9 Your areas of strength

10 Questions