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6: Ace the interview

ACTU Worskite for Schools [1]

If you get invited to an interview, congratulations! Your application must be working, now you just need to follow it up in person.

What to wear

Oddly enough, one of the most stressful parts of going to an interview is deciding what to wear! The main thing is to just look neat and tidy.

A good piece of advice is to find out what the people who already work there usually wear and then try to match that standard of dress, but try not to lose sleep over it – focus more on what you’ll say in the interview.

Some employers are concerned about tattoos and piercings. You need to consider this in your presentation.

Questions you may be asked

Once you’ve been to a few job interviews, you might notice that the questions follow a fairly standard format. The interviewer might go through your resume and ask about the examples you’ve listed, so be prepared to talk a bit more about them. They could also ask you to provide examples of qualities or skills that are important in the job you’re interviewing for.

Questions to ask

  • What is the pay?
  • What are the hours?
  • Casual or part-time?

Towards the end, interviewers usually ask if you have any questions for them, which is your chance to confirm any details you’re unsure about.

It’s very important to know these details before you accept the job. Things like your pay and hours should be confirmed before you accept to avoid any confusion later on. You should also confirm whether you will be employed as a casual or part-time employee, each of which has different rights and responsibilities.

Part-time and casual

For your first job you’ll probably be either part-time or casual. Here’s how to tell the difference.

Part-time employees work regular hours each week, but fewer hours than a full-time employee. They receive the same leave entitlements as a full-time employee, but in proportion to the amount of hours they work, or ‘pro-rata’.

Casual workers are employed on an hourly or daily basis and might not have regular or guaranteed hours of work. They aren’t entitled to paid sick leave or annual leave, but instead receive a higher hourly pay rate known as ‘casual loading’.

ACTU Worksite for Schools [2]

Activity

Come up with an answer to each of these common interview questions:

  1. What are you good at?
  2. Why do you want this job?
  3. Describe a situation where you worked as part of a team
  4. Provide an example of a situation where you showed initiative

CHAPTER CHECKLIST

Dress neatly

Prepare for common questions

Ask about job details