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How-To: Ace a Job Interview

Interview tips to make a good impression on your new boss.

Firstly, congratulations! You made it past the first stage. Your resume caught someone's eye and you've scored yourself an interview. Now here's how to walk away with the job.

Preparation is key

As Talent Acquisition Specialist for the Clemenger Group, one of Australia's most successful marketing and communications firms, Kerry Allen says preparation is the most important thing.

“Research, research, research. On both our work, our clients and our agency,” she instructs, “Also be prepared to come in and talk about examples of your own experience, have those examples ready.”

Start by having another read through the job listing and note down how your skills and experience make you uniquely qualified for the role. This kind of thing will be addressed early in the interview, so it's good to have something prepared just in case you're nervous.

“We ask pretty basic questions to start. There's a number of things we're looking for, competency in a range of areas, whether that's wine or food, knowledge or experience.” says Oliver Shorthouse, General Manager of Andrew McConnell's restaurants, including Supernormal, Cutler & Co., and Cumulus Inc.

Present your best self

Approach the interview with confidence. When you are interacting with customers or clients on a daily basis, your personality can be your biggest asset.

“A lot of the time when you're interviewing someone it's like a chemistry test, you know, 'personality'.” Kerry says, “Especially for an agency where we're all about culture fit.”

It should go without saying, but presentation does matter. Go with an outfit that's appropriate for the role and the industry.

If you think you haven't yet mastered some of the skills required for the role, be up front with that, but make it clear you're open to training.

“People who have worked in great places around Australia and internationally obviously have an interesting element to them,” Oliver says, “but even if you don't have experience in five Michelin Star places, it's not an issue, we can train a lot of the skills.”

Be engaged, ask questions

Don't be afraid to turn the interview around. As Kerry says, it's also about finding the job that's right for you.

“It's a two-way process, we're seeing whether you can do the job but you're seeing whether that's the best move for you as your next career step.”

Take the opportunity to show that you like the company and why you are invested in the role, and most important of all, be optimistic.

“Be yourself, be open, be honest,” Kerry says, “And hopefully it will be a good fit.”

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