Australia is going on a hiring spree right now, with even the professional services sectors like advertising, legal and banking looking desperately to plug staffing shortages. Even graduate positions have opened back up.
But that doesn’t make job interviews any easier – in fact, if anything, COVID-19 has made it harder, with virtual interviews now the norm during lockdown.
However, there are still some smooth moves that you can pull out in the interview that can ensure recruiter looks highly upon you as a candidate.
“Don’t sell yourself short,” SEEK head of customer insights and strategy Elyssia Clark told Yahoo Finance.
“Employers will be impressed by calm confidence and are eager to hear about your accomplishments.”
Don’t just talk about your work experience
If you’ve already landed an interview, it means your application has been enough for the hiring manager to think you could be right for the job.
So don’t rehash what you’ve already said on paper, Clark advises.
“The interview – whether it is virtual or face to face – is also a chance to highlight your transferable skills such as communication, empathy or critical thinking. This is something an employer isn’t able to see through a CV or cover letter, and is extremely important in identifying whether a candidate is a suitable fit for the company,” she said.
In fact, nearly 6 in 10 employers would actually hire someone who don’t have the right experience – but have the right skills, SEEK research shows.
So think about all the different areas in your life you’ve gained skills from, Clark said. “They can be derived from employment, education, voluntary work, sporting activities, travelling and many other situations.”
Then think about how those skills can be applied to the position you’re applying for, she added.
“Remember to always provide examples on how you’ve previously used these skills. If you can successfully do this, you’ll be sure to impress your potential employer.”
Have an opinion
You might think you need to say whatever the hiring manager wants to hear in a job interview – but this isn’t the case. In fact, it’s quite the opposite, according to LinkedIn career expert Shiva Kumar.
“Having a clear point of view coupled with thoughtful questions will highlight strategic thinking and capability to employers,” he told Yahoo Finance.
“[This] demonstrates not only that you’ve clearly considered what’s relevant, but you are also willing to offer your perspective so the business can make informed decisions.”
Employers will want to see diverse voices contributing to the business, and it’s a major green light if a candidate demonstrates soft skills like leadership in their area of expertise, he said.
Talk about the business, not just the role
The hiring manager will be assessing whether the candidate will be a good fit not just for the role, but for the broader organisation, according to recruitment firm Robert Half director Nicole Gorton.
“When it comes to the interview stage, jobseekers who can demonstrate an understanding of and passion for the business – not just the job title – will have a competitive advantage,” she told Yahoo Finance.
“As well as assessing technical experience, interviewers are often looking to how well an individual meshes with the company and their long-term growth potential.”
So if you’re applying just to get a pay cheque – the employer will be able to tell.
“Jobseekers should be prepared to answer not only why they can fulfill the role but also why they want to join that specific company.”
Don't summarise your resume
Echoing Clark, Indeed's head of career insights Jay Munro has this piece of advice if you're asked to rehash your career so far: "make it interesting".
Summarise your first jobs like this, he told Yahoo Finance: “I held a few jobs in the early stages of my career, which helped me to understand the industry and grew my passion as a professional. This really helped when I took that step up.”
And when talking about previous roles, talk about a major achievement or what you learned.
"Then, you can summarise by detailing a few of the other responsibilities you held, projects worked on, or achievements from that experience," he added.