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Interview tips

Before the Interview

Know the company: Research the company before the interview (speak to others who work there; ask for information about the firm and for a job description when the interview is set up; use the internet to research the company, review the company profile and objectives). Think about why you would like to be part of that particular company.

Know the job: Learn everything you can about the job you're interviewing for and how your previous experience and training qualify you for this position. Make a list of examples from your previous experiences that demonstrate how you would successfully perform the current role.

Know yourself: Review your resume. Take a copy into your interview for reference.

Prepare questions of your own: Try to think of one or two intelligent questions regarding the position/ company/ industry (eg. Where does this position fit into the company as a whole? What is the company policy on professional development?).

Dress right: Your clothing should be appropriate for the position you're seeking. If you don't know what the typical attire at the company is phone and ask. Alternatively you can pass by prior to your interview to take a look. Shoes should be polished; pants/skirts and shirts pressed.

Be punctual: Plan your journey, and allow time for traffic, parking etc.

Relax: Arrive 5 to 10 minutes early so you have time to gather yourself, review your resume/notes and relax prior to stepping into the interview.

During the Interview

Make a Good First Impression: To present a good first impression you must project a professional, competent and enthusiastic image. Your aim is to convince the interviewer that you would be an asset to the company.

Shake well: A firm handshake is appropriate and projects confidence. Make eye contact when you shake.

Find common ground: Pictures, books, plants, etc. in the office can be conversation starters.

Use appropriate body language: Stand straight, move confidently and sit slightly forward in your chair to demonstrate your attention.

Be honest: Tell the interviewer about your work skills, strengths and experience, including any volunteer work you have done. If you are lacking in particular areas of experience, say so, but ensure that you back this up with an example of your ability to learn new skills or demonstrate related skills (provide an example of where you have demonstrated this for a prior employer).

Be enthusiastic: Show your clear interest in the job you are seeking and in the business. Smile and make frequent eye contact. Listen attentively and take notes if appropriate.

Listening skills: Listen carefully and ask questions to probe deeper into what the interviewer is telling you. Most interviewers are delightfully surprised by a question such as, "How could I help you solve the problem you've just described?"

Negative statements: about previous jobs or employers; NEVER make them. Instead, be diplomatic. No matter how bad your last job or boss was there's probably something good you learned from the experience. Emphasize the positive, with a smile.

Let the employer lead into conversations regarding benefits: If you are asked regarding salary expectations try to have a figure in mind (you may review other similar advertised positions and their rate of pay). However, unless you are asked by the employer this is something that can be discussed once you have secured their interest in what you can offer the company.

After the Interview

Follow Through: It is important to write a thank you note to all those who have interviewed you. In your letter briefly summarise your conversation and re-emphasize the skills you would bring to the position. Thank the interviewers for their time and invite them to contact you (eg. I look forward to hearing from you).

Last updated
15 February 2016

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