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Acing your interview

Posted on January 2023

Job Search Tips | Acing Your Interview

Now that you are this outstanding applicant who received an interview opportunity. Be prepared and get ready to ace your interview with the below tips at the different stages:

Pre-interview

During the interview

Post-interview

Pre-interview

  • Research the prospective company.

  • Bring your portfolio and any work samples.

  • Be proactive and prepare in advance any questions to ask the hiring manager:
    We have previously mentioned that tenure is important for companies. Leverage the Q&A session to demonstrate that you are looking to build your career with the new employer. Ask questions about the company and their career plan for you. Check if the company has any mentorship programs to help progress your career and if there are any mentors/role models to learn from. Find out if the company has any equity scheme for employees. Asking the right questions can help convey your desire to have a long-term career with the company you’re interviewing for. ​

During the interview

Explaining gaps in a CV 

It’s important to be transparent. According to a survey from LinkedIn, 96% of hiring managers will still hire someone who has been made redundant due to Covid-19, so don’t be afraid to share this information.  

An interview is the opportunity to tell your story and get to know the hiring manager. Be prepared to share what you have achieved during time off – that can be independent consulting work, enhancing your skillsets (technical/software skills) or advancing your learning.   

Salary - How to avoid overselling or underselling?

Step 1

Identify what is important to you before heading into the interview, whether that is a higher salary, better benefits, or flexibility at work. That will impact your salary expectation.

Step 2

Always try to avoid answering this question. But how? Instead, reply with:

  • "I have a full understanding of your company and the role. I would like to think/speak to my family before I come back to you by tomorrow.”

  • "If you have never received a job description, “Can you please share the job description with me so that I can better gate the salary expectation for a role like this?”

  • “I am looking for a salary that is reflective of my skillset. What would someone with a similar background in your company receive?”

Step 3

Do not give a salary range – the last thing you want is to be on the bottom rank. Give a number that you feel is feasible and competitive in the market. Currently, the market salary increment average is around 3%-6%.

 

Opening a discussion about flexible/hybrid work

We highly advise to not discuss working from home or flexible working arrangements in the first interview. With interview processes usually around 2-3 rounds, the 2nd or final interview will be the best time to ask about flexible work arrangements.

Rather than asking directly, you could reframe a question to “What are the current working arrangements for the team?” or “Is the current team mostly working from the office”. By rephrasing the questions, this can come across as an expression of interest for the working style and how the team operates instead of demanding the right to work from home.

Working from home or flexible work is a fairly new concept. If the arrangements have been agreed, it’s important to get this included in the contract or have written confirmation in an email when the offer letter is sent.  

 

The must-ask question: why are you leaving your current company? 

It’s crucial not to speak badly about your current or ex-employers. Always turn it back into positive, you could say something along the lines of: “Everything is fine and pretty good in my current/previous company. I am looking to move because your company is the leader in the market. I want to learn from the best leader to broaden my horizon and further expand my skill set to grow within your company.” Use your research, “I want to be part of this new project that your company is doing. I believe my skill set can add value to the team/project.”  


By answering smartly, it shows:

  • You are really interested in the company.

  • You are passionate about what they do.

  • You are knowledgeable about the market.

  • You have done the research and you know about their company.

 

Post-interview 

Always follow up – drop a note to share your gratitude and connect with a hiring manager on LinkedIn. It’s advantageous for a hiring manager to remember you so you can establish a relationship – which is useful for referrals.

Ready? It is time.

Submit your CV to our Australia Engineering recruitment consultant team to explore your next career opportunities.

SUBMIT CV

Take a step back

Stay Close, Stay Competitive - Top practical tips to secure your dream engineering job in Australia

In a highly competitive market standing out from the crowds is never easy, but it can make all the difference between success or failure. This begs the question, how can you differentiate yourself from others?

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