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Applications and Interviews Research Higher Degree students


Summarises your personal and professional skills and qualities as ... Dates Bachelor of XYZ (Honours) Flinders University of South Australia. Honours Thesis: ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Applications and Interviews Research Higher Degree students

Applications and InterviewsResearch Higher
Degree students
  • Flinders University
  • Careers Employer Liaison Centre
  • Meg Alexander Rebecca Jones

Curriculum Vitae
This Is Your Life
  • Curriculum Vitae (or resume) is a marketing
  • Summarises your personal and professional skills
    and qualities as demonstrated through your
    educational qualifications, work experience (paid
    and voluntary), sporting, community and leisure

  • Goal of the Curriculum Vitae (CV) is to obtain an
  • This entails presenting a balanced selection of
    key material about yourself, and honing it to the
    needs of the employer.

Define the product YOU
  • Define who you are
  • What you have to offer
  • Review your life to develop an inventory of your
    skills, experiences, achievements
  • Situations where you have demonstrated these
  • Spend time researching the employer
  • Analyse their needs

  • This information can be worked into your letter
    to indicate your enthusiasm about obtaining a
    position in that organisation.
  • You must understand both yourself and the
    organisation so that you can put your strengths
    across and tailor your product package to the
    needs of the employer.

Skills sought by employers
  • Skills often cited as important
  • Communication
  • The capacity to learn new skills and procedures
  • The ability to apply knowledge in the workplace
  • Adaptability
  • Initiative

  • Time management
  • Problem solving and decision making
  • Ability to accept responsibility and authority
  • Ability to work with and under others
  • Ability to embrace change
  • Tolerance and acceptance of different values

Wheres the evidence?
  • Demonstrate your skills with evidence from your
  • Academic experience
  • Extra curricular activities and leisure
  • work experience
  • life experience
  • voluntary work

Research employers as part of your marketing
  • Find out as much as you can about the employer
    that interests you.
  • Brochures/web site etc
  • Talk informally with anyone you know in the
    organisations that interest you.
  • Use Careers Fairs (held on campus throughout the
    year) to sound out employers.
  • You may also choose to meet with people in the
    organisation to find out more about the company /
    roles / structure of the team etc, before you
    write your application.

  • The following guidelines should be observed when
    preparing a resume.
  • Use good quality plain A4 paper.
  • Use a high quality printer.
  • Staple pages at the top left hand corner.
  • Do not use plastic folders or covers.
  • Leave space between sections.

  • Use a layout that ensures information can be
    quickly and easily read.
  • Keep headings and sub-headings consistent in
    style and size throughout the document.
  • Avoid small print.
  • Dont forget page numbers!
  • Length be concise, and aim for a length of no
    more than 2-4 pages

  • The conventional resume tends to contain
    information that is usually grouped under
    headings such as
  • Personal Details
  • Education
  • Career Objective
  • Employment History
  • Additional Skills
  • Achievements
  • Community and Leisure Interests
  • Referees

  • Be creative - add or delete headings, use sub
    headings as necessary.
  • For example, Employment History could be divided
    into Casual Employment and Professional Work
    Experience. You could include a section on
    Voluntary Work.

Use your headings as headlines!
  • Experience can become Legal Sector Experience,
    Community Service Experience
  • Education can become Professional Training,
    Nursing Studies
  • Extracurricular Activities can become Leadership
    in Student Activities

Categories of Information
  • Personal Details
  • Name/address/telephone/email.
  • Career Objective Statement
  • A brief, optional statement about your short to
    mid term career aspirations.
  • The statement must align with the job and
    organisation being applied for, and you will need
    to change it for each application.

  • The statement can include
  • What type of position you want/the career field
    you are interested in
  • What type of organisation
  • What you can bring to the job
  • How the organisation will benefit

  • Education Background
  • Tertiary
  • Dates Bachelor of XYZ (Honours)
  • Flinders University of South Australia
  • Honours Thesis
  • Key details
  • Grades
  • Applied skills i.e. interviewing, research etc

  • Dates Bachelor of XYZ
  • Flinders University of South Australia
  • Majors
  • Key details
  • Grades
  • Placements (here or separate section)
  • Optional inclusions Key Subject areas, any
    special achievements i.e. distinctions,
    scholarships, prizes, projects undertaken at
    university which you feel to be relevant.

  • Briefly note details of any laboratory work,
    field-work, equipment and procedures used, your
    thesis (especially if relevant to the area you
    are applying for) etc.
  • Refer to Academic transcript
  • Other courses/qualifications
  • Include any relevant courses- word processing,
    internet, first aid, conflict resolution,
    Graduate Skills Development Programs etc.

  • Professional Memberships (optional)
  • Demonstrates career commitment and ongoing
    professional development.
  • Have you held any active roles in an association?
  • Have you attended any conferences, or seminars
    and workshops?

  • Memberships And Community Involvement
  • 2000 - current
  • Student member of the Australian Psychological
  • 1999 - current
  • Member, XYZ Club, Elected Secretary
  • Responsibilities/achievements
  • Organising events/guest speakers
  • Raised sponsorship funds of 5000

Work Experience
  • Optional Sub headings
  • Professional experience,
  • Casual work,
  • Voluntary work,
  • Practical placements, or
  • Vacation work.
  • Strategically consider which parts of your work
    experience need to appear first - your bar work,
    or the career-related Vacation Work you undertook.

  • Use bullet points followed by a verb phrase
    rather than sentences to describe your work.
  • Avoid I did, I have etc
  • Recorded data using
  • Conducted research into
  • Provided customer service
  • Answered up to 25 phone calls per day
  • Created online newsletter

  • When describing Placements-be specific
  • Managed a caseload of X number
  • Worked with clients ranging in age from X-Y,
    presenting with.
  • Designed a brochure promoting tourism
    destinations in the

Make the most of Casual Work
  • Did you do any staff training and supervision
    (however informal)?
  • Was there any training provided-on the job or
    more formally?
  • Have you been promoted from the job you started
  • What extra responsibilities have you been given
    at work?
  • Did you receive any awards, for example,
    employee of the month?

  • Describing professional skills developed through
    part time and casual work.
  • Customer liaison and sales
  • Solve customer problems
  • Work with a variety of people/work in a team
  • Manage the store independently during owner
  • Stock shelves
  • Set up merchandise displays
  • Formal/informal staff training

  • Nanny/Au Pair/Babysitter
  • Monitor or participate in play activities
  • Prepare and serve meals
  • Accompany children of X age on walks and other
  • Set limits and manage behaviour
  • Teach new skills
  • Think creatively
  • Work with a variety of people independently
  • Handle multiple tasks simultaneously

  • Office Clerical Worker
  • Use desktop computer to complete tasks
  • Respond to questions/handle telephone enquiries
  • Work with a variety of people
  • Prioritise workload
  • Communicate thoughts, ideas, and information in
  • Acquire relevant product or service knowledge
  • Learn new tasks and accept challenges
  • General office duties

  • Waiter/Waitress
  • Convey information to customers
  • Solve customer problems
  • Food and beverage sales
  • Work with a variety of people
  • Operate cash register/computer to place customer
  • Cash and credit transactions
  • Use basic maths skills
  • Handle multiple tasks simultaneously

Casual Experience
  • 1996-Current Dymocks
  • Position .. (up to 8 hours per week
    full time in vacations)
  • Duties
  • Serving .
  • Organising .
  • Supervision of
  • Training of

Quantify your experience where possible
  • Managed a student organisation budget of more
    than 5,000.
  • Developed lesson plans for 2 classes of 25
  • Recruited 30 new members for the Behavioural
    Sciences Club in 2001
  • Trained 10 new employees in cafe procedures.
  • Fielded up to 30 customer service calls a day,
    identifying and providing solutions for
    customers, and ensuring repeat customers.
  • Planned, organised and implemented creative
    activities for children aged 4-12.

Presenting long work history
  • You can state Employment details prior to 19--
    available on request.
  • Alternatively you could state
  • Prior to 19--, I was employed in a range of
    roles, including
  • customer service officer
  • administrative service officer
  • travel agent
  • (Details available on request).
  • This gives you the opportunity to convey
    information about your valuable experience
    without taking up a lot of space on the CV, or
    emphasising dates.

  • If you have written any articles or publications
    to do with your work or study, mention them, and
    have a copy available if necessary at the

  • Skills profile/employment related skills and

Select no more than 5-7 skills that relate to the
position. State what the skills are and give
examples of how and where you have demonstrated
them. For example- teamwork skills, customer
service skills, leadership ability Dont forget-
Language skills, and Computer literacy Keep the
statements short. Highly developed skills in
.. (developed through ..) Excellent
communication skills from experience in
.... Demonstrated ability to (as shown by
Some examples
  • High level communication skills developed through
    5 years experience in retail sales combined with
    leadership roles in student associations.
  • Ability to work in a team demonstrated by
    involvement in team sports, group projects at
    university, and volunteer work at Community Care
  • Effective planning, organising and prioritising
    skills were demonstrated in my supervisory role
    in the hospitality field.

Community and leisure interests
  • Be brief and interesting.
  • Consider memberships of clubs and societies.
  • Hobbies, leisure, self-development activities,
  • Focus on hobbies or community interests/activities
    that show initiative, creativity, teamwork,
    communication, and organisational and leadership
    ability, financial, and other responsibilities.
  • Try to make your description active. For
    example Martial Arts (train 2 nights per week at
    X Karate Club), Football (play for X club, coach
    junior members).
  • What impression you will make?

  • Referees

Referees are people whose position gives them
credibility who can verify your suitability for
the job in terms of your experience and personal
qualities either verbally or in writing. Usually
3 are requested Obtain their permission
first Work/placement and academic referees
preferred to character referees. Ms
ABC Manager Blah Blah Company Address
. Telephone . Fax
. Email
  • Formats
  • Resumes can be presented in a variety of formats.
    The most common of these are
  • Chronological Resume
  • education/work experience is shown in
    chronological order
  • can use reverse chronological order showing the
    most recent data first

  • Functional Resume
  • resume focuses on skills achievements rather
    than job titles and biographical data
  • skills listed will correspond as closely as
    possible to those required of the position
  • in many cases the format may be modified so that
    it incorporates the best features of a
    chronological and functional resume
  • Targeted Resume
  • designed for a specific job vacancy or as a
    marketing tool for a particular type of job
  • includes only such data that supports your
    suitability for the position.

  • Letter of application

Points to remember Personalise each letter by
sending it to a specific individual Spell names
correctly and use the proper title Keep it short
and to the point. Research the position and/or
organisation and indicate this knowledge in your
letter Realise the reader will view the letter as
an example of your written communication
skills Type your letter on good quality paper.
Observe margins and spacing and type the address
on the envelope Proof read for spelling, grammar,
punctuation and form Remember to sign your
letter Cover letters should not be more than one
  • Dont use a reproduced form letter or preprinted
  • Dont overuse the personal pronoun I
  • Dont cover all the same material that is
    included in your resume, but do refer to your
  • Dont send an identical letter to hundreds of
  • Create a letter you feel comfortable with and
    which expresses your individuality. Remember
    that the purpose of the letter is to get the
    employers attention.

  • Dear ...(Ms/Mr./Mrs. Surname)
  • Opening paragraph Attract attention. State why
    you are writing and name the position or type of
    work for which you are applying.
  • Example
  • I am writing to apply for the position of
    advertised inon... (name of source and date).
  • I have recently completed a Bachelor of
    majoring in, and would welcome the opportunity
    to be part of your Graduate program.
  • I am in the final year of a Degree inand I am
    keen to pursue a career as

  • Middle paragraphs State your reasons for
    applying to this particular organisation.
    Summarise what you have to offer by stating the
    qualifications your research indicates would
    interest them and briefly point out particular
    achievements and skills that qualify you for this
    type of work. Sell yourself.
  • Example
  • With my combination of XXX studies and work
    experience ranging across customer service,
    administration, and tutoring roles, I believe I
  • Within my course I had the opportunity to
    undertake a wide variety of project work, ranging

  • Whilst completing my degree inI undertook
    voluntary work experience atwhere I gained
    valuable experience in.
  • My placement involved the completion of a
    project on. This role required me to
  • Supporting your interest in the organisation
  • In a recent article in. I read that you.
  • I was impressed by your stated attitude to
  • I met with representatives of your organisation
    at the Flinders University Business and Arts
    Careers Fair and
  • I would welcome the opportunity to gain
    experience / develop my career with an
    organisation that is In addition the
    opportunities for .are highly appealing to me.

  • Final paragraph Refer the reader to your
    enclosed resume, application form (if applicable)
    and academic transcript. Close by informing the
    reader of your next action (usually indicating
    your availability for an interview appointment
    and your contact phone number).
  • Example
  • Thank you for your consideration. I look
    forward to discussing my application with you in
  • I look forward to discussing my skills and
    experience in more detail with you at an

Addressing Selection Criteria
  • Making the most of your skills, experience, and

What are Selection criteria?
  • Selection criteria are a list of skills,
    experience, and knowledge that are considered to
    be either essential or desirable in an applicant
    for them to successfully perform the duties of
    the position.
  • They are used by all tiers of Government,
    professional associations, educational
    institutions (for example, universities and some
    Independent Schools), the community sector and
    non-government organisations.

How are they used?
  • They are a set of benchmarks against which each
    applicant is measured. Each applicant is rated
    on how well or closely they meet each of the
    criteria and then ranked against the other
  • In the job advertisement you will see something
  • Applicants should obtain a copy of the Job and
    Person Specification and an information package
    prior to submitting their application. These are
    available from (name). OR
  • Candidates must address the selection criteria.

  • Excellent oral and written communication
  • Capacity to work under pressure and meet
  • Demonstrated skills in managing complex

  • For areas such as Speech Pathology, Social Work,
    Psychology, Disability Studies, Nutrition and
    Dietetics, Environmental positions, Science and
    Engineering etc key technical criteria will be
  • Experience in visitor management in the natural
  • Proficient internet skills and knowledge of
    online research principles.
  • Proven skills in molecular biology.
  • An understanding of the principles of
    communication and swallowing rehabilitation
  • Highly developed knowledge of primary health
    theory and practice and strategies of Ottawa
  • Sound understanding of biodiversity and
    ecological principles

Step by Step approach
  • Heres a 5-step model to follow when responding
    to selection criteria
  • Find out what skills the employer wants
  • Match the criteria to your set of skills
  • Draft and write your responses to the criteria
  • Polish the draft
  • Send it off.

One What are they looking for?
  • Read each criteria carefully, and underline each
    area of skills or experience indicated as being

Two Match the criteria to your skills set
  • Review each criterion in turn, note the
    experiences you have had that support your claims
    for the criterion.

  • Brainstorm specific examples that show how you
    meet the criterion. Refer to a variety of
    experiences, for example
  • Sporting clubs/team activities
  • Placements/work experience
  • Recreational activities
  • Previous employment
  • Volunteer work
  • Community activities
  • Fundraisers
  • Awards
  • Publications
  • Educational studies

  • Look for evidence of transferable skills and
    abilities. While you may have not carried out a
    particular duty, you may have performed similar
    work but in a different context (for example
    working in customer of service at Hungry Jacks
    may give you transferable communication skills
    that relate to liaising with corporate clients).

An example- your rough notes
  • Highly developed oral and written communication
  • Completed topic in communication skills at
  • Three years customer service experience at Coles
  • Delivered presentations to university clubs on X
  • University debating team (finals win)
  • Committee member AISEC (elected position)
  • Experience in the preparation of agendas and
  • Research and preparation of university
    assignments and reports.

Three Drafting and Writing
  • Start with a new document. You might like to use
    headings such as Responses to the Person
    Specification or "Statement Addressing Selection
  • Type out each of the criteria exactly as they are
    stated-you will need to address each criterion

  • Using each criterion as a separate heading write
    1-3 paragraphs underneath it outlining how you
    meet it. Respond to the criteria in the order in
    which they appear.
  • Explain how your study, work, and other
    activities have given you the knowledge, skills
    and experience that meet the criteria and provide
    proof through examples.
  • You will need to refine and hone your sentences
    over subsequent drafts.

An example
  • Highly developed oral and written communication
  • Through three years employment with Coles in
    customer service, I have gained valuable skills
    in oral communication. I have dealt effectively
    with the public, my work colleagues and
    supervisors. My understanding of the importance
    of excellent communication skills in the
    workplace has also been developed through
    studying the topic Business Communication.
    Whilst at University I was a member of the
    debating team and developed effective
    presentation skills as part of this activity. My
    public speaking skills have been further honed
    through delivering promotional presentations to
    University clubs about AISEC.
  • During my degree at university I have
    demonstrated effective written communication
    skills, which is reflected in my above average
    results (GPA of 6/7) in written assignments. I am
    experienced in preparing literature reviews,
    reports and writing proposals. In addition, in my
    role as a Committee member for Aisec, I was
    required to prepare agendas and minutes.

Some tips
  • Preface the examples you use with a short
    overview statement which clearly indicates that
    you meet the criterion, and which reflects your
    understanding of the relevance/importance of that
    specific criterion. For example, In preparing
    for any exhibition, working to a deadline is
    important, and this is a skill I have
    demonstrated on numerous occasions throughout my
    tertiary studies and tourism sector experience.

  • Give details of one or two specific things you've
    done that are good examples to show how you
    obtained the relevant experience or knowledge
    required. Mention duties, specific equipment you
    have used or procedures that you followed. For
    example 'I was responsible for organising a
    conference attended by 180 delegates. This
    involved ....'

  • Quantify your experience as appropriate, e.g.
    number of years of experience, a grade, number of
    staff supervised, etc. For example 'I am
    responsible for supervising the day-to-day work
    of five staff ....' I delivered a presentation
    to a community audience of 80 people.

  • Demonstrate your knowledge of a particular area
    by outlining key information you have learned.
    You might mention specific subjects studied, or
    research topics. For example, My experience and
    my reflection and learning through my experience
    has taught me that the most important factors in
    dealing with people with substance abuse are

  • Refer to you own attitude or philosophy in
    relation to a particular quality required. For
    example, As I believe good writing is a
    commitment to the discipline of good editing, I
    have adopted the routine of rigorously editing
    all my written work, especially items of
    particular importance. Another example, These
    roles have shown me the importance of recognising
    and promoting the talents that each person brings
    to the group, and the necessity to establish and
    maintain empathy with team members.

  • Where possible, indicate how successfully you
    meet the criterion. You could do this by
    referring to feedback you've received from
    others, or things you've set up that are still
    being used. For example 'A report I wrote about
    .... was well received by the .... Committee, and
    circulated as a discussion paper.'

  • Lets look at how you can go from your
    brainstormed notes to a polished response
  • Excellent written communication skills and the
    ability to write agendas and minutes.

  • Writing of university assignments-essays,
    reports-including recommendations, thesis of x
    thousand words, statistical reports, presenting
    graphical information, scientific/laboratory
  • Excellent results in assignments (cite GPA or
    overall Credit etc average)
  • Examples of any written communication required on
    placements/work experience (designing a pamphlet,
    casenotes, correspondence, program plans)

  • Actual experience in writing minutes and agendas
    (University Clubs and Societies, Community
  • Good results in
  • Try to edit everything-especially if important
  • Shorthand and Typing (although not a requirement
    in the selection criteria, you might add this,
    realising it would be useful).

  • I have been systematically trained in the art of
    writing assignments and reports during my
    tertiary and secondary education. As a result I
    have very good skills in written communication,
    demonstrated through constantly achieving
    excellent results in university assignments
    (maintained a credit/ distinction average).

  • As I believe the art of good writing is a
    commitment to the discipline of good editing, I
    have adopted the routine of rigorously editing
    all my written work, especially items of
    particular importance. This practice has further
    enhanced my writing ability by cultivating a
    greater consciousness of my strengths and
    weaknesses in written communication.
  • contd

  • As indicated in responses to earlier criteria,
    I am experienced in aspects of meeting
    procedures. At University I held the post of
    President of the Writing Club and secretary of
    the Debating Society. As a result I have
    considerable experience with the preparation of
    agendas and the accurate recording and writing up
    of minutes. I also have some shorthand skills
    from a course at XXX, and sound keyboard skills.

Four Polish
  • Polish the result.
  • Check for content-have you given the information
    that shows you are the best candidate for the
  • Proof read for grammar and spelling.

Five Send it off
  • Send what documentation has been requested and
    provide requested photocopies. Make sure you
    keep a copy for yourself!
  • Know the contents of your application. If you
    are called in for an interview you may be asked
    questions about the content of your application
    and reviewing your application is also good
    preparation for the interview.

Your job search
Where are the jobs?
  • Gradjobs email list
  • GradNews (Listing of current vacancies) available
    from careers website
  • Graduate Opportunities/Graduate Outlook
  • On the WWW links from the Careers and Liaison
    Centre homepage
  • SEEK campus/SEEK website
  • Website
  • Newspapers
  • Recruitment Agencies

Australian Public Service
  • Graduate Recruitment Programs
  • Departments now recruit independently advertise
  • Employ up to 500 graduates annually across all
    discipline areas
  • Minimum Bachelors degree, some require Honours
  • Some offer Graduate programs, others recruit on
    an as needs basis.
  • You may have to fill out an application form,
    provide a supporting statement, or respond to
    selection criteria.

Other Entry Points
  • Consider a variety of entry points
  • Administrative
  • Technical
  • Temporary positions
  • Respond to the Selection Criteria.
  • See handout Entry to the Australian Public
    Service for further details.

State Public Service
  • Graduate Recruitment Programs
  • The Office for the Commissioner for Public
    Employment organise the Graduate Recruitment
    Program (Supporting Statement required).
  • See Handout Entry to the South Australian Public
    Sector for further details.

State Public Service
  • Other entry points
  • Consider a variety of entry points into the
    public sector-temporary/contract/advertised
    permanent positons.
  • Check newspapers for advertised positions/some
    departments post vacancies on their website.
    Respond to the JPS/Selection Criteria (nearly all
    public sector vacancies will have one).
  • Check web sites. A good starting point is
  • Once you are employed in this sector you can
    apply for vacancies advertised in the Government

Local Government
  • Increasing role of local government
  • For example
  • Community Services
  • Housing Officer
  • Community development
  • Crime Prevention Officer
  • Environment Services, Library and information
  • Economic development
  • http//
  • http//
  • http//

Private sector organisations
  • Check out Graduate Programs-See Graduate
  • Register and use relevant recruitment sites
  • Apply directly (cold canvassing)
  • Network
  • Employment pages-newspapers and electronic

Community agencies
  • For example Community Health Centres, Child and
    Youth Health, Anglicare, Adelaide Central Mission
  • Positions advertised in the press
  • Voluntary work/experience important
  • Consider casual/part-time/temporary positions to
    gain experience
  • Network and approach agencies directly
  • Resource Community Services Directory

Cold canvassing employers
  • Write to prospective employers, and ask if there
    are any positions available.
  • Make sure you state in your letter why you would
    like to work for that particular organization.
  • Address the letter to a specific person, by name,
    (you can always ring up and ask the
    receptionist), include the persons proper title.
  • Always follow up with a phone call to discuss
    your application.

  • STEP 1 Identify Your Network
  • Identify and list anyone who could be a potential
    networking contact for you
  • STEP 2 Be Prepared
  • Know yourself, and what you have to offer
  • STEP 3 Contacting Your Contacts
  • Establish a positive and professional
  • STEP 4 Follow-up
  • Be sure to ask for names of new contacts from
    each person with whom you speak.
  • STEP 5 Keeping Good Records

  • Use our services until one year out from


Types Of Interviews
  • Informal Interviews
  • Usually unstructured- points of discussion based
    on your background
  • One-On-One / Two-On-One Interviews
  • Formal interview
  • Structured standard questions
  • Panel interviews
  • Could involve from three to seven interviewers
  • Telephone interviews
  • Interviews via Video Conferencing

  • Behaviour based interviews
  • Past behaviour used to predict future performance
  • The questions aim to elicit specific examples of
    how you have handled things in the past
  • Case Interviews
  • Used for consulting, finance and executive
    positions. They test your ability to analyse and
    solve problems, often of a business nature

  • Group Interview
  • The employer interviews a number of candidates at
    the same time
  • Determines how candidates interact with others
  • Remember that you do not need to dominate the
    group- in fact this can often disadvantage you
  • Some Employers use Assessment Centres

Before The Interview
  • Find out about
  • The interview and interviewer/s
  • The organisation
  • You

The Interviewer/Interviewers
  • How many will interview you?
  • What are their names/positions?
  • Where and when?
  • Instructions to candidates?
  • Structure and length of the interview

The Organisation
  • View web site, brochures, in-house magazines,
    annual reports
  • Talk informally with anyone you know in the
  • Ring up and ask for information/arrange a work

You - The Product
  • This will include
  • Knowledge of your skills, strengths and
  • Areas for development
  • Verbal summaries of your key accomplishments/skill
    s examples
  • Be prepared to tell the interviewer what you have
    to offer the organisation. What are the
    organisations needs?

Showcasing Your Skills
  • Identify the skills the employer is looking for
    and prepare an example of how you have
    demonstrated each one of them.

  • Review
  • Job advertisement and duty statement.
  • Your application and match your skills and
    experience against their criteria.
  • Degree details-you may be asked to discuss the
    content of your course, especially for technical
  • Prepare
  • Questions you want to ask the interviewer.
  • Practise
  • Practise answering likely questions.

Some Common Themes
  • Job qualifications (previous work experience,
    training, job related interests and career goals,
    extra-curricular experiences)
  • Aptitudes, abilities, skills and experience
  • Listening skills, oral communication and
    presentation skills

  • Adaptability, work standards, risk taking
  • Initiative, independence, creativity, energy
  • Ability and willingness to work and learn
  • Ability to work in teams, or without supervision
  • Goal orientation, leadership experience and

What To Take To the Interview
  • Pen and paper
  • Anything you have been specifically asked to
  • Photocopies of the more important documents
  • Portfolio

At The Interview Stage One Establish Rapport
  • Initial assessment of you - first impressions are
    vitally important.
  • Greet the receptionist courteously (they may be
    asked for their impression of you)
  • Smile and give a firm handshake
  • Acknowledge each person you are introduced to
  • Wait until you are offered a chair before sitting
    down and then sit in a socially acceptable
    manner. Dont slouch!

The interviewer/s may
  • Chat informally about the weather, how you
    travelled to the interview etc.
  • Explain structure of the interview, give brief
    details about the organisation/position
  • Aim to set you at your ease by asking open-ended
    questions to help you relax (For example Tell us
    about yourself/What do you know about our
    organisation? Why do you want to join our
    organisation?/What made you choose your major?
    What subjects did you enjoy most/least? Why?
  • The first stage of the interview can set the
    tone for the rest of the interview.

At The Interview Stage Two Getting The Facts
  • The interviewer/s focus on gathering information
    and assessing your
  • Intellectual ability,
  • Personal qualities,
  • Technical skills and
  • Achievements
  • They will not only focus on the content of your
    response, but also the way in which you deliver

What Are Your Weaknesses?
  • The interviewer is asking
  • What risk do we take in employing you?
  • What dont you know?
  • Can you motivate yourself?
  • Can you evaluate yourself?
  • Can you show what you are doing to

  • Dont say none!
  • Professional rather than personal weakness
  • A weakness that could be perceived as a strength.
  • The statement of weakness should indicate how you
    have worked to improve it.

Answering Questions
  • Pause for 2 or 3 seconds Consider responses
    before answering the question
  • Speak clearly. Avoid trailing off (you knowsort
    of), provide a definite closure to your
  • If you do not understand anything then ask for

  • You can pause before answering a difficult
    question (Can I have a moment to think about
  • Provide relevant examples of your skills
  • Volunteer information on your strengths
  • Do not answer questions with a simple yes or
  • Do not try to bluff.

Answering Interview Questions The STAR Method
  • Use the STAR method to answer probing questions
    and behavioural questions.
  • Can you tell us about a time when you had to gain
    the cooperation of a group over which you had
    little or no authority? What did you do and how
    effective were you?

  • We all miss deadlines from time to time. Can you
    give us an example of when you missed a deadline.
    What were the causes and how did you deal with
    the situation?
  • You can only answer these questions by providing
    specific examples of your experiences.
  • Its easier when you have thought about your
    examples BEFORE the interview.

STAR Method
  • ST for situation/task
  • A for action (what you did) and
  • R for result.

  • A brief example
  • Question Can you tell me about a time when you
    had to meet a deadline, what did you do?
  • Situation/Task Yes, last semester, my course
    required the submission of 5 pieces of work in
    the same week.

  • Action From the outset I developed a schedule
    which enabled me to allocate and better manage my
  • Result This meant I avoided a last minute rush,
    and I achieved good results-high credits for all

  • QuestionTell me about a time when you went out
    of your way to satisfy a customer.
  • Situation/Task I was working in the production
    department of a large publishing company. We
    received a letter from a nine-year-old girl who
    was unhappy because the gold design had worn off
    the cover of a book we had published. She wanted
    a refund. My boss gave the complaint to me to

  • Action I immediately requested a refund cheque
    from our accounting department. I also called
    our printer, who investigated and identified one
    run of books in which the covers had been
    improperly printed. I obtained a copy of the
    book with a properly printed cover and sent the
    book, the refund cheque and a personal letter to
    the girl, thanking her for pointing out the
    problem and apologising for the inconvenience.
  • ResultThe girls mother called to thank me for
    the response. She told me she would recommend
    our books to all her friends with children.

Example Of Interviewers Criteria From Deloittes
  • Tell me about a particular conflict you have had
    in a relationship with someone (preferably at
    work, university or a group you are involved
    with). How did you resolve the situation?
  • Assessment Focus on a scale of 1-6
  • Maintained an open mind
  • Worked through the issue
  • Acknowledged and understood the other persons
    point of view
  • Aware of their individual input
  • Stayed in the relationship to solve the situation

Situational Or Hypothetical Questions
  • Situational questions on the other hand ask you
    to describe how you would respond in a given
    situation, the underlying premise here being that
    people usually do what they say they will. For
  • If you were given a project to research what
    steps would you take to complete the task?
  • What would you do if you had an urgent deadline
    to meet, the telephone kept ringing, and you were
    suddenly asked to arrange a series of important
    meetings for your supervisor?

Philosophical Questions
  • Philosophical questions are used to try to find
    out your views on issues and are often used to
    determine how you will effectively fit into the
    workplace culture. For example
  • Social Justice- What is it?
  • How would you apply social justice principles,
    ideas and values to your work with indigenous

Scenario Questions
  • Many organisations may also give applicants a
    scenario to respond to. Often you will be given
    some time to prepare prior to the commencement of
    the interview. This may vary from ten minutes
    upwards. You may then be expected to present this
    scenario to a panel and you should expect some
    exploration of your response.

  • You are in charge of a factory, the major
    employer in a town of 25,000. The product of the
    factory is dangerous. There are two methods of
    disposing of the waste
  • 1. Convert to a less harmful product the company
    can sell - although there would still be impact
    upon the environment.
  • 2. Eliminate the by product completely. This is
    expensive and would force the company to close
    its operation in the town.
  • Environmentalists would like you to adopt the
    second option.
  • What would you recommend?

  • What would be your clinical priorities in the
    following case scenarios
  • 1. A male who repeatedly contacts the service
    threatening self harm
  • 2. A 20 year old female client, living with her
    parents, who has a first episode of psychosis
  • You are to conduct a tour of Fort Denison which
    commences at Cadmen Cottages in the Rocks and
    then travel by ferry to the fort. Your group has
    assembled. Tell us how you would start the tour.
    The first few minutes of the tour.

Questions About Issues
  • Australia has an aging population. What do you
    think are some of the issues that a department
    such as needs to consider when developing
    social welfare policy?
  • You are required to write a report about the
    recent riots at Woomera. How would you go about
  • Government departments often work in consultation
    with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander
    communities. Are there ways in which the 2 groups
    can improve their communication?

Closing The Interview
  • Candidate has the opportunity to ask questions.
  • May be asked if there is anything you would like
    to add.
  • Leave a final positive impression.
  • What will happen next and when. Find out when a
    decision is likely to be made.
  • Thank you.

Questions To Ask
  • How is the organisation dealing with current
    issues/trends and concerns in their area?
  • What expectations does your organisation have of
    new graduates in their first year of employment?
    How will I be evaluated?
  • I am interested in knowing more about the culture
    of your organisation. How would you describe the
    culture in your workplace?
  • How would you describe the future of this
    organisation? Where is it heading?
  • What opportunities for training/career
    advancement are there within your organisation?
  • Make sure you ask informed questions.

After The Interview
  • Review your interview performance
  • Learn from your interview experiences-build your
    performance for next time.

YOUR Body Language And The Job Interview
  • No more than 25 per cent of the message is
    conveyed by your words. The rest comes from your
    body language.
  • Alert posture
  • Good eye contact
  • Firm handshake
  • Smile
  • Voice/volume/rate of speech

The Panel Interview
  • The selection panel usually consists of 3 7
  • Panel members will usually take it in turns to
    ask questions.
  • Usually the panel members will take notes to help
    them recall details about you when making their

How Can I Best Present Myself?
  • Prepare as you would for any interview. Read the
    documentation about the position and prepare
    responses for the questions you may be asked.
  • Telephone beforehand and ask who is on the panel-
    their names and positions. You may then use this
    in your preparation.

  • On entering the interview room, greet each panel
    member in turn, using their names if possible.
    Smile. If you are comfortable doing so, shake
    hands with each person - this helps to establish
    contact and build rapport.
  • Use positive eye contact look at the selection
    panel. When one panel member asks you a question,
    dont respond to that person exclusively glance
    occasionally at the others on the panel as well
    rather than focussing only on one person. Start
    and finish your answer with the person that asked
    the question.

Secrets Of Success
  • Preparation
  • Enthusiasm
  • Sell yourself
  • Understand you do not know it all, but are
    prepared to learn
  • Develop a rapport with the interview panel
    (smile, nod your head, facilitate the process).
  • Show commitment to your beliefs and values
  • Tell of past successes
  • Let them know you want the job.

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At the Centre
  • Drop Ins for quick queries are held regularly
  • Job Seeking- Applications, Interviews, Networking
  • Individual appointments are available
  • Unsure of your options- make an appointment today
  • Call 8201 2832

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  • Tel 8201 2832
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