Career Testing
Career Testing
Career Testing
INTERVIEWS / APR. 18, 2015
version 4, draft 4

What to Expect in a Job Interview in Australia


There’s no set interview format in Australia and the process is much the same as in the UK. You could be interviewed by a formal panel or informally by an individual, and there may be assessment centres or skills tests, too. You could be requested to attend several interviews with different groups of people before you’re offered a position. 

As with interviews the world over, preparation is the key to success. Research the company and the role thoroughly; be clear on what you are going to say to explain how well you would fit into the organisation’s culture, and stress how much value you would bring to the role.

Many Australian companies run football tipping competitions and encourage social activities like after-work drinks, etc. These activities form an important part of the Aussie workplace culture – be prepared to get involved and join in.

It can be helpful to get as much experience as you can while you are going for job interviews. Voluntary work in your profession or field is a good way of finding out about what it’s like to work in Australia.

See also: The Top 10 Highest Paid Jobs in Australia

Interview questions – what to expect

In addition to the usual standard interview questions you’ll be asked, there will probably be some aimed specifically at you as an overseas applicant. Here are a few common interview questions asked by Australian recruiters of expat candidates together with appropriate responses.

Do you have any Australian work experience?

This is a common question and one that you can prepare for. Be sure to tell the interviewer about the research you’ve carried out into the industry, and give details of any voluntary work you’ve done. Describe how much you’ve learned about the Australian work ethic and emphasise that you’re willing to undertake additional training in your free time. Explain that you realise you might have to begin your career at a lower level; your intention is to achieve promotion within the next couple of years.

Do you have any contacts here in Australia?

This is a favourite question for business development or sales roles. Explain the strategies you’ve employed previously to build up a network of contacts. Mention the recommendations you’ve received on your LinkedIn profile, and explain that you’ve already found a mentor in Australia to help you develop a new network of industry contacts.

Do you have any Australian referees?

This is an important question as it demonstrates to the recruiter that you’ve been proactive since arriving in Australia and have made an effort to integrate into your local community. Explain that you’ve met a variety of people through your voluntary work and also socially. Offer to provide the recruiter with details of these contacts together with any referees you have in your home country who you know would vouch for you.

What are your salary expectations?

This can be a tricky question for an immigrant to answer as the rate you can expect to command will be commensurate with the market rate for your particular field of expertise in Australia, and that could be different from the salary you could expect at home.

Research is critical here. Find out what an Australian applicant with similar qualifications and experience could expect to earn in the role you’re applying for. This may be more or less what you were earning in your home country, but it’s what you can expect to be offered in Australia. Make it clear to the interviewer that you are seeking the current Australian market rate for the position, and that you are aware of what that figure is.

See also: Top 10 Largest Companies in Australia

Although the format for job interviews in Australia is similar to what you’d expect at home, some of the key questions will focus on the fact that you’re not an Aussie national. Be prepared for these curveball questions, have the right answers ready, and you’re halfway to success!

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