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Job interviews in New Zealand

Going for an interview in New Zealand might differ a little or a lot from interviews in your home country. Following the advice below should help you to prepare.

What will the interview be like?

Interviews in New Zealand can differ depending on the type of job and employer. Before you go to an interview, ask the employer what the interview will involve so that you can prepare yourself.

For example, you may want to ask how many people will interview you, or whether you will have to pass any selection tests.

Be prepared for a formal interview but remember the employer wants to get to know you, so having a joke or talking about non-work topics is fine.

Who will interview me?

Who will interview you will depend on what job you are applying for:

  • The number of people interviewing could range from one to three or four.
  • You could be interviewed by a member of the opposite sex.

How should I prepare?

Three people at a table interviewing a job applicant
Many organisations do panel interviews, where a few people take turns asking the questions

There's several things you can do to make a good impression when you go to an interview, such as dressing smartly and being on time. Preparing before you go to the interview can also help.

Practise answering interview questions with a friend.

  • Find out about the employer. Check if the employer/organisation has a website - this often has background information lets you find out more about what the employer or organisation does.
  • Use this knowledge to prepare some questions that you can ask the employer at the end of your interview.
  • Identify skills that may be needed in the job, then think of examples of when you have used these skills. What did you do and what was the outcome?
  • Be ready to highlight your skills and what you can do for the company.
  • Find out in advance where the interview will be held. Then you can plan your journey.

Tips for the interview

  • Be positive and friendly. The employer wants to find out if you will fit in with the organisation.
  • Show your knowledge of the employer's business.

Where can I get help with interviews?

  • In New Zealand, you are entitled to take a family member or friend along to a job interview for support.
  • If you would like to learn more about job interviewing and practice your skills, there are a variety of community organisations that can help you.