How to nail an interview

If you’re an individual semi-finalist, in three weeks, you’ll be sitting in front of your judging panel at the Semi-finalist Judging Day.

Here are five tips to help you steady the nerves and nail your interview.

1. Be prepared

Knowing your stuff!

  • You know that your interview questions are going to be based on the selection criteria for your category. Read through your application over the next few weeks, know what you’ve already told the judging panel and how you can expand on that. Read through the selection criteria again and think about anything you’ve achieved since you submitted your application or other examples you hadn’t put in.
  • You also have a list of sample questions in your interview preparation pack that you can practise with. Write up some responses to the sample questions and practice them out aloud a few times. Get family, friends or colleagues to practice with you.
  • Student semi-finalists have access to a mentor to assist you – get in contact with them to help you prepare, practice and put the polish on your interview.
  • Bring your notes – if there are a few points you don’t want to forget, write them down and bring them with you.
Book and highlighters

If you prepare for your interview questons, you’ll be great on interview day!

Being prepared for your interview is not just about the questions you’ll be asked, it’s also about the logistics.

  • Know how to get there – look up the location at least the day before. If you’re driving, be realistic about how long it will take you to get there. Plan where you’re going to park. If you’re taking the train – know what time you need to be at the station so you arrive on time for your interview.
  • What are you going to wear? Make sure you’ve picked your outfit the day before so you’re not going through your wardrobe on interview day trying to decide.

If you plan all of these things in advance, you’ll be much calmer and clear-headed going into your interview.

2. Be relevant

Make sure you are answering the question that is asked of you, not trailing off on a tangent. Think about it in the context of your award category and your training pathway. All the questions are relative to the selection criteria and they aim to help the judging panel discover who the best ambassador for training is in your category.

3. Use positive body language

The panel want to see your confidence, that you have what it takes to be an ambassador for training in Western Australia. You can show them through simple positive body language.

  • Pay attention to your posture – sit up straight with pride in your achievements.
  • Try not to fidget – don’t stress, the panel expects you may be a little nervous but take a few deep breaths and try to relax your fingers and knees; these seem to be the fidgety culprits in interviews.
  • Make eye contact with your panel – look at the panel members when you’re answering your interview questions to establish a connection with each of them.
  • Uncross those arms – crossed arms are a standard defence mechanism and a form of comfort when you’re feeling under pressure. In this interview you have nothing to be defensive about. The judges want you to succeed and they’re privileged to have the opportunity to hear your story. So uncross those arms and let the panel see you.

4. Know your story

At your interview, you want to stand out from the rest. What’s your training story? What makes you different to the other semi-finalists? How has your training made an impact on your life? Why is it that you do what you do? Do you have a mission? What do you want to leave the judges thinking about when you walk out of the interview room.

This is the easiest part of all because there’s no wrong way to do it. No one knows your story better than you do so go in there and tell it!

5. Be yourself

The most important thing you can do in any interview is to be yourself. Show the panel who you really are. Don’t show them what you think they want to see or tell them what you think they want to hear. Just be yourself. Remember you’ve been chosen for a reason, think about what that might be and let it shine.

If you have any questions about the Semi-finalist Judging Day, don’t hesitate to contact us by telephone on 6551 5608 or email at trainingawards@dtwd.wa.gov.au.

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