5 Key Tips for Nailing a Job Interview in New Zealand

Whether you’re migrating to New Zealand or are simply spending a year backpacking around the country, finding a job is usually the first thing on your to-do list, right? (If not, it should be, mate.)

We’ve already released a blog on the myriad ways you can seek employment in NZ, but all that effort will be for naught if you don’t nail the final job interview.

Oh, and it’s not just about being good with the English language (for one, the Kiwi accent will make you reconsider that assessment) either. There are quite a few small but significant things NZ employers look for in prospective employees, and here’s how you can demonstrate such:

1. Do your homework.

Do your homework
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You should try to research a bit about the company you’re applying at, and this goes for any job-hunting endeavors anywhere in the world.

Knowing a little bit about your prospective employer’s company will not only enable you to give better-suited answers, but it will also help you come up with good questions for your interviewer instead of just sitting there like a lemon at the end of the interview.

On a more practical note, you may also want to draw up questions about the job on offer. In case these don’t get answered over the course of the interview, feel free to bring them up at the end. It shows gumption, which is always impressive.

2. Bring your papers.

bring your papers
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Did you know that New Zealand employers actually hire job applicants on the spot? When that happens, you want to exhibit initiative and foresight by having your papers ready.

Which documents should you have on hand? For starters, you need your Inland Revenue Department (IRD) number, your passport, a couple copies of your CV, and your bank account number.

Don’t hand in your papers until they hire you, though. You wouldn’t want to come off as too cocky!

3. Show up to the right place and at the right time.

Show up to the right place and at the right time
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We Filipinos are used to having job interviews at the actual workplace, but it isn’t uncommon for NZ employers to invite you to a cafe or bar either. If the latter’s the case, look up the address on Google maps and figure out your route so you don’t get lost on the day of the interview.

Aim to arrive about ten minutes before you’re due to begin so you can settle down a bit and be more relaxed.

4. Keep things real.

Keep things real
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It might be tempting to talk up your past achievements when prompted, but it’s best to be more low-key about things.

Most NZ employers would prefer it if you conducted yourself as though you were sharing past work experiences with a friend, so don’t approach the interview like a sales pitch that you need to BS your way through.

Remember that an honest, straightforward demeanor goes a long way in NZ.

5. Follow up.

Follow up

Quick, how do you make it so that your interviewer remembers you out of all the candidates that day?

In New Zealand, it’s quite simple: send a short follow-up email to your interviewer within 24 hours after you meet with them. Something like “It was great meeting you this afternoon” along with something relevant is enough to remind them that you exist.

So, you see, while what you say is important, job interviews are really more about an employer sizing you up through non-verbal cues and gestures as these things can reveal more about a person than their CV ever can.

Do take comfort in the fact that Kiwi employers are known to value character and a good attitude over a lengthy resume (skills can be taught after all).