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
Image Credit: Shutterstock

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
Image Credit: Business Insider

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
Image Credit: Shutterstock

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
Image Credit: iStock

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).


10 Interesting Facts About the Museum of New Zealand

Because of its relatively young age (New Zealand is one of the last countries to have been “discovered” in written history), New Zealand’s past isn’t as extensively documented as that of its colonizers, for instance. Thankfully, however, that didn’t hinder the powers that be in this country from coming up with an institution as intriguing as the Museum of New Zealand.

The country’s eponymous museum is arguably its most innovative and interactive. If you were only in NZ for a limited time and wanted to visit an attraction that allowed you to explore all of its great treasures and stories (its unique natural environment, Maori culture, art heritage, and what we know of its history), Te Papa Tongarewa has your name on it.

To further entice you to put this venerable institution on your itinerary, here are ten of the coolest trivia about its past, present, and future:

1. The Museum of New Zealand was established in 1992 by the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongerawa Act.

However, it wasn’t officially opened until Valentine’s Day 1998. By then, building costs had gone all the way up to NZ$300 million.

2. It’s called “Te Papa Tongarewa” in the Maori tongue.

This broadly translates into “The Place of Treasures of this Land.” Given how the museum’s principles incorporate the narratives of culture and place, and how these relate to the bi-cultural partnership between indigenous and non-indigenous people, such a translation is quite appropriate.

3. A modern five-story hotel previously occupied the museum’s present-day site.

To make way for the museum, the said hotel was pulled off its foundations onto numerous rail bogies and transported 200 meters down the road to where it currently sits. It’s now called the Museum Hotel.

4. Among the permanent displays of the museum are the remains of a colossal squid.

the remains of a colossal squid
Image Credit: Te Papa Store

At 495 kg and 4.2 metres, this rare specimen is the largest of its kind to have been captured in living memory. It was captured by New Zealand fishermen in the Ross Sea off Antarctica and was subsequently enshrined in the the museum in 2007.

5. Back in 1998, a controversial art work displayed at the museum drew vehement protests from Christians.

Virgin in a Condom
Image Credit: stuff.co.nz

It was Tania Kovats’ “Virgin in a Condom,” and it featured a 7 cm-high statue of the Blessed Virgin sheathed in, well, a condom. The Christians hated it, big surprise.

6. There is an extensive library on Maori art and history on the fourth floor of the museum’s main building.

Te Papa Tongarewa Library
Image Credit: Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa

Called the Te Aka Matua Library, it used to be open to the general public. These days, it’s only open to researchers who can make appointments to conduct their studies within between 10 am to 5 pm, from Mondays to Fridays.

7. The museum’s history collection includes dresses and textiles that date all the way back to the sixteenth century.

Philatelics (i.e., those who like to collect stamps) will also be delighted by the 20,000 stamps in the New Zealand Post Archive in this area.

8. Since 2013, the museum has been split into two parts.

Te Papa Tongarewa split in to two
Image Credit: Stumbling Through the Past

One has been operating the same way ever since the institution opened, and the other one focused on exhibitions that showcased the future of New Zealand art and culture.

9. NZ-developed technology was used to strengthen the main building’s base against earthquakes.

Base isolation, which involves seating the entire building on supports made from lead, steel, and rubber, was invoked to diminish the effects of an earthquake on the museum and all of its precious contents.

10. The Museum of New Zealand maintains an active events calendar.

Nga Kai o Matariki
Image Credit: Auckland Council

For instance, this month alone, they’ve got the “Nga Kai o Matariki,” which celebrates traditional Maori New year cuisine; “Tiramarama,” a storytelling session involving some of Aotearoa New Zealand’s best-known tales in both Maori and English; and “Theatre: Fire in the Water, Fire in the Sky,” where three Pasifika performers interpret concepts like climate change, colonization, and Christianity through theater and dance.

The Museum of New Zealand is located at 55 Cable Street, Wellington Central, Wellington, 6011, New Zealand. Entry is free of charge and save for Christmas Day, is open every day from 10 am – 6 pm.

Applying for Your New Zealand Skilled Migrant Visa 101

One of the most popular ways for Filipinos to migrate to foreign countries is via the Skilled Migrant Visa. The thing with many Westernized nations is that they have a distinct lack of skilled manual workers (probably because a college diploma and a white-collar job with a fancy title are considered more aspirational in their societies).

New Zealand is no exception.

So, how do you cash in on the hype? Most importantly, how would you know if you’re eligible for New Zealand’s Skilled Migrant Visa? And if you are, how do you go about things?

Read on and find out.

What Does the Skilled Migrant Visa Allow Me to Do?

New Zealand’s Skilled Migrant Visa
Image Credit: BigStock

This visa enables you to live, work, and study in New Zealand. It also allows you to include your partner as well as any dependent children under the age of 24 in your residence application.

What Are the Requirements?

Generally, those who are aged 55 or younger and whose skills are aligned with the ones New Zealand has a shortage of are the best candidates for this visa. The country has separate lists of in-demand skills for both the immediate future and for the long term, and you can type in your occupation into this database to find out if yours is one of them.

Do note that the New Zealand government refers to a point-based system to assess expressions of interest or EOI’s (more on this later).

New Zealand government refers to a point-based system
Image Credit: Otago Daily Times

Those whose EOI’s have 160 points or more usually end up moving forward.

The more items on this list that apply to you, the more points your EOI can garner. Having been offered skill employment in New Zealand, currently working as a skilled worker in New Zealand, possessing a recognized qualification for your skill set, having close family living in the country, and being with a partner who speaks English at the same level you’re required to can all merit you additional points.

How Do You Apply?

First, check if you meet the requirements (see above.)

Next, submit your expression of interest (EOI) online here. You will need to create an account to be able to do this, but the link for that is also provided on the previously-mentioned URL. While waiting for feedback, you can also check New Zealand Immigration’s Guide to Fees online.

If your EOI scores at least 160 points, you’ll most likely be selected to continue with the application. You’ll receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) if this is the case.

selected to continue with the application
Image Credit: Visas Avenue Blog

You should also receive a form for resident application along with your ITA. This needs to be submitted along with the complete requirements within six months. Refer to the Fees Guide mentioned earlier for the necessary accompanying payments.

The final step, if your application was successful, is to receive your visa. Once approved, you should be issued either a resident visa or a job search visa.

What are the Common Mistakes to Avoid?

To have a more accurate picture of how many points your EOI should get, steer clear of the following application errors:

1. Listing qualifications that may not be recognized.

If your qualifications haven’t been certified in New Zealand, you may want to have them assessed by the International Qualifications Assessment (IQA). They’ll give you a Recognition Statement after the assessment, and you can use it for immigration purposes.

Not doing otherwise may result in your listed qualifications being disregarded and thus not bagging you any points on your application.

2. Citing irrelevant work experience.

Points for work experience are only credited if it applies to the same field as the job being offered to you or to your declared qualification. For instance, having worked on a renovation project for a church will get you points if you’re applying as a construction worker, but not if you’re doing the same for a healthcare position. (Duh.)

As a parting note, be sure not to confuse the Skilled Migrant Visa with the Entrepreneur Resident Visa. The former is best for those who intend to work for a company or for an individual, but if you plan on being self-employed (e.g., a freelance plumber or construction worker), the latter is probably more suitable.

4 Ways to Nab a Job in New Zealand

Wanderlust doesn’t come cheap. To be able to travel as often as you would have your Instagram followers believe, you must either be a.) an heir or heiress with a humongous trust fund, b.) a Kardashian/Jenner/”social climber/influencer” (Ugh), c.) someone who can find a job anywhere to pay for their trips.

So, unless you’re part of the privileged 1% (or are really, really good at taking selfies and thus qualifying as a “social influencer”), Option C is pretty much your only choice.

Let’s say you wouldn’t wanted to spend an entire summer backpacking around New Zealand. What are the ways in which you can quickly find a part-time job to help fund your adventures?

1. Join a job recruitment agency.

Join a job recruitment agency

These agencies usually get a heads-up on job openings long before these hit the newspapers or the Internet, if they do at all. Also, signing up with them is usually free, so while it’s not the most foolproof way to get a job, you’ve also got nothing to lose by having this option in your arsenal.

It should also be noted that while the primary duty of a recruitment agency is to match you up with a prospective employer, your chances of getting a job still rely heavily on your CV and how well you do during the interview.

2. Browse the newspapers, bulletins, and job boards.

Browse the newspapers, bulletins, and job boards
Image Credit: 123rf

A bulletin is basically a magazine with short news stories and classified ads, and you can get one of these as well as the local newspaper at any convenience store. Ask around as to when these dailies are released so you can be among the first to apply for the job openings advertised within them.

New Zealand still makes use of notice boards, and your hostel might have one that displays local job openings, so be sure to ask the receptionist if they’ve got one.

3. Apply for jobs online.

Apply for jobs online
Image Credit: Alamy

This is perhaps the easiest option since you can do this anywhere so long as you have a good wi-fi signal. You can even get started with the application process before you even get on the plane.

Provided that your CV and preliminary communication with prospective employers kick a**, it’ll take even less time for you to land a job since you’ll just have to attend interviews upon arrival.

Do note, however, that there’s likely to be more competition in busier towns like Auckland or Wellington, so you better get cracking once you’ve booked your ticket. Try visiting sites like TradeMe, SEEK, or Seasonal Jobs for a start.

4. Approach employers face-to-face.

Approach employers face-to-face
Image Credit: Getty Images

A proactive confidence and a go-getter attitude are highly-prized traits among New Zealand’s employers.

Here’s how you can demonstrate such: once you’ve settled in, print out a few copies of your CV and take a walk around town. Go inside supermarkets, hotels, and other similar establishments you could see yourself working in, ask for the manager, and inquire about any job openings open to tourists or backpackers.

If they answer in the affirmative, introduce yourself and submit a  copy of your CV.

You may not hit pay dirt on your first try, but this is still arguably the best way to get employment in New Zealand, so long as you remain persistent.

It goes without saying that you should have a working holiday visa in place before you embark on a job search, lest you find your trip abruptly cut short (i.e., because working illegally can get you deported).

Good luck!

A Quick Guide for Filipinos Moving to New Zealand

Visiting other countries while on vacation is one thing. Moving abroad to actually live there is another thing entirely.

In the first scenario, the novelty is all part of the fun. You’ll marvel at how differently everyone sounds (even when they appear to be speaking English), rejoice in the colder climate, and perhaps even find amusement in exploring local transportation.

In the second scenario, however, the unfamiliar can quickly turn terrifying. Those quaint accents won’t be so endearing when they get in the way of your understanding directions or workplace instructions, all that powdery white winter snow will only mean that you have to spend the morning shoveling it off your car and the driveway while you freeze your butt off, and you’ll have to figure out public transportation routes quickly lest you show up late to work a little too often.

This is not to discourage you from migrating, of course. There will always be a period of adjustment when you’re trying something new, and the key to getting through it successfully is knowing what to expect.

Say, you’ve decided to move to New Zealand. What sort of things should you watch out for?


Image Credit: Shutterstock

English remains to be the predominant language in New Zealand, but the Kiwi accent can take some getting used to. It’s quite different from the way Americans speak, but it’ll sound familiar if you’ve lived in Australia for some time before crossing the Tasman.

New Zealanders also tend to speak quite fast, so you may find them hard to understand if your own grasp of the English language isn’t too solid yet and/or you’re not used to the Kiwi accent.

Fortunately, the Kiwi’s are usually friendly and obliging if you politely ask them to slow down or to repeat what they’ve just said. Brushing up on your study of the English language also helps, and you can perhaps try to listen to local podcasts to get familiar with the accent.



The weather in New Zealand is generally mild, but as with Australia, its citizens experience all four seasons, but they occur in reverse order.

Winter, for example, lasts from June to August, and whether you get snow or not depends on which part of the country you live in. The landscape then changes from white to a lovely burnt orange, courtesy of autumn, which graces the country from March till May.

Spring usually arrives around September, and Mother Nature remains in full bloom until December, which typically marks the beginning of the summer season.

Thus, you may want to stock your wardrobe with coats, jackets, and thermal wear to prepare for the fluctuations in temperature.


New Zealand Farmland Square
Image Credit: Natural Habitat Adventures

The local population has a deep love and respect for nature, and New Zealand’s iconic scenery can be glimpsed everywhere, even in the country’s biggest cities.

In the midst of so much natural beauty, it’s not surprising that much of the recreational activities in this country are done outside. From hiking to skiing, adrenaline junkieswill have no shortage of new hobbies to explore.

However, do be warned that littering is frowned upon as it’s bad for the environment. Last I checked, New Zealand’s parliament was even proposing a fine of NZ$1,000 for anyone who gets caught littering. Yikes. Best keep litter in your pockets till you come across a garbage bin then.


Employment in New Zealand
Image Credit: New Zealand Now

Salaries are generally good in this country, and employment opportunities for expats are quite diverse. Part-time jobs in the healthcare industry are a popular choice for many migrants who are also trying to get a degree or are in the process of applying for a citizenship.

Fields like forestry, fishing, and construction have the highest demand for skilled labor, so if you’ve got skills and/or an education that would prove useful in any of those industries, you’re likely to find a job faster.


Transportation in New Zealand

If you choose to settle in big cities like Auckland or Wellington, you’ll have access to a comprehensive rail system, so you may not need a car to get around.

Not so in the more remote areas, however. Some of the smaller cities have buses servicing the local populace, but driving your own car remains to be the most convenient mode of transportation. However, traffic jams are uncommon and are usually found only in big cities during rush hour.

And, of course, there’s always the bicycle. When you live in a country this clean and safe, getting to and from work and school on a bike actually sounds appealing, doesn’t it?


Culture in New Zealand

NZ culture is arguably one of the best things about this country. Corruption and discrimination aren’t the norm here, and Kiwi’s have a reputation for being open-minded and friendly.

This also extends to their business culture, which is more informal than those in other Western countries (though basic courtesy is still practiced and valued).

The Maori heritage is also a crucial part of the country’s culture, with many Maori words finding their way into everyday conversations, so you may want to familiarize yourself with what they mean and how they are pronounced.

See? Moving over to New Zealand might call for some changes in your lifestyle, but that’s nothing compared to what you’d be getting in return: a naturally beautiful, politically and economically stable new homeland that’s arguably more accepting of outsiders than any other place in the world.