What not to do at your interview

We assume a lot of this is common sense, however you would be surprised how often people get it wrong. The interview is not only for the employer. The interview is also for you to learn about the position and see if it really is for you. You never get a 2nd chance to make a first impression.

  • Don’t be late for the interview and if for some reason you are, call ahead and explain your situation. This is common professional courtesy
  • Plan your time to arrive early and compose yourself before the interview
  • Not doing your research – don’t tell them you haven’t had time or hadn’t got to finding out about the company.
  • Check your social media or answer texts whilst in an interview
  • Blame others for your mistakes or lack of career progression
  • Forget to make eye contact and smile
  • Consider body language – crossing your arms says a lot and it’s not positive
  • Coming across as an arrogant ‘know it all’
  • Speak negatively about your current employer
  • Getting too familiar
  • Swearing and using inappropriate language (even if the person interviewing you does this)

Don’t forget to follow up

The secrets to effectively negotiating your salary to the max

If you’re job-hunting, don’t start sweating when an interviewer asks how much you would like to get paid. Be aware that salary talk might come up during your interview, so make sure you’re prepared.

Just keep these five tips from Jim Hopkinson, author of Salary Tutor: Learn the Salary Negotiation Secrets No One Ever Taught You, in mind, and you’re good to go!

  • Defer all specific salary talk until you know that they want you for the job. That means evading salary questions on job applications (write “negotiable”) and during initial screening interviews (stress the need to learn more about the position first).
  • As a job seeker, you should never be the person who brings up salary first.
  • Once the salary question does come up, use the ‘Right Back at Ya’ method to put the ball back in their court.
  • Use effective pauses in the conversation, as people tend to speak to fill the silence and may divulge important information in the process.
  • There is more to a job than just salary. Remember that other benefits may also be negotiable — a better title, more vacation, flexitime, bonuses, education reimbursement, and paid travel to conferences.
  • Remember, salary negotiation at the start of your new job is very important, because it will affect your future earnings. One of the main reasons why women earn less than men is because they don’t negotiate at the start of their new job. Keep these tips in mind when you’re interviewing!

Managing multiple offers

If you are lucky enough to get offered multiple jobs at once, then it’s decision time but a good problem for you to have. Many people will take an offer immediately in fear that another won’t come along in the near future.

You need to stay confident and realise your worth when it comes to deciding on a role or negotiating better pay or benefits. What are you worth?  The salary, benefits and job title are all important but even more important is the answer to the question “Will I thrive in this job? Will I love it?

Most of us have taken jobs just for the money before so consider other areas, not just the money. Take some time to make a list of the pro’s & cons of each:

  • Job title > does it sound more senior or like a promotion?
  • Job description > will you enjoy the role as it is described?
  • Is there room for advancement?
  • Can you live comfortably on the base salary?
  • Is there potential for bonuses or commissions
  • Is there long-term career growth?
  • How far do you need to commute?
  • Do you think you will get along with your boss and team mates?
  • What are your work hours and is their flexibility?
  • Do you fit with the company culture?
  • What are the other employee benefits?
  • Are you confident in the CEO and leadership team?


One fail safe method if you cannot decide is to go with your gut instinct. What feels like the right decision?

Negotiating – Things to consider when you get a job offer

If you’ve been offered a new role take some time to consider if it is the right fit for you. Start with asking these questions.

  1. Will you make more money? (Are you sure?)

Money isn’t everything, but you need to ensure you won’t be worried about money by taking the new role. That will just add pressure and will spoil your enjoyment. Consider other compensation outside of your salary such as expenses, super, health premiums or other contributions.

  1. What are you giving up by leaving?

There are probably some things you like about your current role, not everyone hates a job because they are thinking of leaving it. Consider the pros and cons of leaving and staying before you make up your mind.

  1. Is there room for growth in your new position?

Most people don’t love changing jobs all the time but consider if the new role is future proof. Will it provide you with new challenges and allow you to learn new skills? Ideally, it will come with the possibility of growing into another, higher position at the same company.

  1. Does the corporate culture feel comfortable for you?

Everyone is different, and the culture of a company plays a big factor in how long you might stay. If possible, ask to take a tour of the office during your interview process. Pay close attention to the physical space, noise level, demeanour and behaviour of the staff, etc. Do you see yourself working well there, and feeling comfortable?

  1. Do you respect the people you’ve met so far?

You can’t tell everything about your future co-workers by what you see during your interview, but you can get a general vibe of what kind of personality shines at the company. Do you think you would like working with these people?

  1. Will you learn something new?

There’s no way to be 100% sure that you’ll love your new job, but if you can learn a new skill while you’re there, you’ll have moved the needle on your career, no matter what.

  1. If you had to get a new job next year, would it be easier or harder than it is right now?

Let’s say the worst happens, and you hate your new job. Will moving to this new position put you in a better or worse place than you’re in right now? Ideally, you’re leaving your current role in order to move to a situation in which you’ll gain experience, knowledge, skills, and a positive brand association that will help you in your career long after you’ve left your next job.

  1. Why do people leave jobs at your prospective employer?

Find out why people genuinely leave the company. You don’t want to find out that people hate working there and don’t last long or the boss is a total tyrant. If you want to know whether you’ll be happy and successful at a job, look at the folks who left.

  1. How’s the company doing?

Do your due diligence before accepting an offer. If the company is public, you may be able to glean some information on their financial stability from public filings and reports. You can also dig up some information with a simple Google search and perusal of their social media mentions. This will give you a sense of whether there might be trouble ahead.

  1. Where will you go after this job is done?

Make sure that your next step leads in the right direction. Careers can and do zigzag, but you need to be able to keep moving.

Top 10 interview questions to make you stand out

So, you’ve landed the interview, now you need to make an impression. If you want to stand out you need to be prepared which can help you make an impression.


  1. What is the top priority for the person in this position over the next three months? This shows initiative and preparedness and makes a great impression as it is focused on outcomes of the role.
  2. What is the single largest problem facing your team right now and would I be in a position to solve it? This encourages the interviewer to envision you already working in the job. It also set you up as someone whom can be counted on.
  3. Does the company offer additional training or continuing education? Shows you are interested in expanding your knowledge and grow with the company.
  4. Can you walk me through a typical day at (company name)? – shows that you are already planning your first day on the job. It also shows that you want to learn as much about the job as possible, which usually separates you from other candidates.
  5. What would make someone successful in this position? – shows that you are willing to raise the bar and exceed expectations. You are ready to succeed on this job.
  6. Where do you see the company heading in the next 5 – 10 years? – It shows that you are looking for a long-term career with the company.
  7. What is the next step in the hiring process? Always ask this question even if you know the process already. It shows your eagerness to prepare and it’s the best way to finish the interview.
  8. What are the company’s values? What characteristics do you look for in employees in order to represent those values? This allows you to get insight into what is most important for the company as a whole, and what it values in the individuals who work there.
  9. Who will I be working most closely with? This will help you get a better sense of the dynamics of who your collaborators will be. Jot down names, ask for titles.
  10. Is there anything about my background or resume that makes you question whether I am a good fit for this role? This shows that you’re highly invested in the job and committed to understanding your prospects as a candidate. Plus, it will also allow you an opportunity to respond to any potential concerns.

Top 5 CV failures & outdated resume rules

Having read thousands of CV’s over the years, our team are quickly able to cut through the fluff to get to the gold on a resume. Let me share the biggest fails with you here:


Be specific and succinct. What does “proven track record of success” mean? Tell me specifically what has made you successful in various roles


Have a summary but make it stand out. Look at these two examples and tell me which is more effective?


Summary One: Results-oriented PR Manager with a bottom-line orientation and proven track record of success.

Summary Two: I got hooked on PR when I was assigned to write business stories for my college newspaper. Since then I’ve helped my employers get exposure on CNN, the Wall Street Journal and a long list of other major media outlets.

Don’t list tasks and duties you performed at every past job. Tell us what you achieved, specifically.

You don’t need to list your past jobs in reverse chronological order with no explanation of why you moved from one job to the next. We want to understand your career path, so we can determine if the role will be a right fit for where you want to go

Be human – we are not robots, and neither are you! You can balance being conversational and human with being professional throughout if.

The new rules of CV’s

The world of job searching is changing fast and writing your CV is no exception. Recruiters and employers are time poor, so your goal should be to stand and get to the point. We don’t want to read pages of waffle. Get to the point and limit your CV to 2-3 pages with the most relevant and important information on page 1


These new rules now apply:

  • Design matters – A good resume design is eye catching, simple and clean, that sets it apart from every other resume out there.
  • Put the juicy parts at the top – just like a website the top third of your resume is valuable real estate, so make it count
  • Make it easy to read – break up heavy text with bullet points and a mix of paragraphs. List hard skills higher so these are prominent.
  • Beat the bots – ATS systems are trained to scan vertically, so resumes that are aligned down the centre are a safe bet. Also ensure you include some of the keywords listed in the job description
  • Be selective – you don’t need to put your entire career history on your CV. Put roles that are relevant. We don’t care where you worked in high school.
  • Your online CV aka: your LinkedIn profile is the ‘go to’ starting point for many recruiters so make sure it reflects your skills, the outcomes you have achieved and your expertise in your industry.

And very importantly, don’t forget to run a spell check

Get your mindset right

The mind is a very powerful tool and having a positive mindset is essential when you are job hunting. When you are stressed or anxious about your job search, it can be difficult to keep that positive mindset, but remember to focus on the end goal or outcome which is finding a new role.

Setbacks are an inevitable part of life, and it’s often said that your happiness is largely dependent upon how you respond to these real-life situation. This is especially true when searching for a job, where you are often faced with a great many rejections before you even get an interview, let alone an offer.

If you have a timeline due to a funding, relocation or other circumstances, focus your job search and allocate more time to actively looking. To help accelerate the process, work with a specialist recruiter who will have connections and relationships that can mean an ideal placement, much sooner.

If you feel like you are becoming demotivated and despondent about finding a job, you need to get your mindset back on track. This is when you need to do some happiness exercises. Start with things that make you happy. Here are some suggestions:


  • Go for a walk or run
  • Read books
  • Watch inspiration movies
  • Sit in a park and watch the world go
  • Play an instrument
  • Visit a friend
  • Talk to your mum or a friend on the phone
  • Re-read past positive testimonials or references about you
  • Find a free online course and do that
  • Spend time on your favourite hobby
  • Drive somewhere for the day and explore
  • Eat chocolate


Data shows that positive thinking is the most powerful energy for creation, so the first step in achieving the perfect job match starts with your mind. Don’t hold onto the negatively from previous bad experiences

Remember everyone has had times when they were out of work or looking for a job. When you are feeling a bit blue, you MUST keep a positive mindset so do whatever you can to make that happen.