Ace your New Zealand job interview

/ / Working in New Zealand

new zealand job interviewYou’ll be forgiven for being extra nervous for your New Zealand job interview.

First off, a job is the key that’ll unlock your dream of living in ‘The Land of the Long White Cloud’. Secondly, you have no idea what to expect of an interview with an international employer.

You don’t have to be half as nervous though! All you have to do is be well prepared.

Yes, this includes answers to common interview questions, but what we really mean is preparing for the type of interviews you can expect:

  • Skype
  • Telephone
  • In person

You don’t have to go far to find out what you should do. We’ve done all the research for you! Let’s get to it:


  • Don’t make excuses. If you express reluctance to do a Skype interview, for whatever reason, you’ve already failed the first interview question. Don’t have a good connection? Do the interview from a friend’s house. Don’t have a laptop? Borrow one. Do whatever it takes to make this interview happen.
  • Dress up. You’ll make a huge mistake if you treat a Skype interview as an informal affair. It’s still a formal job interview, so look neat and presentable.
  • Set up ahead of time. Download, install and test Skype well before your interview is scheduled. Set up your camera so that your face is nicely framed, test your microphone and check the lighting.
  • Prepare the room. This is not a Skype call to a friend! The interviewer does not want to see your bed, an overflowing washing basket or scattered toys. Sit at a desk or table with a clean background behind you. Make it either a wall or hang a sheet in white or cream behind you.
  • Eliminate distractions. Turn off your cell phone, lock the door to the room you’re using, tell family or housemates to not bother you, log out of Facebook, Twitter and any other apps that send notifications.
  • Make eye contact. Look straight into your computer camera when speaking, while glancing intermittently at the monitor to mimic a face-to-face conversation.
  • Positive body language. You already know to make eye contact. Now also lean forward a bit from time to time and nod in the right places. This will show your interviewer that you are listening to what’s being said.
  • Handle technical glitches with grace. If something goes wrong, remain calm and friendly while you troubleshoot. Don’t be afraid to ask to hang up the call and try again if you think that’s necessary.
  • Disconnect at the end of the call. A silly tip, perhaps, but you don’t want the interviewer to hear anything that you let slip that’s not meant for their ears!


During a telephone interview, keep in mind that the interviewer cannot see your face. It’s all in your voice.

This is why it’s vital to stay in the moment during this interview. Don’t get distracted and don’t let your mind wander.

Keep on listening – really listening – and keep your voice upbeat. You’ll come across as engaged with the conversation and that’s exactly what the interviewer wants.

In person

  • Arrive at least two days before your interview. Jet lag is guaranteed to trip you up during the interview! The extra day is also useful for last-minute prepping.
  • Make lists. It’s the best way to see to it that you pack everything you need. Passports, interview outfit pieces, documents – it all goes on the list!
  • Pack more than one interview outfit. More pieces give you more choice on the day. Plus, should the unthinkable happen – toothpaste on a cuff or a tear you didn’t notice back home – you still have something to wear.
  • Take documents in double. Print your CV but also have a backup on a memory stick. If you have a portfolio and you’re taking the hard copy, also have it online or on your laptop. This way, you’ll always have something to show should prints get lost or damaged during your travels.

Final tips for your New Zealand job interview

You have to as flexible as possible for Skype or telephone interviews. There’s a very good chance that the interview happens at an odd time thanks to time differences.

Finally, be online or at your phone at least 15 minutes before your interview. The same goes for the in-person interview. It doesn’t matter what form the interview takes – being late is never an option!

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