Five Interview Tips for New Migrants

For every job interview I have attended and failed at, which is one too many, I have learnt to analyse every single detail of the day leading up to the interview and the interview itself. I try to measure my performance as objectively as I possibly can and I look out for things I could have done better or been more articulate about. I also mark out things I did or said wrong that will most likely cost me the job I was interviewed for. Analysing my performance and wedging out my weak points meant I had to be very objective and brutally honest with myself inorder to avoid repeating the same mistakes. As a new migrant searching for a job, you are usually at a slight disadvantage in that you don’t have local experience and your overseas education is probably not formally recognised. To make up for these, here’s a list of things you need to ace your interviews:

  • Punctuality: Arrive at the interview venue not less than 10 minutes before the actual time. If you are running late due to traffic or missing a route, make sure you send a message to the recruiter informing them you’ll be a few minutes late (be specific with how late you’ll be potentially). While it is understandable that you may miss a couple of turns due to being unfamiliar with the environment, it is expected that you include time for these sort of mishaps in your transport time, in order words, start your journey as early as possible.
  • Confidence: Speak up! You are only as good as you can project. You may have a fantastic resume that lists out your skills but once you appear unsure of what you can do or how your skillset benefits the company, the employer automatically deems you not fit for the position. Before your interview, study the job profile, list out how you meet the requirements. During the interview, speak about your contributions in your previous job, projects you’ve worked on and how it relates to the job you are being interviewed for. Being well articulate and precise gives the employer an impression of your capabilities and that you can get the job done. This has helped me get a lot of jobs that are well outside my field of study.
  • Portfolio: As a new migrant, getting a local referee might be difficult but with having a portfolio, your work vouches for you. Depending on your field, putting together a summary or collection of projects you’ve worked on certifies your work experience. It also gives the employer a firsthand idea of you skillset and capabilities. With your portfolio as proof of your skillset, you may be allowed a character reference or overseas reference.
  • Job Description and Requirements: Familiarise yourself with the requirements of the job and anticipate what the employers expectations are with the job. For instance, if you are being interviewed for a public relations position, it is expected that you understand the workings of social media and media relations. You should suggest how you can make use of the available resources of the company to improve their brand. Apart from understanding the job description, make sure you have the necessary qualifications/certifications, skills and knowledge to get the job done.
  • Availability: Before going for any interview, sort out your availability. If you want a casual job, be upfront about what days you will be available (although this may not get you the job) but you can adjust your timetable to make time for work. If applying for a full time position, make preparations to be fully committed as any slack in performance may cost you your job.

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