Interview guidelines

Getting Ready

Do your homework.  Visit our website or watch our short video below to find out more about what we do here at the Northland Regional Council. 

Go over the job description before the interview and consider how your knowledge, skills, experience and behaviours will be of value to the role and the organisation.  If you have any questions about the job description, you can raise these prior to the interview with our Human Resources Advisor, or seek further clarification during the interview.

During the interview, the panel will be asking you for examples of how you have dealt with situations in the past, to give them an insight into your working style and problem solving skills.  Some of the questions may be similar to:

“Tell us about a project you worked on, what was the outcome, and what would you do differently?”

“Tell us a time when everyone wanted everything at the same time, how did you prioritise your work?”

If it has been a while since you had an interview, or if it is your first interview, have someone run through a few questions with you, so that you can think through your responses.

Preparing for the interview

Plan to arrive slightly early for your interview to give yourself enough time to park and find our office.  You won’t be at your best if you are rushed.  The interview itself should take no more than an hour, however we suggest you set aside an hour and a half.

First impressions count and we encourage you to dress appropriately for the role you are applying for.

Once you have reported in at reception, take a seat, someone will come and meet you to take you through to the interview when it is time.

What if it’s a Skype interview?

You will be more relaxed if you give yourself time to set up your computer and get comfortable.  Have a glass of water or cup of tea handy.

We will have asked you for your Skype contact details so that we can phone in to you.  If Skyping doesn’t work we will contact you via telephone.  Apart from using technology, the interview format will be exactly the same.

During the interview

It is only natural to feel nervous; we will do all that we can to make you feel comfortable and at ease.

You will be interviewed by a panel of 2 – 3 people, one of which will be your direct manager.  The questions asked will be around work skills and experience; communication and relationship skills; planning and organising; teamwork and self-management.

When answering a question, think about a specific example that highlights your skills, and experience.  It is best to tell a story using the STAR method – Situation, Task, Action and Result. 

We appreciate that some people find it hard to ‘talk themselves up’, however the ability to clearly outline your key strengths, skills and experience is the key to a successful interview.

Talk about your own experiences, what achievements you have accomplished.  Often achievements are a result of teamwork, however, we need to know what role YOU played in these achievements, what YOU were responsible for. 

You may have a few questions for us!  There will be time at the end of the interview where you will be able to ask questions.

Finally, this is your time to shine.  Don’t try to be someone else, but equally don’t let yourself down.  Be your best self. You may be exactly what we are looking for.