6 tips to leave a lasting impression in a job interview


The interview is crucial in demonstrating you're the right person for the job.

So, you’ve made it to the interview stage. Congratulations. But don’t sit back on your laurels and trust you’ll ace it. The interview is crucial in demonstrating you’re the right person for the mining job you’re going for — whether that’s in head office or out in the field.

If you want to stand head and shoulders above the rest and leave a lasting impression, here are six tips for success.

1. Prepare painstakingly

As the saying goes “fail to prepare; prepare to fail”. A confident, knowledgeable, and capable candidate is always going to stand out in the interviewing process. You need to prepare thoroughly and plan your interview from start to end.

Consider every aspect of the interview, from how you are going to get there, how you will enter the room and how you will answer tricky questions, to researching the role and the company itself. Conducting a mental walk-through of the whole process will help eliminate nerves and identify any points of weakness you can work on.

2. Research the company

Would you hire someone who knows nothing about your business? Of course you wouldn’t. In mining, that’s especially important. You need to know not only what the company mines, where it mines and how but what unique challenges the company faces, how it differs from the competition and what future plans it may have.

The company’s own website is the best place to start to learn about the company’s activities and culture. Social media, news articles and industry websites are also a treasure trove of information. Being able to respond knowledgably about the company’s core business and developments is a sure-fire way to stand out among other candidates.

3. Prepare for common interview questions

There are always common questions that come up in every interview, so it makes sense to prepare for them. You don’t need to write a speech for each one, just jot down some notes and think about how you can best answer them. Questions such as why you want the job, your greatest strengths and weaknesses, and what you can bring to the role are often asked. Preparing answers — with evidence to back up your statements — will help you give a seamless and polished interview.

4. Be ready to talk about your experience

Employers don’t just want to know that you’re qualified for the role but that that you will be a valuable employee who will bring the necessary skills and experience to it. The interviewer will likely ask you situational-based questions that require you to draw on experience you have had and actions you have performed in the workplace. They might ask you to describe a time when you made a mistake and how you dealt with it, how you overcame a challenge, or how you went ‘above and beyond’ in a job.

Think back on your work history and try to draw on experiences that will help show what kind of worker or leader you are and how you have the competencies and skills outlined in the job description.

5. Prepare questions for the interviewer

While the interviewer is trying to determine whether you’re a good fit for the role, so should you be. At the end of the interview you will usually be asked if you have any questions. Don’t ask about when you will hear about the job or about salary. Instead, you should ask more about the day-to-day responsibilities of the role and what it’s like working for the company. Here you should also take the opportunity to ask informed questions about the future of the business, challenges in the industry and the future direction of the company. This shows you are an interested, committed and well-informed candidate.

6. Dress to impress

How you present yourself physically is your very first opportunity to make a good impression in a job interview. Whether you are applying for a technical role in an office-based in the city or an operator’s role in which you’ll spend your days in high-vis and steel-capped boots on site, you need to dress to dress appropriately for the position you’re applying for.

So if it is a corporate role, then as a minimum you’d want to wear dress pants and a collared shirt. You might even opt for a jacket and tie (although it seems ties are slowly fading out in the mining industry). If, however, you’re going for an operator’s job on a mine site, something like jeans and a polo shirt may be suitable. No matter the kind of role, make sure you’re shoes are clean and smart.

The best advice here is to know the company you’re applying to, have an idea who you are going to meet with and dress approximately to that.

One shot to get it right

With interviews, you only really have one shot to nail it — whether that’s progressing to the next round or being offered the position. These six simple steps will ensure you are as prepared and confident as you can be and give you the best chance of getting it right.

If you’re looking for your next challenge in the mining industry, get in touch with the team at Mining People International.

Lindsay McPhee
Mining People International