First Impressions are lasting - put your best foot foward by planning for success.

From the time you walk in employers are consciously (and unconsciously) assessing your suitablity for employment. The interview process is quick but a HUGE component in successfully transitioning into your next career role. We have prepared some tips and techniques below. The team at Palmerston North Personnel are here to help you succeed before the interview, at the first interview and as you progress through to an offer of employment and securing the role you are after.

We do this all the time - some people have never had a formal interview or a written CV - if you don't know what to do just ask your consultant and they will direct you to resources that set you up to succeed.

 Questions To Be Prepared For:

  1. Why have you applied for this particular role?
  2. What do you really want to do in your next career move?
  3. What made you consider our business or organisation?
  4. Where do you see your career five years from now? Why? 
  5. What was your previous salary? What happened in your last review / did you receive a bonus?
  6. What management style gets the best from you?
  7. Can you describe the best manager you have worked with?
  8. What can you tell me about our products or services? Why are you interested in them?
  9. Do you have testimonials from previous employers? What will they say when I talk to them?
  10. What have you learned from previous roles you have had?
  11. What was your favourite role? Why?
  12. What is your biggest fault? What have you done about it?
  13. What do you do to help you progress your career with your place of employement?
  14. Would you relocate? Where to?
  15. Would you travel for work? How far? How often?
  16. What do you do when you are not at work?
  17. Do you play sport or have other hobbies? What are they?
  18. What would make you a good team member?
  19. Do you have savings? What are your savings goals?
  20. What self employment / innovation / business opportunities have you been involved with?
  21. Do you read books? What was the last book you read?

Negatives To Self Monitor:

Our Clients are looking for a great employee and want reassurance you are that person so they will be evaluating your skills, positive attributes and watching for factors that do not match your CV or the great things we have told them about you.

We have listed some negatives that come up. Make sure these do not lead to rejection by reading the sample below and taking steps to correct them.

  • Dress for success - dress to match the environment.
  • Don't take over the interview and come accross as a "know-it-all"
  • Relax as much as you can and comfortably share thoughts, use good grammer and speak clearly
  • Plan for success - don't turn up and present as though you "randomly walked in off the street"
  • Show your interest but don't be too enthusiastic, bored or indifferent
  • Watch for appearing to be overly nervous or lacking confidence (this can be hard to do but try to relax)
  • Show interest in more than just the money
  • Have clear answers for any unfavourable factors in your records and don't be evasive
  • Show maturity, tactfulness, respect and courtesy
  • Don't be derogatory about past employers - be professional
  • Look the interviewer in the eye - be natural but don't stare, because that's a bit creepy!
  • Practise your handshake - don't crush their hand, don't be a wet dish-cloth - and don't shake them to pieces
  • Show you value the opportunity to be interviewed
  • Show your interest in the position - ask good questions about the job, the company and the future
  • Remember the employer does not owe you a favour by employing you - it's about how you can both gain from employing you

Preparation For The Interview

Fail to prepare and you will fail to get the information you need to make good decisions about the company. We are surpised at how many job seekers drift into interviews and come across as unmotivated, ill-informed and ultimately unsuccessful.

Preparing for a great interveiw is easy - follow this advice  and you'll be a star! Talk to your Palmerston North Personnel Consultant before the interview, they will make sure you know what you need to know:

  • The exact place and time of the interview, the interviewers full names, how to pronounce them, and their roles
  • We share the facts about the company we think you'll need
    • where its plants, offices or stores are located
    • what its products and services are
    • what its growth has been
    • what its growth potential is for the future
  • Make sure you visit their web site, and it can be very helpful to research their competitors as well
  • Refresh your memory on the facts and figures in your CV - including past employers and make sure your referees are up to date and correct
  • Make sure you know quality information about companies that you have previously worked for
  • Interviews are discussions between potential work colleagues so make sure you have questions to ask during the interview. Appropriate questions show if you have the qualifications necessity to do the job, and that you can interact with the team
  • Questioning whether there are opportunities for the growth and development also demonstrate you are there for long-haul not "just a job". Sample questions might include:
    • questions about parts of the Position Description - Palmerston North Personnel will have provided this to you
    • confirming why the position is available
    • ask about the team and the culture
    • how do they start people off - is there stranctured induction and training programmes or do you "learn on the job"
    • what sorts of people have done well in the past
    • do they have programs available for those who demonstrate outstanding potential
    • where would they expect you to be in three years, or five years
    • what is the company's plans for growth
    • what are the best-selling products or services
    • what is the next step

Remember to dress professionally for the interview if in doubt conservatively and pay attention to your general appearance. Perfume is OK but do not over do it.

If you are not sure - just ask your Plamerston North Personnel Consultant.

Congratulations It's Interview Time

Remember you are there because they want someone like you! The interview is a planned meeting to help you and the employer understand strong and weak points, confirm your qualifications, experience, skills, personality and abilities match the employers needs, including team-fit. They may ask questions to help assess your team fit - it's about matching your attitudes, aptitudes, stability, motivation and maturity with like minded people who can work together positively 

Here are some Do's and Don'ts


  • Plan to arrive 5-10 minutes early - being late for a job interview is inexcusable
  • If they hand you forms to complete, DO fill them in neatly and completely
  • Greet the interviewer by his/her name - if you are unsure of the pronunciation Palmerston North Personnel will be able to confirm it for you. If you are not sure ask them to repeat their name
  • Shake hands firmly
  • Wait until you are offered a chair before sitting
  • Sit upright in your chair looking interested at all times
  • Be a good listener as well as a good talker - it can be helpful to confirm you have listened by reconfirming your understanding before moving to new points
  • Smile
  • Look the prospective employer in the eye while you talk to him/her
  • Ask the interviewer to describe the position and the duties to you early in the interview so that you can confirm you have the background and skills to do the position 
  • Share things about yourself which relate to the position
  • Make sure that your good points get across in a factual, sincere manner
  • Keep in mind that Palmerston North Personnel have arranged the interview, discussed your suitability and yourself to an interviewer
  • Relax
  • Be prepared to answer questions like those above
  • Always conduct yourself as if you are determined to get the job you are discussing


  • Smoke even if the interviewer smokes and offers you a cigarette
  • Answer questions with a simple "yes" or "no" - explain in full answers whenever possible
  • Lie - answer questions truthfully, frankly and to the point as possible
  • Make derogatory remarks about your present or former employers or companies
  • "Over answer" questions - the interviewer may steer the conversation into politics or economics, since this can be difficult areas, it is best to answer the questions honestly, trying not to say more than is necessary
  • Enquire about SALARY, HOLIDAYS, BONUSES, etc, at the initial interview unless you are positive the employer is interested in hiring you and raises the issue first. If the employer asks you directly you should know your market value and be prepared to confirm your required salary or range - the employer will have already confirmed this with your consultant before the meeting
  • Close the door on a opportunity - it is better to be in the position where you are asked to apply for another role by an employer who interviewed you for a previous role

End The Interview Well

Confirm you are interested in the position. Ask for the next step if the situation demands - but remember Palmerston North Personnel will be communicating the timelines. Often the employers want to liase with Palmerston North Personnel before committing to the next step so be prepared for them to say "we will come back to you in one or two days".

If the employer offers the position to you, and you want it, accept on the spot. The employer will always make a formal offer in writing - it is OK to verbally accept a role on the understanding the employer will arrange the written offer for you to read and consult third parties on before signing an employment agreement.

If you would like some time to think it over, be polite in asking for that time and explain it clearly. Confirm you will discuss it with Palmerston North Personnel who will discuss it with the employer. If the role is not for you we are happy to discuss that on your behalf.

Don't be discouraged if an offer is not made.

The interviewer will usually communicate with their manager first and consult with Palmerston North Personnel before making a decision. If you feel the interview has not gone well, don't let your discouragement show. We work with many employers who may not have interviewed people before and they may just be concentrating on what they need to do themselves. Inexperienced interviewers are often just as nervous you are.

Thank the interviewer for their time and for being considered for the role. 

You have done all you can – Smile!

After The Interview

It is really important that you call your Palmerston North Personnel Consultant immediately after the interview and explain what happened. We want to talk with you before the interviewer calls us. This allows us to quickly confirm you are interested in progressing in the position, and allows us to match your perception of the interview with the Client's feelings on the success of the interview.

WELL DONE - and keep your cellphone charged up and on-hand - we may be calling you about the next step or to discuss an offer of employment.

  • Our Team
  • Our Team

    Our team consists of passionate and experienced specialists who love what we do and draw on our knowledge and networks to connect employers with job seekers. As recruitment experts we understand the challenges for employers finding new employees and for job seekers aspiring to their next job opportunity. We customise your recruitment needs by identifying your individual requirements, building a strategy around these and partnering and supporting you throughout the process.
  • Group Wallpaper 2019


    Our Team

    Our team consists of passionate and experienced specialists who love what we do and draw on our knowledge and networks to connect employers with job seekers. As recruitment experts we understand the challenges for employers finding new employees and for job seekers aspiring to their next job opportunity.

    We customise your recruitment needs by identifying your individual requirements, building a strategy around these and partnering and supporting you throughout the process.






    Job Seekers










    Who We Work With



    • Air Dynamics
    • Allflex
    • AMC Electrical
    • ANZCO
    • Awatapu College
    • Bondor NZ
    • Cahill Animal Hospital
    • CEDA
    • Central Auto Parts
    • Central PHO
    • Comac
    • Delfast
    • Farmgear
    • FieldAir Engineering
    • Fire Security Services
    • Fitzherbert Rowe
    • Hino Distributors NZ
    • Hireways
    • Horizons
    • Kevin Bills Media
    • Manawatu District Council
    • NZ Farm Life Media
    • Palmerston North Airport
    • Palmerston North Girls High School
    • Prestige Limited
    • Property Brokers
    • SmartPack
    • Totally Vets
    • Toyota NZ
    • UCOL
    • Unipak
    • Uzabus


    (06) 356 6091 Fax: (06) 356 6071
    53 Princess Street, Palmerston North 4410
    PO Box 594, Palmerston North 4440


    Chamber of Commerce