woman at job interview

Fight gender pay gaps with a stellar job interview

Top tips for making a good first impression at job interviews.

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Women need to earn more money in their working careers, that’s the gist of what’s come out of the final report from a Senate Inquiry into women’s economic security. Got it!
This means that a woman’s job generally holds the key to boosting lifetime earnings and narrowing the gender pay gap.
The problem is, as this report also noted, women retire on half as much superannuation as men and this is mainly due to more women leaving work to care for loved ones, and working in low-paid, casual or part-time jobs.
Here’s how to boost your earning capacity by levelling the playing field at job interviews – that’s the make-or-break point in your career success.
First impressions count
This isn’t about style and it’s not about gender, what matters is grooming. It’s said that it takes between 3 and 7 seconds to make a first impression, and you can only really use your appearance in that amount of time, so make yours count!
Also, if you’re unsure of the dress-code, it’s better to over-dress than under-dress, so err on the side of business attire.
Be on time
It goes without saying but I’ll say it anyway because it shows you give a hoot about the job and gives an indication as to your time management skills.
Never be late, but also don’t be too early. Aim to arrive no more than 10 minutes prior to your interview time.
Nerves are OK, make them work for you
An interview is a two-way discussion, not a one-way interrogation – that would be just weird.
Being nervous shows that the interview means something to you, whereas a lack of nerves can indicate overconfidence.
Remember, an interview is as much about you gaining a better understanding of the role and how it meets your needs as it is about the recruiter deciding whether or not you are right for them.
Talk dollars last
We know you want to know about the money but asking questions about salary or holidays too early in the piece will raise a red flag with the interviewer.
Remember a potential boss wants you to make money for them, not to be only focused on taking money from them… even if that’s true.
Leave these types of questions until the end of the interview, or ideally until the 2nd interview (if there is one).
Keep your phone switched off and out of sight
This shouldn’t need to be said but applicants continue to be distracted by their phones – an immediate turnoff for an interviewer.
Prepare questions to ask 
Having questions that are related to the role and not the weather, shows that you have thought about the position and have a real interest in securing the position.
The recruiter may genuinely have already answered all of your questions during your discussions, so it is a good idea to go prepared with a question about the organisation that is unlikely to have been covered during your conversation.
This is a good reason to review their website and gain an understanding of the business and industry, which can be used during discussions and again shows you have a real interest.
Tracey Mottershead is principal consultant at MMO Consulting

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