The interview is the time to present yourself, your strengths and your qualities to the employer. This is also the opportunity for you to find out more about the position and the employer. An interview is part of a multi-step process employers go through when making their hiring decision.
Farm employers want someone who:
- Is honest and reliable
- Can work on their own and in a team
- Is interested and enthusiastic
- Takes pride in their work and workplace.
New to the hiring process or need a refresher on what to expect?
There are only two points during the process when the employee talks directly to the employer: the phone interview and in-person interview.
Your first interaction with the prospective employer will likely be a phone call. It’s important to make a good first impression. This could be initiated by you after seeing the job advertisement or they may call you after they receive your application or CV. Treat this phone call with professionalism.
Remember, the goal of a phone interview is to be invited for an in-person interview.
Avoid bad language
No matter what language the employer uses, it’s always important to be professional. Talking positively about your current employer and watching your language will go a long way to making you look like a person with a great attitude.
Know if you can take the call when it comes
The phone interview will generally be about 20-30 minutes, if you don’t have enough time don’t rush it – let it go to answer phone or ask the farmer to reschedule the call for a time you can be in a quiet location.
Know your answers to the common questions
Questions will probably be about your previous employment history, why you are looking to move on, and what experience and qualifications you have.
Avoid selfish questions during the call
This is not the time to ask about wages or other benefits of the job.
Tip: don’t hang up without asking for the next step in the process and finding out their contact details!
An in-person interview is the time to show the employer your skills, abilities, great attitude and an opportunity to connect with your prospective employer. It shouldn’t be a one-way conversation, it’s your chance to find out if the potential employer is right for you. Here are some tips for before and during the interview:
Before you leave home
- Before you go, check you know the precise location and travel time so you are not late.
- Dress to project the right image for the role - remember the first impression counts for a lot. For a farm interview smart casual might be the way to go. Think about what a farm consultant might wear.
- Think about questions you might be asked and how you can answer them well. For a list of possible questions take a look at our downloadable QuickStart recruitment guides.
- Have a checklist of what you want to cover during the interview to enable you to check this position against your job profile. You may want to write down a list of questions you would like to have answered, see at the interview below.
- Include your partner as much as you can and check if the job also fits with his or her wants and needs.
- Be prepared to go on a farm walk, ensure you have suitable footwear.
At the interview
Make a good first impression:
- Arrive on time
- Greet the employers warmly and professionally.
During the interview:
- Give honest and complete answers
- Keep positive, don’t talk yourself down or undersell yourself
- Don’t rush your answers. Take a moment to think before saying the first thing which comes to mind.
Make sure to ask and take notice of:
- The farm’s employment history - are you able to speak with existing or previous employees?
- Can you see the position description for the job?
- How tidy is the farm? Is this a place you could work?
- The employer’s communication style, could you work closely with someone like this?
Finally, make sure:
- There will be an appropriate employment agreement for the role
- You don’t leave until you are clear about what the role entails
- You don’t accept a position either verbally or written before seeking advice from someone you trust.
Note: A job description or position description should always be available at the interview. However, it is not always possible to sight an employment agreement at an interview. Our recommendation is that before you sign any employment agreement you must get it checked by an independent person. Also, see our employment agreement and pre-employment checklist.
Some example questions you could ask
Be prepared before you go to your interview. Doing some homework shows commitment and a genuine interest in the role.
Have a list of questions to ask, preferably written down and ready, such as:
- Almost any questions you can think of about the farm system - this will show an interest and knowledge of dairying
- Who else works on the farm and what do they do
- Your precise role and responsibilities, what they expect of you
- The level of contact you’ll have with the boss and other staff
- Training opportunities
- Details of accommodation, time off, expected hours and seasonal fluctuations
- The social life in the community - show that you are keen to fit in.