Interview process


3 min read

Phone interviews In-person interviews Is the role and farm a good fit? Next steps Additional resources

The interviewing process is a chance to showcase your strengths and suitability for the role. Being well prepared for both a phone and in-person interview provides you with the best opportunity to get the job you want.

Getting contacted for an interview is an indication that you are being considered for the position. After receiving your job application, most employers will start with a phone interview if they have shortlisted you as a suitable candidate. If both parties are satisfied with the phone interview, it’s typically followed by one or two in-person interviews.

Phone interviews

Most farm job interviews start with a 15-20-minute phone call as this is an easier way to get to know someone before being invited for an in-person interview which is more time-consuming.

This will likely be your first interaction with your potential employer and is an opportunity to make a good first impression, so treat this call with professionalism.

Questions will focus on your previous employment history, why you are looking to move on, and what experience and skills you have. Prepare and practice answers for these questions ahead of time.

  • If you don’t have enough time or are genuinely busy when they call, politely arrange to call them back.
  • Be prepared to provide a range for your salary or hourly rate expectations (including accommodation). Whilst this isn’t the time to discuss remuneration in-depth, having a mutual understanding of the pay range does enable you and your potential employer to understand if there is broad alignment.
  • When given the opportunity, do ask a few relevant questions. This shows you are actively listening and genuinely interested in the job.
  • Find out a rough time frame for the next step in the process.

In-person interviews

This is where you have the chance to highlight your attitude, skills and abilities. It’s also your opportunity to find out if the job is right for you, so be prepared to ask questions about the things that are important to you.

In the days leading up to an interview, think about answers to questions you might be asked, and prepare a list of questions you would like answered. Here are some examples of what you could ask at an interview.

Before you leave home check the exact location and travel distance, and make sure you arrive on time.

At an on-farm interview, you may have the opportunity to meet the other farm staff, as well as look at the farm and facilities. Dress appropriately in smart-casual wear and take suitable footwear for a farm walk.

During the interview give honest and complete answers without rushing. It’s ok to take a moment to think before responding to a question. Keep positive, don’t talk yourself down or undersell yourself.

Make sure to ask about and take notice of:

  • The farm’s employment history - are you able to speak with existing or previous employees?
  • Can you see the job description for the role?
  • Who else works on the farm?
  • How tidy is the farm and shed?
  • How happy are the cows?
  • Is this a place you could work?
  • The employer’s communication style. Could you work closely with someone like this?
  • The accommodation arrangements, and a viewing of at least the outside of the house.
  • The roster pattern, expected hours of work and what might a working day look like?
  • Finally, don’t leave until you are clear about what the role entails, and don’t accept a position (verbally or in writing) before taking time to think about it and getting advice from someone you trust.

Is the role and farm a good fit for you?

When you're considering a new farm job, it's important to check if your potential employer is a good fit for you. To check, you can request to see a farm résumé or farmer CV. This will detail their goals, values, references, and details of current or past employees for you to contact.

If they don’t have a résumé/CV, it’s a good idea to ask for the below details and note them down:

  • References and or contact details for current and past employees to gain insights into the employer and farm culture. We recommend talking to a couple of people if possible before coming to any conclusions.
  • Career development opportunities available to you and the team.
  • Long-term farm goals, and how you fit into this.

Next steps

You have completed the interview process and hopefully are the successful applicant. Your employer will now provide you with a formal offer alongside an employment agreement.

For information on how to negotiate your salary and make sure the terms and conditions are right for you, head to our negotiating your employment conditions page.

Last updated: Feb 2024

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