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Thread: Interview - How to prepare

  1. #1
    trimprover is offline Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2008

    Default Interview - How to prepare

    I submitted my application for PR (SMC) yesterday. My next step is to prepare for the interview. I have a few months to get ready for it, and am wondering where to best focus my energy.

    For starters, there's a list of hypothetical questions here: New Zealand - NZ Immigration Interviews

    Most of those questions are very straightforward, so I don't think I need to "prepare" myself to answer them. There are two types of question, however, that make me believe I have some studying to do:

    1) Current Events: "What do you think about the impact of migrants on the socio-economic balance of New Zealand and the wider South West Pacific basin?"

    2) Cultural Familiarity: "What have you heard about NZ?", "Have you visited NZ?"

    I've never been to NZ. I know almost nothing about its history (except Hillary came from there), or its current events. I have no idea who the president is, or even if NZ has a president. I don't know what area the "South West Pacific basin" covers, and I don't know the names of the different regions in NZ. My level of ignorance is very, very high right now.

    My ignorance has been intentional, actually. I have several books about living and traveling in NZ, but I have left them closed except for the sections about immigration. My attitude was that I didn't want to start reading about the cool stuff and then get excited, without having my PR guaranteed. In other words, I didn't want to get my hopes up.

    Now that my application is submitted, however, I'm itching for action items. With the interview coming up, I'm wondering if my next step should be to go ahead and start educating myself about general NZ history and current events. The goal would be to not sound so utterly clueless when talking to immigration officers, who might interpret my ignorance as stupidity or disinterest.

    The downside of studying NZ, of course, is that every time I start getting interested or excited, I will have in the back of my mind the worry that we won't get accepted. The fear of eventual disappointment will undoubtedly taint my studying sessions, which won't be a fun feeling. Studying NZ is supposed to be enjoyable! However, until I'm accepted, I'm worried that I won't be able to get truly enthusiastic about it, and that after months of feeling like that, my doubts and lack of enthusiasm will become apparent during an interview.

    Another possible area of research would be NZ job opportunities and current events in my job market. The idea there is to prepare myself to demonstrate a high degree of familiarity with job opportunities there in NZ. I don't have a job offer, but if it sounds like I'm ultra-prepared to find one, it might reassure immigration officials about my ability (and intent) to obtain work there. A side benefit of job-related research is that it might connect me with someone willing to make a job offer, which would dramatically increase my chances of getting accepted. That potential pay-off is a huge incentive to study job-related stuff.

    A third preparation strategy would be establishing a "pen-pal" relationship with one or more people there in NZ. This would allow me to say I "know" someone in NZ, and I might even be able to use that person as a reference. Are there such things as "immigration sponsors", people who offer to help foreigners settle there? It would be interesting to get in touch with one, especially one that shares similar interests to me.

    A final strategy would be to ignore NZ for now and focus on my other projects, allowing myself to enjoy life to its fullest where I am now. This would enable me to enter the interview with as relaxed and confident a demeanor as possible. I wouldn't emit any vibes of doubt, desperation, or resentment. The interviewer would observe me in my most likable and reassuring state.

    So, those are my ideas:

    A) research NZ
    B) research NZ jobs
    C) find NZ pen-pal
    D) ignore NZ, live for today

    Of course, a meta-strategy would be:

    E) all of the above

    However, it's impossible to ignore NZ while studying it. Maybe I can study it first, and then ignore it for the last month or so? But then I'd be getting out of date with current events. And it would be rude for me to ignore a pen-pal for a month. But then again, if I ignore it first and then study it later, I wouldn't benefit from peace of mind during the interview. It seems like I will have to choose.

    What would you suggest?
    US citizen applying for Permanent Residence via Skilled Migrant Category

    2008-12-16 Submitted EOI
    2009-01-17 EOI successful
    2009-02-03 Received ITA
    2009-04-07 Mailed application

  2. #2
    MotherBear's Avatar
    MotherBear is offline The missing link
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    currently Ras al Khaimah, UAE, ex Wales, UK
    Blog Entries


    I've heard the Treaty of Waitangi is one thing worth brushing up on. For current events, just read the NZ Herald . Rather than immersing yourself too deeply and making a big thing of absorbing all things NZ, just make a relaxed social event out of reading the news every day until you become familiar with important names and what's going on. Only take in the basics, enough to be able to pass lightly over a few things that are going on in NZ, just to show interest. I can't imagine they will expect more of you. If they probe you at all about it, it should only be briefly and certainly not in depth. They are more interested in your plans for settling there. From what I've heard, the interview is very laid back, so don't get stressed up about it.

    For interview questions, this is the list I have tucked away for future use. Can't remember where I got it, but it's based on common questions asked at interview. Seems a lot simpler than yours . And these questions are only examples of what can be asked. It doesn't mean you will be asked ALL of them.

    Why did you choose NZ
    What would you do as soon as you arrive in NZ i.e. do you have a plan
    What accommodation plans do you have in place for when you first arrive
    What have you done to research the cost of living and housing prices
    Where will you live.
    What have you done to decide where you would like to live
    What kind of research have you done about NZ and what have you found out about the place
    Has anyone given you any advice about moving to NZ
    What will you do if you don't get a job as quickly as you would have hoped
    What have you done to look for employment so far
    How long do you think it would take you to find work and how do you intend to find it.
    What have you done to research the NZ job market in your field
    What do you think will be the biggest barriers to finding a job
    What will you do if you can't find a job in your field
    What will your OH do for a living.
    What if you do not find work in the area that you have chosen to live.
    How do you plan to make friends
    Do you know anyone in New Zealand
    What sort of support would you have in NZ e.g. do you have any family/friends there.
    How much money do you think you’d need to make a good living
    How will you support yourselves
    Do you have support from your family.
    How you will overcome barriers that you encounter
    Have you looked into schools
    What hobbies do you have
    When do you want to go
    Is there anything you want to add to support your application

    As for contact with people in NZ, you have a forum full of people right here that might fit the bill. Just hang around and take in what others are talking about . Just mentioning you belong to and participate in a NZ immigration forum should stand you in good stead. It shows your are interacting with others in a similar position.

    It might be a good idea to browse through the job agents' websites to see what's on offer in your line of work. You can find a list of job agents on our Website List as a sticky at the top of the Making the Move category on the forum's main menu. Look under Employment. INZ will just want to hear that you have made some movement towards looking for a job and you know how to go about it.

    And, no, NZ doesn't have a president . It has a Prime Minister whose name is John Key. The former PM was Helen Clark.
    Mother Bear

    Try to bloom wherever you are planted.

  3. #3
    trimprover is offline Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2008


    Thanks for the list! I'll try to get in the habit of reading the NZ news every day.

    I also subscribed to a bunch of Radio NZ podcasts: Radio New Zealand Podcasts -- it's information overload, but I can whittle down the list to my favorites later.

    Are there any good videos out there, either on DVD or the web, that tell about NZ history or at least travel? I've just seen 2 travel DVDs; they weren't very deep.
    US citizen applying for Permanent Residence via Skilled Migrant Category

    2008-12-16 Submitted EOI
    2009-01-17 EOI successful
    2009-02-03 Received ITA
    2009-04-07 Mailed application

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