What to expect in a VETASSESS interview

Posted on 5/5/2021 by Tharaka Perera Perera in Blog

By Divya Bahukhandi

May 2021 – Sometimes we need to conduct an interview as part of the Skills Assessment process for general professional occupations.

While not all applications require an interview, in some cases we need to get further clarification by speaking to the applicant or their referee and it can help to understand the importance of interviews and why we conduct them.

We understand that applicants put a lot of effort into gathering their documents and arranging proof of previous employment, and that they are eager to get their outcome letter as soon as possible.

Why we conduct an interview

The assessment process involves several stages, including a thorough review and analysis of all the information available through the documents you have provided. We carefully assess qualification and employment documents against their relevance to your nominated occupation.

As a part of this process, the assessment team may identify gaps in information. Your assessment officer may also wish to contact you or your nominated referee to confirm the purpose of the role, skill level required for the position or the authenticity of your evidence. We conduct an interview to address these issues.

Interviews can be conducted at any stage of the assessment process, whether it is an initial assessment or a review of an unsuccessful outcome. This is a crucial step and the information collected from the interview will be considered alongside the documents supplied in making a decision on the application.

How we conduct an interview

Interviews with applicants can be conducted by phone. Occasionally, an interview may also be scheduled via a video conferencing service.

As an applicant, when you receive a call from us, it is important to remember that the assessment team have already reviewed your application and wish to either clarify certain aspects of your role or address gaps in information available through official documents.

Questions asked at an interview

The assessment officer will usually start the conversation by telling you the reason for their call. They will ask a few questions to confirm your identity before starting the interview and will ask for your permission to record the call for quality and training purposes.

They may ask you about the organisation you work for and your daily responsibilities. This might lead to a range of questions about the skills and knowledge required to work in your occupation.

There is no specific pattern or set of questions for an applicant interview. However, the assessment officer will provide you with sufficient opportunities to elaborate on your role.

The main purpose of the interview is for the officer to understand the primary focus of your role, the skill level required to perform your daily tasks and the overall scope of your employment.

How long does an interview take?

A typical interview can be between 10 - 30 minutes. However, the exact questions and the duration depend on the application and the nature of gaps identified by the assessment team.

Can I have an interpreter?

It is VETASSESS policy that interviews with applicants are conducted in English and no interpreter is allowed. This supports the intention that applicants are not only skilled in their nominated occupation but also able to transfer their skills to the Australian workforce.

Five tips for an interview

If you are an applicant, here are a few things to remember about interviews for Skills Assessment:

  1. If you receive a call from your assessment officer, it does not mean there is something wrong with your application. Similarly, receiving a phone call also does not guarantee a positive outcome.
  2. If your assessment officer calls at a time that is not suitable, you can request a call at another time.
  3. If you are unsure of a specific question, you should ask the officer to repeat it or clarify their question further.
  4. Do not provide incorrect or false information. This may raise integrity concerns and adversely affect your Skills Assessment outcome.
  5. Providing clear, concise, and accurate information during the interview will ensure a smooth assessment process.

Interview with your referee

As a part of the application, applicants are required to nominate a referee for each of their listed periods of employment.

In certain cases, the assessment team may wish to verify the employment by contacting your nominated referee by phone. Employment verification may also be conducted by email if you have supplied the referee’s official company email address. The information gathered through employment verification is crucial and forms a very important component in arriving at the final assessment outcome. Nominating a suitable referee is therefore vital to a Skills Assessment application. While nominating a referee, it is ideal to list someone senior to you, such as a supervisor or direct manager, or your HR manager. Above all, you should nominate someone who is familiar with your role and understands your daily responsibilities. We can’t accept someone who is at the same level as you or reporting to you as a referee.

When conducting an interview with the referee, the assessor may ask them several questions to verify your employment claims, clarify the purpose of the role, reporting structure and your overall responsibilities. It may help to speak with your referee beforehand and remind them that they may receive a call from us to verify employment claims.

Considering the differences in time zones between countries and busy schedules, it can be difficult to establish contact with referees. However, our assessment team will make multiple attempts at different times and on separate days to try to get in touch with your employers. If the time is not suitable for the referee, the assessment officer may schedule another time that suits. In some instances, we may conduct interviews with referees in their native language.

Common issues with interviews

In spite of our best efforts, our assessment team members often find they cannot contact the applicant or their referees on the contact details provided in the application. If multiple attempts are unsuccessful, our team may request alternative contact details and/or schedule a suitable time for the applicant/referee to answer a call. This usually causes delays in processing the application.

If your or your referee’s contact details have changed recently, don’t forget to provide us with your updated details. This will ensure a smooth assessment process if we have to contact you for an interview.

Post your interview

If we still require further information after the interview with you and/or your referee, we will notify you online. This can happen if there are any gaps remaining in the depth of information required to arrive at an assessment outcome.

Final tips

If you have already applied for a Skills Assessment and would like to check the status of your application, you can do so by logging into your account.

If you are preparing to apply for a Skills Assessment, you may consider using our Skills Assessment Support (SAS) Service.

To learn more about the VETASSESS Skills Assessment process, including our complete skills assessment checklist of requirements for professional occupations, visit our website.

While waiting for the assessment outcome can be an anxious and overwhelming time for some applicants, you can be confident that we at VETASSESS are committed to providing a fair assessment outcome based on a rigorous Skills Assessment process.

Divya Bahukhandi is the Senior Assessor in the Business and Finance industry group of VETASSESS. She has extensive experience in business management, product development and skills assessment.

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