Top 10 most surprising facts we uncovered about Australians in 2018

06 February 2019 Kat Morgan

Office People

Such an interesting read from SEEK revealing some thought-provoking facts about the Australian workforce in 2018

Read on to discover what SEEK found  


We decided to look back over the last 12 months and reveal the most surprising facts we uncovered about the Australian workforce in 2018

From how many people have been asked an illegal interview question, to how much people expect to earn in their first career jobs, here are the 10 most surprising facts of 2018:

1. Do I have to answer that?

We discovered that 42% of Australians have been asked an illegal question in an interview. What’s more, of those who were asked an illegal question, 82% answered it.

2. You can’t handle the truth

41% of Australians think it’s acceptable to stretch the truth during an interview, with the most commonly accepted lie being the reason they are looking for a new job. This lie was considered acceptable to nearly one in five (18%) job seekers.

3. Money vs happiness

Many Australians have taken pay cuts in the past, and most would consider it in the future. Interestingly, 31% of Australians have taken a pay cut before with the most common reason being for improved work-life balance.

4.  Wellness at work

More than half of Australians have felt the need to take a mental health day, but haven’t actually done so. One in four have lied when taking a day off for their own mental health, despite most (83%) agreeing that their colleagues should be allowed mental health days.

5. Great (salary) expectations

34% of Australians expect to earn more than $83,000 in their first career job, signaling a potential disconnect between actual entry role salaries and expectations.

6. More money...please?

While 58% of Australians believe they are underpaid, two in three (66%) have never asked for a pay rise. Perhaps what’s even more surprising is that 50% don’t believe they ever will.

7. Self-assured Millennials? Maybe not

Millennials don’t feel like they can be themselves at work. Half of Millennials (49%) say they have hidden a part of who they are at work compared to just 15% of Baby Boomers

8. What interview?

A large portion of job seekers are attending interviews in secret. One in five (20%) Australians will not talk to anyone about an upcoming interview, including their family and friends.

9. My greatest weakness...umm?

17% of Australians believe that the most stressful question to be asked in an interview is: ‘What is your greatest weakness?’. This followed by ‘Where do you see yourself in five years?’ (13%) and ‘‘Why do you think you’re the best person for this role?’ (11%).

10. SHOW ME THE...flexible working conditions?

We asked Australians what the most valuable incentives were in lieu of more money and the top results were unanimous - if we can’t be offered more money, we want more time. The top three non-financial benefits Australians want if there’s no extra money on the table are: flexible hours (37%), extra annual leave (34%) and a monthly rostered day off (25%)