Preparing for an Interview

Know yourself. Take the time to evaluate your goals, interests, strengths and weaknesses.

Know what the prospective employer wants. Take the time to ask questions about the job to best position your qualifications.

Know the job and the company. Research the company either on the Internet or through any printed materials available in the Co-op office, the Career Information Library in Counselling Services (Brock Hall, Room 200), David Lam Library on campus, or the public library.

Know the interview details. Know the location of your interview, duration and name of the interviewer. Call and confirm the appointment. Be on time.

Anticipate questions. Try to anticipate some of the questions that may be asked by noting any specific skills in the job posting. (see 50 Questions Recruiters Ask Students)

Consider points to stress. Outline a few of the skills or qualifications that you think the employer should know about you. What skills do you have that the company really needs? Cite specific instances when you have demonstrated personal initiative or achieved distinctive results.

Prepare questions to ask. Do not end an interview without asking some intelligent questions. Be careful that you do not ask for information that has already been provided. Don’t discuss salary unless you have been offered the position.

Practise. Interviewing is a learned skill. Take the time to practise responding to a variety of typical interview questions.

Interview Check-list

  • Dress conservatively and pay close attention to personal hygiene.
  • Bring 2 copies of your resume, references, examples of your work, and a notepad.
  • Introduce yourself to the interviewer(s) with a firm handshake.
  • Monitor the messages you are sending with your body language (e.g., hand gestures, slouching, fidgeting, etc.).
  • Maintain eye contact with the interviewer and project your voice, using a positive tone.
  • Maintain a professional and courteous manner at all times.
  • Avoid yes or no responses; provide specific examples of your skills, qualifications, and experience.
  • Answer questions honestly and avoid using slang expressions such as “ya” or “ya know”.
  • Listen carefully; ask for clarification if necessary.
  • Avoid long meandering responses and do not chatter needlessly in order to fill silences.
  • Take your time and think about your responses.
  • If necessary, ask if you can take notes.
  • Be prepared to ask questions.
  • At the end of the interview, summarize your qualifications in relation to the employer’s greatest needs, express interest in the position, thank the interviewer, ask for a business card, then shake hands and leave.

After the Interview

Send a thank you letter or card to your interviewer within 24 hours.

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