Casual Interviews Unveiled

Coffee and Macbook during Interviews

Did anyone else notice that – in Sauder especially – an interview is required for EVERYTHING?! Want to be a club exec? Come in for an interview. Feel like volunteering at UBC? Sign up for the interview. Need to use the vending machine? Interview with the Coffee Crisp first =D (the last one involves munching on my part XD). I guess it’s only fitting that a business school is promoting a common industry practice.

Time for a confession: I actually LOOOOVE interviews! I mean, come on, when else am I going to have the opportunity to talk about myself for fifteen minutes straight and at the same time holding the undivided attention of three seniors?! Jolly good.

So I’ve done three or four of these, mostly for business-related clubs/organizations/events. Here’s what I learned and observed.

The Set-Up. Usually the room is set up so that there is a table between the interviewers and the interviewee. The most common number of interviewers is three (occasionally two, rarely one). The tribunal setup maybe a little intimidating for people, but it should be enjoyable because 1) you will be able to maintain eye contact with at least one person at all times 2) your attention is divided so you don’t spend the entire interview wondering if the one person who decides your fate likes you. So far the lovely folks I met all had laptops and took notes as I spoke. I wasn’t very accustomed to this at first… imagine saying “so I think I’m suitable because…” and hearing three laptops going tap-tap-tap-tap-tap-tap-tap-tap-tap-tap-tap-tap-tap-tap-tap-tap…

The Interviewers. They all seem like fun, amazing, and extremely nice people, seriously (and this applies to the positions I didn’t get as well, so I’m not just saying it)! It was more of a chat than a nerveswrecking process really, thanks to the interviewers who are our peers. There’s usually a round of introductions and handshaking when I went in, before getting down to business. I had questions every time and they always enthusiastically answered all of them.

The Dress Code. Most of the ones I went to were completely casual, ie. show up in your regular school clothes. One recommended “business casual” which translates to simply “clean and well-groomed”. No suits yet, no surprises there.

The Questions. Pretty standard, run-of-the mill things that gives one plenty of opportunity to talk about oneself. Hurray. Here they are… if my memory doesn’t fail me

  • Tell us about yourself. [Thanks AW]
  • How can your skills and experience contribute to the organization/club and how will they help you in your role?
  • Describe a situation where you had to show leadership and work in a team.
  • How would you motivate fellow team members/volunteers?
  • Why do you want to join this organization/club?
  • What do you think about the organization/club’s motto, cause, theme etc.?
  • What other time commitments do you have?
  • Describe an organizational structure that you didn’t like, and what you did to improve the situation.
  • If you were a [insert random object here], what kind of [that object] would you be? (That was hilarious!)
  • Here’s a situation (like event promotion, marketing strategies), please think about it for 30 seconds and then act it out with an interviewer.
  • What do you like to do for fun?
  • Tell us a joke. [Thanks AW]

The notification. I heard back from my interviewers within three days either by phone or by email. Phone rejection hurts, but what kind of rejection doesn’t haha? The other exciting part is reading the group emails and seeing who else got in! So that’s my take on interviews (don’t ask me about university admissions interviews, they’re so effin terrifying! *shudders*)