Interview

Congratulations! You got an interview. Your cover letter and resume got you the interview, now it is your time to showcase to the employer how a good fit you are for the position. Show up early but not half an hour early. Make sure you have the cover letter and resume you applied with and three references when you go to your interview. Wear clean, pressed clothes. Make sure there are no rips and tears in your clothes.

Some of the questions they may ask you.

Behavioural questions
These are question on how you acted in situations in the past. Employers believe how you have acted in situations in the past will predict how you would act in the future. Some examples of behavioural questions.

 "Tell me about when you confronted a difficult coworker/situation"

TIP: It may be difficult to predict what behavioural questions they may ask so be prepared with one or two examples on how you handled a difficult situation, what you did to overcome it, and what did you learn about yourself or the situation and how that may help you in the future.

Situational questions
Quite similar to behavioural these types of questions employers are looking for how you would behave now and in the future. An example would be:

"How would you respond to...."

TIP: Again hard to predict what will be asked but think of one or two example of how you went above and beyond what was asked of you and why you did so and the outcome. If you don't have a specific work example think about group projects or labs you have done. Did you take the lead on the project when no one else did? Did you have a problem with a lab partner and did you handle the situation yourself?

Types of Interviews

General Interview 
This is one of the more commons interview where there is only one or two people interviewing. One will be your direct supervisor and the other an HR or colleague you would be working closely with.

Panel Interview
There will be a 3 or more people interviewing and asking questions. They all have a vested interest in who they hire. There also might be an HR person in the interview as per company protocol. All will be asking various questions, from situational to behavioural questions.

General Tips and Advice
  • It is ok to be nervous! Everyone gets nervous. Just take a deep breathe and relax as best as you can
  • Remember to smile and make eye contact. Might seem basic but when you are nervous you forget
  • Shake hands with everyone and make a point to remember their names and address them during the interview
  • When a particular person asks you a question look them in the eye when speaking but look at other members of the panel as well. You are wanting to pull everyone in when you speak and not want to exclude anyone
  • After the interview remember to thank the interview panel by sending them a thank you note the next day or email them thanking them for their time and what a pleasure it was to meet with them 
  • Most importantly BE YOURSELF! Employers are looking to see if you are a good fit and match with the rest of the team. Let your personality shine through. Smile, be friendly, but professional. 

Feeling nervous about interviewing? Contact CAPS: Your UofA Career Centre for a Mock Interview Consultation. They can even record the interview so you can go and review the interview and see if there are any areas you may need to improve on.