Preparing for the Interview
Interviews are scary for most people, especially for people who have never interviewed before. Here is some information about interviews and how to help prepare for them. First, there are two different types interview, behavioral and technical. Behavioral are questions that are asked to see how react and solve problems in certain situations. An example is, tell me about a time you have faced a challenge. Technicals are questions that are more specific to your industry or position you are applying to and they ask you to solve a problem. In this post, we will mostly be focusing on behavioral questions.
Before the interview – Right when you meet your interviewer, the interviewing process is already beginning. Which is scary but here are some tips on how to make sure you make a good impression.
- Have good eye contact
- Shake everyone’s hand in the interview room
- Maintain good posture throughout the interview
- Make some small talk
Interviews are a conversation – Interviews are a way for companies to see if you would be a good fit within the company. But what does “good fit” mean? Good fit just means if you are approachable, friendly, and if you seem like you would get along with them. During interview, the interviewer is usually looking for their next co-worker, and everyone wants a co-worker they will like. Make sure to be yourself and try to get a conversation going! Remember, an interview is also the chance for you to figure out if that company would be a good fit for you too, so make sure to see if you could see yourself working with your interviewer.
Research! Research! Research! – Make sure to research the company thoroughly before going into an interview. Look at current events in the industry of the department you are interested in or what the company has been involved with. Look into the company website and see what their mission and values are. Just having this information is great to bring up during an interview to show that you are really interested in that company. The interviewer will definitely ask culture related questions so this will help you prep. Glassdoor is also a great resource to use to look up what interview questions other candidates have been asked. I use this resource every time I have had an interview and it helps every time! Even just googling “common behavioral questions” will help you prep for the interview.
Answering the questions – The best way to answer a behavioral question is using the STARR method. What is your situation? What is your task? What actions did you take, what did you do? What was the result, what happened? What did you learn (reflection)? Think about circumstances you have been through that would answer common behavioral questions and see how you could apply the STARR method.
Practice Makes Perfect – Make sure to practice before going into your interview. Don’t memorize a script but just practice how you plan on answering the questions. Even if it is practicing with a friend or filming yourself to practice a video/Skype interview. This is the time where you are making sure that you don’t start rambling in an interview or go off track during your response. Practice to the point that you think you will be most comfortable. You can also come in to the Business Career Center to schedule a mock interview and get advice from the counsellors.
After the interview – After going through all the questions, the interviewer will ask if you have any questions. Make sure to ask at least 3 questions whether it be about the company, the work you may be involved with, next steps, or how your interviewer got involved in that company. After you finish the interview, make sure to shake everyone’s hand again and ask if you can have their emails. The day after the interview, email your interviewers thanking them and remind them why you are qualified for the interview.