Interview Tips

Prepare

Preparation is your "secret weapon". It will put you way ahead of your competitors. Before you get into the "hot seat", you need to know something about the company or organization you’re talking to, know what you want to tell them about yourself and know how to answer the hard but predictable questions.

Practice

Unless you communicate well in the interview, all the preparation in the world will not help. Practice the hard questions, your strengths, your weaknesses, and why they should hire you. Do it in front of a mirror or with a friend playing the hiring manager. This will help you to feel comfortable with your answers and your body language. Remember, mock interviews are available by contacting Engineering Career Services for an appointment.

Plan Ahead

Dress appropriate for the occasion and remember to bring your "interview props"; paper, pen, extra copies of your resume, references, academic record (transcript) etc.

Arrive Early

If you're late for an interview, you better have a good story. Usually if you show up late to an interview, any possibility that you had of being offered the position disappears. So give yourself extra travel time; allow for traffic jams, and the possibility of getting lost. Besides, being early shows enthusiasm. Plan to always be 10 to 15 minutes early for an interview.

Make a Great First Impression

As soon as you see the interviewer coming, stand up. When he/she is close enough – look him/her directly in the eye, smile and give him/her a firm handshake. (Practice your handshake with your roommate).

Calm Down

Here are some important tips to follow before, and during the interview – relax, be alert and responsive, ask questions and be yourself.

Follow-up

A prompt, well-written follow-up letter (or e-mail) to your interviewer is a good idea. Use this letter to add some points that you didn’t have a chance to mention in person and reiterate your interest in the position. Make sure you ask for your interviewers contact information (i.e. business card) so that you will be able to follow-up.

Learn from the Experience

If you receive a job offer, congratulations. If you don't, you need to go on to the next possibility, but without making the same mistakes. Try to figure out what you could have done better and where your performance was not strong so you can correct those areas the next time.

Looking for more Tips? Visit The Student Success Centre's Prepare for Interviews page.