Getting ready for a successful interview
Your interview date is fast approaching. How do you prepare for excellence?
Learn about the interview formula
When you spoke with the employer, did you ask what type of interview it would be? If not, call or email them to ask for more information.
Main types of interviews
- Phone. See the page First contact: Be ready to learn more.
- Classic. (with 1 or 2 interviewers) The most common style of interview. It is usually held in the presence of an employee from the human resources or hiring department.
- Panel. The interview will take place in front of a multidisciplinary team.
- Once you are there, take the time to say hello to each person.
- Make sure to address the entire group when answering questions.
- Group. The recruiter meets with several applicants at the same time. This technique makes it possible to evaluate skills such as inter-personal skills, communication, leadership, etc. The interview can take several forms, such as a debate, case study, creativity exercise, etc. In this situation, try to strike a between listening and speaking.
- Business meals. Pay attention, because they’ll be paying close attention to you. Be sure to use good table manners that are appropriate for the situation.
Online or video conference interview: a few precautions
- Test your equipment.
- Choose a good background.
- Wear plain, dark-coloured clothing.
- Smile and be expressive.
- You can refer to your notes.
- Close your chat applications to avoid distractions.
Possible interview sequences
The future employer may ask you to go through different types of interviews.
The following is a common interview sequence:
- Phone interview
- Meeting in person
- Second meeting
- Evaluation testing immediately after the meeting, or at a later date. This might include a case study, such as a consultation, although this is a rare occurrence.
Case studies: resources
It is a good idea to practice a lot to increase your chances of success – at least 50 hours, although some people even practice for nearly 100 hours.
Resources at your disposal:
Prepare your answers to frequently asked questions
You must go to your interview with important messages for your employer. These arguments will demonstrate that:
- You are capable of filling the position.
- You are effective.
- You know how to exercise judgement.
- You will be able to be part of the team.
- You will stay in the position for a while.
Get ready by consulting the page Getting ready to answer the recruiter’s questions.
Learn to speak the recruiter's language!
As you prepare, make sure to use the same vocabulary as the people interviewing you.
- Get familiar with key words used in Quebec in your target industry.
- Get in the habit of explaining and translating certain terms that might be unclear to the recruiter. This includes software names, acronyms and foreign contexts.
- Briefly describe any companies outside Quebec you have worked for. Make sure that your former job titles mean something to Quebec employers.
Prepare your questions for the end of the interview
As a general rule, at the end of an interview, the recruiter gives you a chance to ask questions.
- Take advantage of this opportunity to ask about the next steps of the hiring process.
- This is when you must show that you are interested in the company and the position, and that you are interviewing them to find out if they are a good fit for you. Examples:
- Can you tell me more about the team I would be working with?
- Can you tell me about your company’s medium-term objectives?
- What career path might a person in this position foresee?
- How would you describe the company culture? The mindset of the employees? Do you encourage autonomy? How are personal objectives set?
Prepare to make a good impression
Clothing and shoes, hygiene, hair, jewellery and make-up: details which may seem irrelevant are determining factors. Learn to make the right choices by visiting the page Make a good impression.
Career Management Services offers many individual services and workshops to help you prepare your job interviews.