Interview Tips That Will Help You Get The Job

By: Hannah Giannioudis, Career Services Consultant

POV: you’ve just heard back from your dream employer that you’ve been chosen to advance to the next step in your application process… Interviews! While it is exciting becoming closer to your dream job, likely, a lot of nervous feelings will begin to arise after the initial excitement has worn off.

“How should I dress?” and “How can I best prepare?” may be some questions you are internally posing, so let’s work through those together to get you interview ready.

First, attire. Deciding what to wear for an interview can be stressful in itself. As always, it is very dependable on the company. My suggestion to you is do your research! If possible, visit the company and observe what staff is wearing to gain a better idea on how to dress for your interview. If still unsure, your best bet is to dress along the lines of business casual. This may look different to everyone depending on your own personal style, but some ideas may be adding a blazer or choosing a button-up shirt over an everyday t-shirt. Interviews are essentially about presenting the best of yourself to the employer so, bottom-line, dress in something that makes you feel confident so that you can walk into your interview self-assured.

Next, how can you best prepare for an interview? Here, we are going to narrow in on three different ways to prepare for an interview. First, always be aware of not only what your strengths are, but what your weaknesses are that an employer may notice. For example, perhaps you don’t have experience in the field you are applying to considering you are a brand new graduate. Employers will likely ask you to speak on this weakness. Potentially through the question: “Why do you believe you are prepared to take on this role/position with relatively low experience?”. How we best respond to this question is highlighting what we have done. Although you may not have relative work experience, you do have education behind you that will have transferrable skills you can highlight have been accumulated. Skills such as adaptability, communication, experience using Microsoft, experience working within a team (group/partner projects), and experience receiving and applying constructive feedback to your work are some examples that can be utilized. So, although you may not have relevant work experience, you do have many transferrable skills that can be used to your advantage when answering any questions related to experience. Take some time ahead of the interview to reflect and see how you can speak on your potential weaknesses in a positive light.

The next way to best prepare for an interview is by doing your research on the company you are applying to. You can do this by checking out their website, understanding the company’s/organizations values, and visiting their locations to get a grasp on the atmosphere present.

Lastly, another way to best prepare for an interview is practicing before hand. To start, I encourage you to download the Sample Behavioural Interview Questions from the Career Services webpage (also under ‘Resources’) and rehearse what your answer would be to these questions. Practicing beforehand leaves little room for overconfidence to crowd your thoughts, during the actual interview, therefore limiting the possibility of over-talking or rambling. After some practice and once you’ve gotten a good sense of how you’d answer most behavioural questions, ask someone to run through a mock interview. When choosing this person, however, make sure it is someone you are not overly comfortable with like a close friend or family member. Instead, choose an individual you are not very familiar with in order to replicate the interview atmosphere.

I hope these interview tips help you in your job/career applying journey. Always remember to be your authentic self when interviewing and be confident in your skills and attributes! Throughout your education you will learn so many valuable skills that can be used to your advantage when applying and interviewing for jobs. Sometimes it just takes some reflection to recognize what those are and how you can highlight them to employers.

If you ever have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact Career Services here at Red Deer Polytechnic via our email: [email protected]. Make sure to also keep an eye on Career Services Calendar of Events! Here you will find all the dates and registration for our Career Workshops in collaboration with the Career Assistance Network.

Lastly, if you are needing any Career Assessment help, please look at booking a 1-on-1 appointment through the Student Connect Centre. Career Services is looking forward to assisting students in deciding what job/career pathways they may be interested in through assessments, career profiles and more!