Advice to help you ace your job interview
Your resume and cover letter have landed in the right hands, and now you’ve been invited to interview with your potential employer. So here are the three steps to think about to help you ace any interview.
There’s no miracle recipe here. To perform well in an interview, you need to be prepared. Here are some tips to help you ask the right questions, listen attentively and make a strong first impression.
A lot of interviewers today start the interview process with a phone call to get a better feel for the candidate and to make sure they’re a good fit for the role before moving forward. Make sure you do your research so you’re prepared ahead of the call.
To show your interest and engage in the discussion, make sure you read up on the company (its mission and values, products and services, etc.) ahead of time. You should also share examples of your previous work experience and training to boost your credibility while giving the interviewer a chance to get to know you better.
The end of the interview is sure to stick in the recruiter’s mind, so make sure you close on a positive note. Think of some questions to demonstrate your interest, such as:
- How many people are on the team?
- What does the company value most in an employee?
- What are the main challenges of this position?
If the role requires a bilingual candidate, you may have to answer questions in French, although English is typically the main language for foreign applicants.
The time has come to sell yourself. And while dressing the part is important, you should know that punctuality is a top priority in Québec. Plan to arrive 10 to 15 minutes ahead of time to start the interview off on the right foot and give yourself some extra time to prepare. Try to set a professional tone while letting your personality shine through. It always pays to be friendly!
Anticipate the questions
Increase your odds of success by knowing what kind of questions to expect. Here are some examples of popular questions asked in a job interview:
- What interests you most about the job?
- Why do you want to work for this organization?
- Why are you the best candidate for the job?
- Can you tell us about your achievements?
- Can you tell us about a time when you took a risk?
- What did you learn from the experience?
- How is this job important to your career path?
- What qualities do you appreciate most in a boss?
- Where do you see yourself in five years?
- Why are you leaving your current job?
- Why did you choose Montréal?
Prepare the best answers
Make sure every answer has a beginning, middle and end. Describe the situation or issues, the actions you took to resolve it, and the end result. If it was a team effort, tell the interviewer about your specific contributions. Feel free to use “I” rather than “we.”
Prepare short answers for a variety of situations and be prepared to provide detailed answers for each of them. Choose examples that highlight your unique skills.
Give specific examples of your experience. The key is in the details, so avoid generalities and back up your examples with proof and numbers.
Be yourself and remember that honesty is your biggest ally.
Now that the interview is over, you’re probably thinking the ball is in the employer’s court … but that doesn’t mean you should just sit on the sidelines! A lot of interviewers follow up with practical or technical tests to assess your writing and language skills, knowledge, personality and more. Make sure you’re ready to take on the next challenge (bringing your smile and enthusiasm with you!).
You should also keep your references (letters of recommendation, contact information for former employers, etc.) handy in case you’re asked to provide them.
Wait to hear back from the recruiter in the timeline they provided before following up if you need to. Job interviews can be stressful, but they’re also a positive and exciting step towards your future. Try to stay calm and relaxed while you wait to hear back, and remember this is just one opportunity of many.