Develop your interview skills

A female student being interviewed

It's natural to feel nervous at an interview. The best way to alleviate your anxiety and come across as confident and knowledgeable is to prepare ahead of time and practice, practice, practice!

Some basic questions to ask yourself before preparing for an interview

  • What are the most commonly asked interview questions?
  • Do I know the difference between behavioural interview questions and situational interview questions and can I effectively answer either type of question?
  • How much information is too much and how much is too little?
  • Is it okay to use examples from unpaid experiences if I've never had a paid job before?
  • What should I wear?

What kind of impression do you give in an interview?

If you want to see what you look like while you're answering interview questions (you'd be surprised at how often you say "um" or fidget with your hair or hands!) practice in front of the mirror or with somebody who will give you honest and constructive feedback: a friend, roommate, family member, or a Job Search Advisor at the Career Centre who can conduct a videotaped Interview Practice Session with you and provide feedback to strengthen your interview skills.

Resources to help you strengthen your interview skills

Polishing Your Interview Skills workshop: This Career Centre workshop will help you approach your next interview with increased confidence by putting your interview skills to the test in a fun, fact-paced environment alongside your peers.

Stand Out At Interviews & Networking Events workshop: Approach your next interview or networking event with increased confidence. Learn how you can influence the first impression you make and show your best self while answering employers’ questions.

Career Cyberguide

Basic Interview Skills: This great video by The Suny Rockland Community College gives an overview of the interview process, including tips on what you should do…and not do!

Sample Interview Questions: Northeastern British Columbia’s Jobsonline provides over 100 sample interview questions in behavioural, traditional and case formats. There’s also a section with sample questions to ask an interviewer…and a list of questions not to ask!

Interview Do’s and Don’ts: a brief video from Vault addressing such issues as what to wear to an interview, how to shake hands, and how to handle key questions such as “Tell me about yourself”.

Getting Feedback When You Didn’t Get the Job: the Monster Career Coach explains how to find out what the employer thought of you so you can use that feedback to improve your next interview.

Dressing For Success

Part of interview success is looking the part...but sometimes a student budget doesn't allow for a professional wardrobe. These organizations can help you by providing professional attire for your interview:

Dress for Success (Toronto): works with women who have an upcoming interview to help select an interview outfit and accessories, as well as providing support and guidance for the interview.

Dress Your Best (Toronto): offers male job seekers a one-on-one appointment with a trained Image Consultant who will assist you in selecting a professional wardrobe that fits well and gives you the confidence to make a good first impression on job interviews or when starting a new career.