My first co-op experience taught me a lot about how to approach interviews and how to get the best out of every interview I do. I tried this approach in my second co-op term, I applied to 1 job at Canada’s Children Hospital Foundation, used these tips, got 1 interview session and was ranked 1 by the employer and was offered the role, a huge contrast to how I got my first co-op.
In this co-op season for many UWaterloo Students and many of you thinking about getting a summer job, chances are you’ll need to go through a job interview to get there. Interviews can be nerve-wracking, but with the right preparation, you can increase your chances of acing it. In this blog, I will share with you some tips on how to pass an interview.
1.Research the company before you go to an interview
Make sure you do some research on the company you’re interviewing with. Look at their website, social media pages, and any recent news articles about the company. Go beyond doing the research and attach their values, goals, mission and vision to what you as an individual stand for, it makes it easier to resonate with the interviewers as you go through the interview. Interviews like interviewee’s with a breadth of knowledge about their company, it gives the feeling that it will be easy for you to integrate into the company.
2. Practice common interview questions
There are some common interview questions that you can expect to be asked in almost every job interview. These include questions like “tell me about yourself,” “what are your strengths and weaknesses,” and “why do you want to work for this company?” Practicing and not memorizing your answers to these questions beforehand can help you feel more confident and prepared during the interview.
3. Show enthusiasm during the interview
It’s important to show enthusiasm for the job and the company. This can be demonstrated by, showing a positive attitude, and highlighting your relevant skills and experience in reference to the job. However, a good balance of this is necessary, because you do not want to come off as too much that it overwhelms the interviewer.
4. Follow up after the interview with a thank you note
It’s a good idea to follow up with a thank-you email or note. This can help you stand out from other candidates and show that you’re truly interested in the position. It might not be appropriate for specific organizations of groups of individuals, but if you feel the interview setting was open and honest, might as well send a follow up email. If you have something you would like to share that you highlighted in your interview but did not include in your application, it is good to ask whether you can share this item with them for further reference.
5. Ask questions at the end of the interview
The two I always ask are what would make an ideal candidate and the second is always a question around how they believe the work they are doing impacts the societies and communities they operate in. These two questions show that you have a thoughtful perspective and are willing to learn, it also puts them on the spot to think about whether the work they do is sustainable.
In conclusion, preparing for an interview is key to success. By doing your research, practicing common interview questions, dressing appropriately, being on time, showing enthusiasm, and following up after the interview, you can increase your chances of acing the interview and landing your dream job.
These strategies helped me land my first job in Canada, an experience I wrote about here: My First Job in Canada.