Be Prepared to Ace your Job Interview

If you get called for an interview to work in Greater Montréal, don’t leave anything to chance. Make sure you prepare ahead of time so you can show your future employer why you’re the best candidate for the job!

Practice makes perfect

Take your job interview on a test drive ahead of the big day! Practice what you’d like to say in front of the mirror or with a friend so you’re prepared for whatever comes up on the big day.

Points to consider:

  • Think of potential questions you may be asked and prepare your responses.
  • Avoid answers that are overly long or cliché and focus on the key points you want to cover.
  • Run through every possible scenario and take note of areas to improve, so you can come across as confident and avoid wandering off topic.

Remember that employers are looking for well-prepared candidates who are able to deliver their answers with confidence.

Step 1: Do your research

Get to know the hiring company

Whether you’re applying for a job at a start-up, non-profit or multi-national company, it’s important to do your research. Look into the organization as a whole but also your potential role (whether it’s a new position, how many people are in the team, the skills they’re looking for, etc.). You should be able to find most of the answers online. But when in doubt, avoid reaching out to the person recruiting for the job – your resourcefulness may be appreciated.

Find out who’ll be interviewing you

Besides the person who reached out to you for the interview, it’s a good idea to find out who else might be there on the big day (LinkedIn is a good place to look). Employers always like to see curious and well-informed candidates so do your research to make a strong first impression.

Understand the role you’re applying for

Familiarize yourself with the tasks outlined in the job posting. You can always ask for more details at the end of the interview, but make sure you understand the required skills in case you need to answer any questions on them. If the role requires a bilingual candidate, for example, be ready to answer questions in both languages.

Step 2: Make a list of potential questions

Create a list of potential questions you might be asked at the interview. Here are some commonly asked examples but feel free to add more specific questions related to the role you’re applying for:

  • What interests you about this job?
  • How is this position related to your field of study?
  • Why do you want to work for this organization?
  • Why would you be the ideal candidate?
  • Can you tell us about your achievements?
  • Have you ever taken a risk or made a mistake in a previous job or school project? What did you learn from the experience?
  • Have you ever been in charge of running a project?
  • How is this position important to your career path?
  • What would you say are the most important qualities of a manager?
  • Where do you see yourself in five years?
  • Why did you choose Montréal?

Step 3: Practice answering questions

Practice answering your questions aloud so you can perfect what you want to say, to make sure you use the right words, and to ensure your responses flow well. Here are some tips to prepare clear, cohesive and well articulated answers:

  • Every answer should have a beginning, middle and end.
  • For each response, describe the steps that were taken and the end results.
  • If you’re talking about a team situation, use “I” rather than “we” to keep the focus on your own point of view.
  • Prepare short, concise answers but be ready to provide more detailed explanations if asked.
  • Choose specific examples that highlight your unique skills.
  • Try to avoid generalities.
  • Support your examples with concrete results and data where applicable.

Always be yourself and adopt a positive attitude. Try not to rush through your answers and remember that honesty is your biggest ally.

A few final tips

The last lap: Small details make a big difference

You’ve done your research, prepped your answers and your job interview is only a few hours away. If you can, give yourself half a day to relax before the big meeting. Watch your favourite show on Netflix, meditate or go for a few laps at your local pool. The goal is to minimize your stress levels so you can arrive refreshed and ready to shine!

The big day: Arrive ready, relaxed and on time

First up: Dress code! You’ve probably tried on 15 interview outfits by now. But just remember to dress for the job you’re going for and make sure you’re comfortable, whether you’re wearing a corporate suit or business-casual jeans and a shirt.

Next, make sure you give yourself enough time to get to the interview. Running against the clock is never fun so plan your route ahead of time. Find out exactly which building and floor you’re going to, and always allow yourself extra time for traffic, public transport delays and anything else that could slow you down!

Maintain a good attitude

From the moment you first shake hands with your future employer right through to the end of the interview, it’s important to set the right tone. Be yourself, keep things positive and ask questions to demonstrate your interest in the role. This is the time to show off your knowledge and let your social skills shine!

Demonstrate your interest in the company and team

While the interview is inevitably focused on you, don’t be afraid to ask questions about the company, team or specific projects when the opportunities arise to demonstrate your interest.

Showcase your academic or extracurricular achievements

Whether you were awarded a prestigious scholarship at university, won a national diving championship or anything in between, this is the time to talk about your achievements. Employers are looking for candidates with passion and perseverance, so don’t be shy to show yours off.

End with a question or two to leave on a high note

Just like in life, moderation is key when it comes to asking questions in an interview. Think of one or two job-related questions (tasks, team, challenges, etc.) ahead of time, saving the more formal ones (like pay or schedule) for a follow-up interview or meeting.

End the interview on a positive note by reaffirming your interest in the role.

Post-interview: Patience is a virtue

Congrats, you made it through the interview! Give yourself a pat on the back. Now that the hard part is over, make sure you’re available in case you’re called for a second interview or proficiency tests. Be patient and only reach out to the employer if you don’t hear back by the expected response date. If and when you do, a thank you email is an effective way to reiterate your interest in the role.

If you’re an international student looking to work in Greater Montréal, remember that no matter the outcome, the interview is a great learning experience. The more you practice, the better you’ll perform at your next interview. And keep in mind that in Greater Montréal, there’s a world of job opportunities to choose from.

Newsletter Close

Be a part of the community

Sign up for our newsletter and be the first to take advantage of our offers and events.