9 job interview dos and don’ts
Athabasca University’s Counselling Services team offers insight for putting your best foot forward in the job search
November is Canada Career Month and this year’s theme is “amplify.” This month, Athabasca University’s (AU) Counselling Services team is sharing career-focused resources for students and alumni to help them grow and advance their careers.
Congratulations! You have made it to the job interview. Now that your resumé has caught the employer’s eye and showcased all your relevant education, skills, and accomplishments, it is up to you to prove that all of this is true, by showing your best self.
This article offers insight on what to do—and what not to do—to nail your job interview.
1. Do your homework. Make sure you have done research not just on the job and organization, but on the search committee members. You want to make sure that you appear knowledgeable about your future colleagues. I always find it helpful to look at the company’s mandate and top priorities.
2. Don’t draw attention to a lack of experience in an area. If you are changing fields or recently graduated, you don’t want to focus on your lack of experience. Instead, concentrate on your transferrable skills, your ability to learn, and your interest in the position.
3. Don’t let nerves get the best of you. Make sure to use mindfulness exercises or other strategies to calm yourself before the interview. Remember that you know what you are talking about. You’ve got this.
4. Do channel positivity in your answers. You may be coming from a negative work environment or trying to escape a bad boss, but negativity is a red flag for employers. Strive to answer honestly, while remaining polite and professional. Focus on the positive takeaways you have learned.
5. Don’t panic if you can’t answer one of the interview questions. Take a moment to think and compose yourself. In fact, there’s nothing wrong with asking the interviewer to either repeat the question or to move on to the next question temporarily.
6. Do remember that as much as they are interviewing you, you should also be interviewing them. Find out whether you would like to work for the organization.
7. Don’t ramble. Telling a story is great if it is succinct and to the point. Also make sure that you are using the “STAR” method that I reference in 5 resources to help you get a job.
8. Do ask thoughtful questions. Prepare questions to ask the interviewer or panel and make sure to write notes when they answer. This shows initiative and genuine interest in the job. Not asking a question may make the committee believe that you are just looking for a paycheque.
9. Don’t forget to write a thank-you note or email to your main point of contact. Sending such a note within 48 hours can help you stand out from all the other candidates.
More resources to help your career planning and job search
If you enjoyed this article, check out our entire Canada Career Month series!