How to prepare yourself for a Job Interview

Nov 24, 2023

We know that presenting yourself to a new company and facing an interviewer can seem intimidating. However, a job interview is a crucial part of searching for a professional placement, and a precious opportunity to get to know the company that you’re interested in.

Today, we are bringing a selection of tips that you can keep in mind as good tools to help you prepare for your next interview. 

There are three main parts of a job interview and each of them needs to be treated carefully and prepared with dedication. Remember that every part of this process is intended to give you enough confidence in yourself to stand in front of an interviewer to be able to showcase the same confidence in a professional way. At this blog we’ll review the first part along with some common questions you may face during an interview meeting. Let’s check them out:


Before the interview

1. Analyze the job description

To read carefully the description for the position announced its the base where you’re going to start preparing your professional profile for the interview. This will help you to comprehend what’s been looked for by the employer so you can show how you are the right candidate to fill that job. Being familiarized with some aspects you might find in that announcement like experience, qualifications, references and values can help you to perform a self-exam to see if you indeed accomplish what’s been requested.

2. Research about the company

Here you will have to do some homework: make some research of the company you’re applying to. This can give you important information to consider like what the company culture and goals are, what they do and offer to their customers. Just a basic notion is fine, it’s not necessary to become an expert about the topic, but showing at your interview that you have knowledge about this main subject will leave a positive impression of you in case they ask you some related questions.

3. Prepare and practice your answers to common interview questions

You will never know for anticipated which are or how many questions an interviewer will ask you at your meeting, but there are some that are often shown up. Having rehearsed some possible answers to this may help you be calm 

and serenade about this matter. Some frequent questions are: 

  • Why do you want to work here?
  • Name five strengths about yourself
  • Why should we hire you?
  • What are your weaknesses?
  • Are you a team player?

Do not forget to practice! Remember that practice can help you to familiarize yourself with, relieve anxiety and boost your confidence in your performance. This can also be a team effort: ask your family or friends to help you conduct a mock interview a couple of times, or if you feel more comfortable doing it alone, practice by yourself with a mirror to check your facial expressions or the gestures of your hands and your posture. It is up to you the how, but the point is to rehearse enough to make you feel sure of your performance. 

4. Check once again and print your resume

To check one, two or three times again your resume before sending it is a must in the whole process of applying to a new job. This “debug” process is a way to make sure that the information that you are about to share is clean and presentable. Also, even though most job applications are done only at this time, it is recommended by some professional consultants to print a few extra copies of your resume to your interviewers in case they might want to discuss it there with you. 

5.  Be on time! Earlier if you can

Punctuality always will talk good about you, so being 10 to 15 minutes before your scheduled interview can be in your favor in many ways. It is a sign of your commitment with the time of the people who will lead the process; showcase your professional habits, and gives you some extra time to take a couple of deep breaths in case you’re nervous. Remember, something unforgivable for this matter is being late, so being aware of your time and other’s is essential. To prevent that, a great idea is to plan your day anticipatedly so everything will go as it’s supposed. 

Tip!: If the delay is unavoidable or something comes up and it’s out of your power to handle that, make sure to contact the company or your interviewer to explain the situation or reschedule. This is the best idea in case a major thing presents to you because even though you cannot attend your previous appointment, you are also showing your interest and commitment in making part of the company.


6. Select a professional clothing

We all have heard that everything comes first through the eyes, so applying the same logic to this, you will need to pick an outfit that fits your own style and the type of company you’re applying to. The position might be made right for you, but attending the interview looking unprofessional, too casual (if it’s not the appropriate thing), or too produced can cause you to no longer be considered for work. That’s why it’s important to do the previous research about the company in order to give yourself an idea of how to show up at your interview always looking like yourself.


Types of interview questions 

Since a fundamental part of an interview is made by the questions you’ll have to answer, it’s convenient to know which kind of inquiry you will face so you can reply appropriately and attractively, or perform it (if it is needed) the best way possible. This are some types of questions to look over before your big meeting:

  • Autobiographical and career management: This type of questions inquire about your previous education, past experience or training, and your reasons for applying to that position; additionally, the career management questions are directed to examine how much an applicant is committed with their own career and goals, and what the job has to do with that. 
  • Behavior description: These questions are designed to determine which was the behavior of an applicant in a specific situation or how they would handle it in a future scenario. Remember, if you haven’t been in a situation like the one described by the requester, answer as a hypothetical situation of “What would you do..?”.
  • Technical questions: Technical skills questions need knowledge and experience that only specialized methods and formations provide. In some interviews, depending on things like job requirements or the company’s selection filters, you may have to show your dominance in technical skills during a simulation.
  • Occupation specific questions: These questions may refer to the management and/or awareness of a professional code of ethics. For example the Hippocratic oath for doctors.

Click the following link to check out the University of Alberta’s website for some examples of the types of questions included here: 


Unprofessional questions

However there are some questions that no interviewer or requester can ask you; in fact, mentioning those questions is considered illegal by Canadian laws. These are some matters that are completely out of discussion when you are on an interview:

  • Race, ethnicity or place of origin
  • Religion or beliefs
  • Age
  • Sexual orientation
  • Disabilities
  • Marital and family status

Unfortunately, you will possibly have to hear these questions in an interview, so in order to not risk your possibilities to get the position, you have to opt for an answer. Anyway, in some cases these questions are valid when they are relevant and related to the job requirements (According to the Ontario Human Rights Code). 


Research, rehearsal, and reach that job!

Remember that these are crucial points to be well prepared for any job interview in the future. We invite you to stand by for the second part of this blog for the following advice for the other part of an interview. We also recommend checking out our other blog entries for more relevant information you might be interested in if immigrating to Canada is in your plans!


Written with the cooperation of Ana Sofía Domínguez Dávila.

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