Interview Preparation Guide

1. Research the company
  • Website (activities, services, products, values, culture, history, financial statements, etc.);
  • Speak with any contacts you may have within the company;
  • News;
  • Social networks (Linkedin, Facebook pages);
  • Research the interviewers (Linkedin profile, news, contacts you have in common if any).
2. The position
  • Read the job description carefully;
  • Analyze the job and find the similarities with your current/past job duties;
  • Prepare examples of past achievements that relate to elements of the job description;
  • Identify the qualities required for the job and emphasize your strengths/character traits/examples that demonstrate these qualities (e.g. excellent communication skills – talk about the time you spoke at a conference).
3. Know your CV/background
  • Review your background and be prepared to explain it (including education, training, chronology/exact dates and reasons for leaving past jobs);
  • Be prepared to talk about each position you held and all relevant achievements.
4. Review some of the common interview questions and be prepared to answer them

For more in-depth preparation, the Internet is a good source for more questions.

  • Tell me about yourself! Try to answer this question in 2-3 minutes;
  • What makes you the best candidate for the job? Talk about your strengths, your keen interest for the job, your relevant experience, etc.;
  • What are your strengths/weaknesses? Provide 2-3 strengths with concrete examples, and 1 (maximum 2) weakness that you have improved on; put the emphasis on the improvements rather than the weakness itself;
  • Why are you interested in the job? ;
  • Why do you want to work here? ;
  • What are your short- and medium-term career goals?
5. Interest
  • Show your interest in the job and the company;
  • Ask questions to demonstrate your interest or to validate if necessary.
6. The interview
  • Business professional attire is always required;
  • Look your best (get a haircut, a manicure, shave, etc.);
  • Turn off your cell phone;
  • Plan to arrive about 15 minutes early to eliminate unnecessary stress;
  • Allow sufficient time for the interview (don’t schedule another appointment right after the interview);
  • Adopt a positive, open and cheerful attitude;
  • Be courteous and friendly to the receptionist and anyone else you meet (e.g. security/checkpoint/elevator guards);
  • Give detailed answers and support them with examples of past experience (not just “yes” or “no”);
  • Be prepared to answer some of the questions in English, especially when asked about your level of bilingualism;
  • If you are asked questions about a subject you are unfamiliar with, stay positive and show them you would be interested in taking on a new challenge! ;
  • Don’t hesitate to take control of the interview as you near the end, if you feel you haven’t had the chance to talk about something significant that could make a difference (e.g. ask for permission to take a few minutes to talk about a specific project).
7. Pay attention to the little things


  • Your handshake should be confident and firm (do some tests with friends);
  • Watch your body language (avoid crossing your arms, make eye contact with the interviewer, try to avoid nervous tics such as touching your mouth, hair, nails);
  • Be concise; you can ask the interviewer if he/she wants more details;
  • Don’t be too modest, because you have to “sell” yourself. However, some employers prefer people who humbly admit they don’t know everything, to people who are overconfident. Aim for balance! ;
  • Never say negative things about former employers or colleagues;
  • Let the employer bring up the question of salary, benefits, work conditions, schedule, etc. It’s okay to ask questions about the amount of overtime required or other job expectations, but if you ask too many questions pertaining to that topic, the employer may assume a lack of availability on your part.

Don’t forget that, when candidates are equally competent, the manager will choose the person he or she likes the best, and who has shown the most interest in the position. Your personality, attitude and interest play an important role in the hiring decision!

Good luck preparing for your interview!

Developed by Jessika Roy, CHRP