Interview & Tests
Once you have received a call about an interview, you must prepare. Many job applicants spend very little time preparing for an interview and, unsurprisingly, this often leads to poor results. Thorough preparation will increase your confidence and help you improve your performance and job prospects.
- Know yourself: Review the self-assessment work you completed when writing your CV and cover letter. Carefully consider how you want to convey this information verbally and think of specific examples from your past experiences which highlight your skills, qualifications and achievements.
- Research: Researching the industry, the employer and the position for which you are applying for, prior to an interview, is extremely important. It reflects well on your enthusiasm and the information you gain from professional organizations, business councils and relevant websites will help you prepare questions for the employer and give you a good sense of salary levels, working conditions and current market trends.
- Practice: Prepare and practice answers to possible interview questions. You can schedule an appointment for a mock interview with a career advisor or you can practice with a friend to get feedback on your verbal and non-verbal communication skills.
- Contact your references: It is a good idea to reconnect with your references during the job search process so that they know what positions you are applying for and are aware they may be contacted in the near future.
- The day of the interview: Dress for success and bring along any documents or information you may need, such as extra copies of your CV and a list of references. Arrive ten to fifteen minutes prior to the interview and be friendly, respectful and positive with everyone you meet.
- Follow-up: Once your interview is over, you can breathe more easily, but your work is not quite finished. Many candidates miss a valuable opportunity by failing to follow up with an organization after an interview. Send a thank-you note to the interviewers within a day or two to thank them for their time and indicate your continued interest in the position. Do not be afraid to follow up with the interviewers and inquire about the status of your application if you have not heard from them within the agreed time frame.
You may also want to attend the Interviewing workshops and meet with a career advisor for interviewing advice and practice. To make an appointment, call 514-398-3304.
For step by step help with interviewing, consult our handouts or watch our recommended podcasts.
- McGillCaPS - Guide to Interviewing: How to Guide
Interview Guides (in French)
- McGillCaPS - L'entrevue d'emploi (PDF)
- UQAM - Guide pratique: Entrevue de sélection (PDF)
- UQAM - Vingt-cinq questions posées lors d’une entrevue (PDF)
- Service Canada - Focus sur les entrevues (PDF)
Types of Interviews
- Job Interviews (CareerOneStop) - Different types of interviews in one table.
- Types of Interviews (Minnesota DEED) - Detail description of different types of interviews.
Books & Websites
Illegal Interview Questions
- Interview Questions: Legal vs. Illegal (Canada Human Resources Centre)
- 8 types of illegal interview questions and how to avoid them (TalentEgg)
- Common Interview Questions: What You Can Ask and When It is Legal (Monster)
- Illegal Questions (Community Employment Services)
- Tips on how to handle illegal interview questions (CRCDN)
This is a popular form of interview that is used in hiring for management consulting or investment banking jobs. In a case interview the applicant is given a question, situation or problem and is asked to resolve the situation. To prepare a case interview, our centre offers a variety of resources:
- McGill Casebook: This e-book is available in myFuture (Resources->Career Resources->In the Keywords field, type "McGill Casebook").
- Vault Case Interviewing Guides: Vault Career Insider (Must register with your McGill email to access the guides).
- Case Interview Prep (consultingfact.com) - Useful tips and articles. You may also visit their Free Career Guides for more case interview preparation materials.
- External Links: Evisors
There is a good chance that you will be asked to take tests as part of your job application or interview process. Some common interview tests employers use to assess job candidates are:
- Psychometric testing: One of the most commonly used tests in graduate recruitments and is usually one part of a multi-stage recruitment process. The tests measure knowledge (attainment) and potential (aptitude). Psychometric testing may include: reasoning, numeracy skills, group and role-play exercises, panel interviews, presentations and personality questionnaires.
Books & E-Books (Available in the McGill Library)
- Technical testing: Oral or written tests used to assess the candidate's technical skills. This is common for jobs in the field of computer science.
Books & E-Books (Available in the McGill Library)
- Canadian Public Service Exams: Written tests used by the governments in their hiring process. For more info on the Public Service Commission tests and sample questions: PSC Tests
If you are looking for practice tests and preparation materials for tests listed above, visit our centre for more resources.