Top 6 Tips for Interviews from an Interviewer

March and late February seem to be the season of interviews on campus, of trekking to campus at 10:45 pm for that 11 pm Cogro interview, of religiously checking your email and applying for everything imaginable and ultimately finding new interests you never knew you had. I am no stranger to this process and have filled out way more online applications than I ever knew I could in the past month. But this year I also got the opportunity of being a president of a club on campus, so for the first time, I was the one giving the interview. I’ve never been a confident interview candidate but I think the experiences I’ve learned from actually being on the opposite side of the table have really changed my perspectives and my outlook on interviews going forward. I want everyone to succeed so below I’ve attached seven tips for future interviews. Happy job/club/maybe even soul searching!

1. Relax

I know this is easier said than done but believe me when I say that everyone on campus who is interviewing you is students themselves, and have generally gone through the same process you’re going through. They don’t bite and they’re not here to judge you. Just think of them as your peers because that’s what they are and take a deep breath, the stakes aren’t as high as they seem.

2. Ask a question at the end

Even if it’s the most obvious question, it shows you’re engaged and want to know more about the position, as well it gives you an opportunity to chat with the people who are hiring you and offers more avenues for you to talk about your own experiences. Alternatively asking questions like would I be allowed to do blank in this position shows you are being proactive and thinking about what you can implement in your role in the future.

3. Have an answer ready for the “tell me about yourself” question

I really hate answering this question, but it makes sense why so many people ask it. As an interviewer, I want to know something about you that makes you stand out from the other candidates, even if it’s just your name and your program it tells me more about who you as a person are. Tell me about what other clubs you’re on, what you’re passionate about, why you applied for this club, anything to get me interested in you specifically. Nothing is worse than someone having no answer to this question, it makes me wonder if there really isn’t anything they can say about themselves.

4. Take is seriously

I know generally these interviews are for student clubs and not paid jobs but approach them the same way you would a job. There are so many students at Queen’s and most clubs are competitive, so show you really want the spot you’re applying for by treating it seriously. For me, I always appreciate when a student has dressed up a little for an interview. It shows they care and want to give off a good impression. When you take the interview seriously it also makes me take you more seriously and see you in a professional capacity.

5. Laugh a little

That being said don’t be afraid to laugh, at yourself, at something someone has said, at an interview question, whatever. Everyone loves a sense of humour and it shows that you don’t take yourself too seriously and that you’re a fun person to be around. Who wouldn’t want to work with a fun person? As well if you’re really funny it will probably make you stand out to your interviewers.

6. Do your research

Be prepared! The clubs you’re applying for want to know that you care about the club and you aren’t just applying to anything and everything (even if you are). When you answer a question and it’s clear you haven’t done your research, it shows and it makes your interviewers think you don’t really care about the position. At the bare minimum check out a club’s websites and social media so you can get a feel for their brand and what they’re up to.