There are a few types of interviews that you may get called into, and you should prepare for them all differently. Remember to check on WaterlooWorks what type of interview you are called in for each position. Check out the list of additional resources for more interview strategies!
For all interview types, it’s a good idea to look up your interviewer on LinkedIn. When in doubt, assume that you will be asked both behavioural and technical interview questions.
1) HR/behavioural interview—this is the most common type of interview, where you are asked a series of questions to understand you as a person and assess your fit for the company. This is where you are asked a lot of the “Tell me about a time when…” and “how would you deal with…” types of questions. They might throw in one or two technical questions if you are applying for a technical job, so make sure to look over the technical requirements in the job description. You should prepare answers to common HR interview questions, and have a good knowledge of the company and the role. Make sure to prepare 3-4 good questions.
2) Introductory Group Interview—this is usually a method that employers use to provide information about the position and company to all their candidates. Make sure to be engaged and professional, and try to ask a question. These interviews can often be a good opportunity for networking. Introduce yourself to the facilitators!
3) Technical Group Interview—some employers put all of their candidates through an assessment before conducting individual interviews. They could be anything from physics tests to producing a sample of your writing. The best thing you can do to prepare is to try to find out what they ask and review the content. Alternatively, employers may email coding problems for you to work through individually on an online compiler. This helps employers narrow down candidates to interview from the initial applicant batch.
4) Technical Interview—technical interviews range from writing code on a computer while on the phone with your interviewer to working through a design on a whiteboard. In both cases, make sure to do as many practice questions as possible. If you know that you are going to be writing code on paper, make sure that you practice on paper. Writing code on a computer is completely different than writing it by hand.
Through WaterlooWorks, there are a few ways interviews are conducted.
2) Webcam—remember to make eye contact with the webcam instead of constantly staring at the interviewer’s image on your monitor.
3) Phone—dress up as you would for an in-person interview. This professional image subconsciously modifies your behaviour and self-image, enabling you to interview better.