As you may know, I am currently working on my Public Relations degree. At Mount Saint Vincent University, a large part of the degree is doing co-ops with different businesses in order to get real-life experiences. I have previously worked for the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, and have just gone through the long interview process for my second co-op. I’m not going to lie, the co-op process is stressful. Stressful but SO worth it. I loved my co-op at CMHC and can’t wait to see where I end up next.
Nonetheless, interviewing for any job is always going to be difficult so I decided to share my tips for prepping and nailing your interviews. These tips help me calm my nerves and walk into an interview confidently and feeling prepared!
The Night Before:
Give yourself time to prep… but not too much.
Researching the company you are applying for is very important. But don’t over do it. I like to give myself no more than an hour researching and typing up prep notes for each interview I have. Make sure you cover all of the basic things you know about the company. What is their mission and vision for the company? How do they impact society? What do they value? Find some interesting facts about the company that you can throw in to impress the interviewer. I found an interesting fact about CMHC that I mentioned in my interview and the interviewers hadn’t even been aware of it! It made it obvious that I had done the research and put the time in to preparing for the interview.
Come up with at least two questions to ask during the interview. Interviewers love when you have questions prepared and ready to go in the interview. However, don’t ask your question if the interviewer already answered it just because you had it prepared. You don’t want to look like a robot.
Clear the rest of the evening to pamper yourself.
I find it important to avoid over-prepping. All this will do is stress you out more and make you feel like you aren’t doing enough. I always save about an hour before I go to bed the night before an interview to relax. For me, this usually means having a hot shower or bath, shaving my legs, washing my face with a nice face wash, doing a face mask and watching Netflix. If I have early interviews, I usually prep my breakfast the night before by making a smoothie and boiled eggs and setting my coffee maker to automatically go in the morning. I then hang out my outfit for the next day, ready to go. Just do anything that makes you feel good and stress free! I usually try together to bed decently early as well, so I am not tired the next day.
The Morning Of:
Give yourself extra time to get ready.
One of my favourite things do to is have slow, relaxed mornings. I love to sit on the couch and drink my coffee, then make my way to my room and take my time doing my makeup. This process eases my nerves and allows me to really enjoy my time before my interviews. I usually give myself two hours between waking up and leaving my house to catch the bus.
In terms of makeup, I keep it natural yet professional by sticking with mattes. I have wore nude lipstick in the past, which keeps the look humble and says you are a professional. However, I love a good red-toned lipstick for an interview because it seems confident and shows you aren’t afraid to make a statement.
For my outfit, I like to stick with a classic black dress and a blazer. You could wear boots or flats depending on the weather. I keep jewelry minimal, choosing a dainty necklace and my Micheal Kors watch. I love the flats pictured below because they had a little detail to what was an all black outfit.
Before the Interview:
Before the interview, go over your printed prep notes a few times. Again, don’t over do this. I usually go over my notes for about 10 minutes. I also bring a copy of my application with me incase the interviewer needs it. After reading my notes, I usually put everything away, including my phone and find a quiet spot to sit before the interview (this is usually outside whatever room the interview is). I like to do this because it allows me to focus on my breath, and if I have the jitters, I can usually get it under control doing this.
Lastly, have confidence! Everyone brings something different to the table and you may be just what the interviewer is looking for! I always try to remember this and go into the interview with an open mind. Good luck!
After the Interview: