Interview preparation tips


If you have been contacted for an interview, congratulations! As part of your preparation, you may wish to do one or all of the following:

• Browse the City website extensively
• Review the job posting you applied to
• Review your skills and experience that relate to the position you applied to
• Familiarize yourself with frequently used interview questions

The interview gives you and the interview panel a chance to evaluate whether you have the knowledge, qualifications and skills that would make you highly successful in the job you have applied for.

A panel interview typically consists of two or more interviewers. Typically, a panel interview includes the immediate supervisor, one or two people from Human Resources and/or one or two people from the immediate business unit or work area. The panel of interviewers are going to ask you questions about some situations and listen to how you handled them.

The types of interview questions you will be asked depend on the requirements of the position you are being interviewed for. For example, if a job requirement is 'working to deadlines', the interviewers are looking for candidates to provide examples of:

• Organizational skills,
• Methodology used in prioritizing competing tasks, and
• Meeting deadlines.

The situations you describe do not have to be directly related to work - they may be related to leisure activities, volunteer work or school projects.

Develop short, but detailed and specific, stories about how you handled situations similar to those you might encounter on the job. Begin with a brief description of the situation (e.g. a problem you faced, a task you were assigned), then describe what you did. End by describing what happened as a result of the action you took. If possible, include numbers or statistics confirming the positive results you achieved.

Also, be prepared to provide examples of times when things did not turn out as you planned. What went wrong? What did you do? What contingencies did you have in place? What did you learn from the experience?

If none of your prepared stories fit the requirements of the questions asked during the interview, take time to think about your answers. You cannot anticipate all of the possible questions, so be prepared to think on your feet.

Be honest. City interviewers may ask you follow-up questions if they require more details or need you to clarify information.

Please bring your certifications with you if you are called for an interview. For positions requiring a driver’s licence the City requires driver’s abstracts. For positions working with vulnerable citizens the City requires a security clearance.