Skip to main content
Communication, Art + Technology › Communication
OLC Student Community Coordinator

a man wearing a suit is on his laptop in a quiet setting
Credit
pexels.com
Not only do you need to impress [the HR rep] to get through to the next round, but even if you don’t get one particular job, you want the HR rep to remember you (in a good way) when the next opening comes along.

There’s no shortage of interview formats or styles that can throw even the most experienced interviewee off their game, but if you familiarize yourself with as many of these as possible, you’ll be less likely to show up unprepared. Which is why this series is here, so you can become familiar with the multitude of interview styles you could face.

Many large companies use their HR department to pre-screen potential candidates by conducting a screening interview. You might receive a phone call from an HR representative looking to have a short conversation with you to determine if you’d “fit” with the organization. While some people think that this step is not as important as a formal interview, don’t forget: Not only do you need to impress here to get through to the next round, but even if you don’t get one particular job, you want the HR rep to remember you (in a good way) when the next opening comes along.

The Good

  • These interviews are fairly casual and you aren’t expected to be completely prepared – but it is a bonus.

  • You can gain a glimpse into the company’s values and what it’s like working there.

  •  A good first impression can result in a solid contact within the organization.

The Bad

  • These interviews are often conducted over the phone, which many people struggle with.

  • If you’re caught off guard by an unexpected call you may not show off your best qualities.

  • The HR rep will likely make up their mind within the first two minutes.

The Helpful

  • Don’t get caught off guard – keep your resume and portfolio within easy reach so you can refer to them.

  • Keep copies of recent job descriptions for positions you’ve applied for. Jot down notes about the company that you can reference on the call.

  • If you’re in a distracting environment don’t hesitate to ask the caller to hold on for a minute while you find a quiet room.

  • Be yourself, not who you think they’re looking for.

  • Smile when you talk, it may feel silly, but it will change your inflection.

  • As the conversation wraps up, ensure that you understand the next step of the hiring process.

Potential Questions

  • What interests you about this job?

  • What is it about our company that appeals to you?

  • Can you describe your last job?

Beyond the Blog

OLC Student Community Coordinator
visibility  280
Apr 23, 2012

You Might Like These... Co-op Reflections, Professional Development, Career Exploration, Student Success

picture of marlo in a lab, smiling
Student Spotlight: Marlo Shackleford

The 4th and final interview with the MBB co-op students. The OLC talks to Marlo Shackleford, a 4th year MBB student who worked 3 terms over the last year first with Welichm Biotech Inc. and then UBC James Hogg iCAPTURE Centre at St. Paul’s Hospital.

Old magazine that reads, "Cool! English"
Doing Your English Degree? Be Ready fro Unexpected Career Opportunities

What can you do with an English degree? The wide range of opportunities may surprise you. Arts & Social Sciences Co-op staff and English Undergraduate Advisor offer tips on pursuing a career with a degree in English.

animated man being pulled down a hill an @ sign, underneath the words "take control of your reputation"
Enhancing Your Online Reputation

Your resume and cover letter impressed them… Your interview dazzled them… and you’re confident that your references will sing your praises. But, what else could factor into an employer’s assessment of you as a potential employee?

You Might Like These... Seeking

Image reads, "Rejected" in red block letters, with a large X over the word "resume"
Five Reasons Why Your Résumé Might Get Tossed Out (and Other Resume Don'ts)

Your résumé is your first chance to impress a potential employer. A few avoidable mistakes, however, might force a potential employer to toss out your résumé in the “NO” file. What are the most common mistakes applicants make with their résumés? Avoid these common pitfalls to increase your chances of getting an interview!

Jerkone's online portfolio
5 Tips for Online Portfolios: Employer’s Perspective

Portfolio tips straight from the employers, they share with us what they look for in online portfolios and how they decide who they’re bringing in for interviews. 

View of Dusseldorf, Germany at sunset
Building Bilateral Relationships: International Co-op in Germany During a Pandemic

Though a move across the world during a pandemic was daunting, I was comforted by my German language ability, my experience having spent time in the country, and the strong co-op support team that stood behind me.