Skip to main content
Communication, Art + Technology › Communication › Public + Community Relations
International Association of Business Communicators, Canadian Public Relations Society
SFU Co-op Student

two people shaking hands
Your job as a coffee shop barista who deals with lots of customers every day might perfectly illustrate your communication skills.

You submitted a stellar resume and landed an interview. Great! Now you have to ace the interview. At the interview, you will want to make a good impression, so make it count! Remember the interviewer is interested in learning if you will fit in. The interviewer will be looking to discover if you can and will do the job. Here are some tips to give yourself an edge!


Before you go into the job interview, it is very important to make sure you research the organization inside and out. This shows the employer that you are taking the interview seriously, and that you really do want to work for the organization.

Practice , Practice, Practice

As they say, practice makes perfect, so that means that you should practice doing an interview before the actual one! You can easily find sample interview questions online that is related to your field. SFU has partnered up with Interview Stream, where you can simulate an interview by answering pre-recorded questions using your webcam. From there you are able to playback and assess your verbal and non-verbal communication skills.

Dress To Impress

The golden cardinal rule: dress one level above what is expected at the workplace. This does not mean to rock out the tuxedo, but a nice suit and tie or blazer and pencil skirt will make you look very neat and presentable. Also, dress according to the industry; for the business oriented job dress more conservative, while at a more creative position, dress so that it suggest you are creative!

Bring Your Resume

And bring an extra copy for the employer. He/she may already have a copy in front of them already, but the resume is for you! You are allowed to refer to your resume to help answer questions about your experiences and qualifications. Think of it as cue cards; this will help you think of what to say without saying too much.

Transferrable Skills

Make sure you research thoroughly the company’s history as well as the job requirements. Do they require strong communications skills? Make sure you are able to provide an example of your skills.Your job as a coffee shop barista who deals with lots of customers every day might perfectly illustrate your communication skills.

Ask Questions

When you ask questions, this shows that you’ve done your homework. The employer always asks if you have any questions for them, and this is a test to see how much research you have done and to see what kind of personality you have. Some questions include what is the work environment like, and if you were to get this position, what can you do to exceed his/her expectations?

The Handshake

This first handshake is a key part in establishing a positive impression. Strong and firm, yet not having a bone-crushing death grip is key!

Now that you have read the brief primer on how to ace the job interview, don’t forget that if you need practice, Career Services offers career coaching, as well as mock interviews to help prepare you for that interview! Visit us today!

Beyond the Blog

International Association of Business Communicators, Canadian Public Relations Society
SFU Co-op Student
Mike Wong is an aspiring Public Relations Professional, interested in Crisis Communications and Content Strategy. Connect with Mike on Twitter.
visibility  102
Oct 31, 2012

You Might Like These... Prospective, Professional Development, Career Exploration

Co-op students jumping in the air
The Co-op Connection Helps Retention

In this blog post, Heather shares with us why co-op is an important experience for all students, whether it be to further career aspirations or to gain future employment opportunities. 

author, courtney, smiling
A Second Term in Government: More of the Same?

Having completed my first work term for Health Canada as a Communications Officer Intern, I was eager to try something new, and the government was not where I believed that was going to happen. That is until I was offered a position at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada...

Hands holding a volunteer badge
Sana Siddiqui: Volunteerism Opens up Endless Possibilities | Part Two

She has been involved with SFU LEAD, Peer Programs and the SFU Muslim Students’ Association, just to name a few. Now, Sana Siddiqui, a Criminology student, reflects back and shares with us the invaluable academic, personal and professional skills and opportunities volunteering opened for her, read on to find out what she has to say about getting involved on campus and in the community.

You Might Like These... Career Exploration

Johnny on the phone
Feel Limited By Your Major?

How accurate are you in predicting what a person’s career would be based on what they majored in university? Read a list of some of my close friends’ careers.  Can you guess what their university majors were? Take this quiz and match the job title to the university major:

New Opportunities in a Changing Canada

A co-op semester at Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada (CIRNAC) allowed International Studies student, William Reid, to learn more about Canada's relationship with Indigenous people. Read more, here. 

My Co-op Experience at a Chiropractic Office

Read about Harpeet's co-op experience as a Therapy and Office Assistant at DesLauriers Chiropractic Group Inc and find out how this experience has helped them gain valuable lifelong skills.