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

two women writing on the white board
Credit
pexels.com
The interview will usually start with a typical question and answer session before you’ll be asked to complete a specific task out outline a plan to do so.

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.

The point of a Performance Interview is because employers need to know that you can perform the necessary tasks on day one, and in some cases they’ll want to see your ability first hand. The interview will usually start with a typical question and answer session before you’ll be asked to complete a specific task out outline a plan to do so. While these are more common in technical roles or other jobs that require specific skills, they appear in almost every line of work. If you can’t write some code or prepare a specimen in lab, you may be asked to evaluate a business plan or prepare a short press release.

The Good

  • If you have trouble selling yourself, this can be your chance to shine: Just focus on the task at hand and complete it to the best of your ability.

  • This can be beneficial to candidates who have unorthodox experience; here it matters less how you learned a skill, and more on your ability to do it.

The Bad

  • If you exaggerated your experience or are simply out of practice, you may stumble.

  • Trying to complete a complex task under stress may not allow you to demonstrate your best abilities.

  • A mistake here could leave a bad impression – much worse than an awkward answer would.

The Helpful

  • Take a minute to clear your mind – chances are this is a task you can handle. If it helps, forget that you’re in an interview, how would you complete this if you already had the job?

  • If appropriate, thoroughly explain your thought process. This is often the most important part, and just because it’s obvious to you doesn’t mean everyone will be following along.

  • If you find yourself struggling, try something creative!

Potential Questions/Tasks

  • Working with a required coding language.

  • Writing or proofing a potential press release.

  • Outlining a basic marketing plan for a client.

  • Perform basic lab duties.

OLC Student Community Coordinator
visibility  96
Apr 22, 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... Returning to SFU

Janine at convocation
Convocation Reflections: The Winding Road to Find Where You Were Meant to Be

Janine Roller looks back at her SFU co-op experience while speaking at her convocation. She shares how the path you take may not lead to where you expected to go, but it could end up somewhere better.

Balloons floating in the sky
How my First Co-op Position Inspired me to Dream

As an undergraduate student who decided to switch my degree from Psychology to Communication on a whim, I was very nervous about my future career path, especially since I felt like I was the only person that had no big dreams in life. Therefore, I decided to apply to Co-op to start piecing together my goals and ambitions.

Two women looking at a computer together
Building Relationships During Your Co-op at Home

Starting my first co-op work term from home was not ideal. How was I supposed to make meaningful connections with those around me… when they weren’t physically around me?