Job Interviews—the 4 Ps of Successful Interviews

by Janice - 2 Comment(s)

During Career Tours at the Central Library, I often ask the participants how many enjoy the interview process. Generally one or two brave souls will raise their hands. The rest of us look at job interviews as something we have to endure.

So what can we do to help ensure a positive job interview experience? According to the ALIS Tip Sheet: 4 Ps are key to a successful interview:

1. Prepare

  • Know yourself
  • Know the organization and the job
  • Know your accomplishments

Pre-interview preparation can be the key to a successful interview. The Library has have books, articles, databases and programs to help you research a job, industry or employer and better understand yourself and your accomplishments (as applicable to job interviews). Contact us to get started.

Two databases to start your employer or key contact research:

  • Reference USA: Canadian Businesses
    This database includes more than 1.5 million Canadian company profiles, providing information on type of business, company size and key contacts.
  • Canadian Newsstand
    These databases allow access to full articles, columns and features from major Canadian dailies and smaller regional daily and weekly newspapers, including full text of Calgary Herald articles from Dec 7, 1988.

2. Practice

As I say to customers, most of us don’t have much practice in selling or marketing ourselves—this is why practice is so important. The library runs programs on preparing for interviews and has books, ebooks, DVDs and other information sources to support you. I always suggest having a friend, colleague, classmate or family member do a mock interview with you. Give them a list of typical interview questions and answer as if you are in an actual interview. The more often you practice answering these types of questions, the more likely you’ll be able to answer similar questions well in real interview situations.



3. Participate

Participation is how you present yourself in a job interview, from your appearance and how you greet the interviewer(s) to how you behave during and after the entire interview process. Hiring managers often get an impression of you in less than 2 minutes so be sure to make those first minutes (or seconds!) count. Preparation is another aspect of participation: if you have researched the employer and position, you’ll have targeted responses to the interviewer’s questions and have prepared intelligent questions for the interviewer.

Forbes 5 Ways to Make a Killer First Impression

What You Wish You'd Known Before Your Job Interview David Schepp AOL Jobs

4. Be Positive

Remember to always remain positive, both during the interview process and afterwards. View an interview that doesn’t lead to a job as practice, learning or even networking for future potential positions. Interviews can be stressful and not getting a job can often be a big blow to the ego. Talking about the experience with others can help you realize that most of us have stories about “interviews gone wrong” or “the perfect job that got away.”

Our popular Strategic Networking program is a great place to come talk to others and get some positive support in your career journey.

Hail Claimed Your Roof? Who Ya Gonna Call?

by Roberta - 0 Comment(s)

Having felt the angry scourge and aftermath of several damaging hail storms this past summer, I shouldn’t have been surprised to learn that Canada’s property and casualty insurance industry is one of the largest contributors to our financial sector, employing more than 110,000 Canadians. Not far behind is our banking industry, with full time employment having increased 25.4% over the past ten years.

It appears to be a rosy outlook. Yet many are unaware of the variety of jobs, complexity and growth opportunities within each sector, even with the growth of, and reliance on, automation. According to the Canadian Banker’s Association, for example, these new technologies have resulted in interesting jobs that focus on the development of in-depth and value-added customer relationships, requiring banks to recruit employees with higher education or skill levels.

This is all good news for those thinking of using their transferable skills in a new profession. To explore this, the Calgary Public Library, in partnership with Alberta Works, is hosting a full day event focusing on these careers entitled Discover Careers in Banking and Insurance Wednesday June 19, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Central Library.

We are featuring a morning hosted by industry leaders and career champions, followed by an afternoon hiring fair. Trevor Buttrum, from the Insurance Institute of Canada, will be one of our keynote speakers and there to answer questions and address misconceptions. One of his favourites? “You do not require a business or finance degree to work in the industry,” says Trevor in a recent interview. “In fact, no matter what your background, chances are you can find ‘a fit’ in the insurance sector. Gifted at math? Consider a role as an actuary. Have a kinesiology, nursing or health sciences degree? Think about work as a loss adjuster specializing in accident benefits. English your thing? Take a look at underwriting." In other words, there is lot to explore and consider.

We invite you to join the discussion. To register for this free event, visit Eventbrite, or visit us the day of the event. For the complete list of companies and training partners at the event, visit Calgary Jobs on Facebook.

Employer Sleuthing

by Roberta - 1 Comment(s)

Canada’s Oil and Gas industry will need to find a whopping 125,000 to 150,000 new workers by 2022, according to a new report by the Petroleum Human Resources Council of Canada. With issues such as retirements and turnover, compounded by strong industry growth, there is a heavy demand for skilled workers in the sector.

Hence, the upcoming Global Energy Career Expo June 12 & 13 at Stampede Park, a chance for job seekers to meet face to face with recruiters. Words of advice for attendees this year, however: come prepared. I spoke with recruiters after last year’s event, only to find out that the majority of attendees were going to employer tables without targeted questions, and without knowledge of the company or industry. One recruiter told me “When I asked what kind of job this gentleman wanted and why, he responded, 'Well I don’t know, I just want to work for your company.' He knew almost nothing about our company. And he expected me to look at his resume and figure out what he’d be good at our company, or our how he’d fit in. That’s not my job. That’s his.”

Being properly prepared for these opportunities is my theme when I present at the Oil and Gas Job Search Boot Camps: Employer Sleuthing: How to Research Employers and Stand Out in a Crowd. We also came up with a cheat sheet of suggested questions when researching employers, maybe a few you haven’t considered. Library staff answer questions like this on a daily basis, so don't hesitate to contact us at 403-260-2782 if you need research support.