The moment I became an interviewer

It’s that huge recruitment season again. UBC Career Services have been sending invitations to networking events, career fairs, info sessions and so on non-stop over these few weeks. I have been to a few and on one occasion AIESEC UBC recruited new members for this year, I had the privilege of interviewing many candidates. So I thought it might be a good idea to share a bit tips with you. I am by no means a professional HR but I hope this is useful for some.

It was probably the third newbie day of AIESEC UBC I attended and the third time I interviewed potential members. It is always a huge pleasure talking to people even though I’m a really shy person, but being an interviewer is much more than talking to my interviewee — inevitably, I am evaluating them of whether they can fit in well at AIESEC UBC. From my experience, as well as from the perspectives of some people I’ve talked to, including my mum and dad who have interviewed lots of people for their respective companies, here are some tips on acing that interview!

First, dress appropriately and show up on time. If you cannot make it on time, do the courtesy of letting people know. We do pay attention to who arrives late! In AIESEC (or any organisation), we always have deadlines. If one can’t be on time during the weekend when you have no class, then we can not expect to trust that person on punctuality during busy busy school days.

Second, bring one (preferrably two) resumes with you and make sure it is well written.Spend some time formatting it, and making it unique to who you are. An interview with AIESEC is like an interview with a business organization.

Third, whatever question you are answering, give elaborate answers and give examples. When you do give examples, be precise and to the point, and more importantly, emphasize what you did to contribute, rather than saying ‘we’.

Next, body language is important. Having eye contact and a smile can make a big difference. As far as interviews go, it not just about what you say, but more about how you say it. A firm handshake is always good too.

Last, when answering questions, make sure to be yourself and avoid sounding robotic. It is fine to prepare beforehand, but make sure that your answer does not sound like a “standard” response.  textbook/standard interview responses. Just imagine an interviewer hearing pretty much the same answer to a question over the recruitment period… make sure you add your personal twist!

And that good old question about your weakness? It is perfectly okay if it is a real weakness and it is great that you realize it. Just make sure you tell us what you are doing to improve it. However, be aware of the position that you are applying for, and ensure that your weakness does not get in the way of it. For example, when applying for a job position that entails making phone calls, telling the interviewer that you hate talking on the phone may not be a good idea.

What do you folks think, interviewers and interviewees?

The post was first posted at AIESEC UBC Blog.

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