an innoVative centre in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

helping families in ottawa, canada become self-sufficient contributing members of society

Centre Youville Centre
Ottawa-Carleton Inc.
150 Mann Avenue
Ottawa ON Canada
K1N 8P4

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613-231-5150 ext. 117

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Charitable Reg. Number:
11884 8456 RR0001

Youville Centre


Preparing for the Interview: Dress for success

Doing well in an interview isn't just about what you say; it's also about how you appear.


1. DON'T show too much skin.

DO opt for a button up blouse or simple sweater with slacks. The key to dressing for a job interview is to present a professional, not provocative appearance. A job interview is the time to show off your other assets.

2. DON'T overdo your makeup.

DO let your natural beauty shine.
Nothing screams insecurity like a face caked with makeup. A little blush, mascara and lip gloss should suffice.

3. DON'T dress too dressy.

DO go for a smart and sharp look.
Dressing too formally can give the impression that you are a bit stiff or that you are more concerned with your appearance than the actual job.

4. DON'T over-accessorize.

DO choose simple and elegant pieces that will help polish your look.
Your personality and qualifications are what you want the interviewer to remember, not the chunky necklace or the hoop earrings that kept swaying during the interview.

5. DON'T wobble in high-heels.

DO step out in sensible shoes.
High heels are sassy, feminine and fashionable, but they look ridiculous if you can't walk naturally in them. It's hard to project confidence when you're concentrating on not wiping out.


1. DON'T wear a hat.

DO go for a haircut before the big day.
Hats, especially caps, are just plain inappropriate for a job interview. The state of you hair affects the impression that other people have of your grooming. The last thing you want in a job interview is to look unkempt.

2. DON'T layer.

DO opt for a long-sleeved dress shirt.
Short-sleeved T-shirts layered over long-sleeved ones are a great look for hanging out with your buddies, but appear sloppy in an interview.

3. DON'T wear patterned shirts.

DO stick to solids.
Currently, most trendy men's shirts are covered with graphic patterns, but these can be distracting for an interviewer. Stick to solid colours or very simple patterns like pinstripes that don't look busy.

4. DON'T be afraid to ask for style help.

DO seek out expert opinions.
Choosing the right outfit to wear to an interview can be a daunting task. Clothing stores have experts whose job is to offer you advice, so use them!

5. DON'T wait until the last minute to try on your outfit.

DO plan ahead.
Make sure everything looks good and fits properly. Allow yourself plenty of time to co-ordinate your look.

1. What qualities will you bring to our company?
2. What five adjectives would best describe you?
3. What are your career goals for the next five years?
4. Tell me about a situation where you made a decision that other did not agree with but you stuck with your decision?
5. What makes you a good team member?
6. Give an example of a work related problem you once has and how you went about solving it?
7. In school what subjects did you excel at and which subjects gave you trouble?
8. What are some of your faults and weaknesses, and how do you plan on improving them?
9. Do you work well in pressure situations and when having to meet deadlines?
10. What are some of your strengths?
11. Are you an organized person? If so, what makes you so well organized? If not, what do you need to do to improve your organizational skills?
12. What are some of your interests outside of work hours?
13. Rate your creativity on a scale from 1-10. Explain.
14. During school did you participate in any extra curricular activities? Why or why not? If so, which ones? What skills did you get from there experiences.

Check list of things to have ready:

Social Insurance Number
Phone number with answering machine
Appropriate email address
Copies of up-to-date resumes
Good cover letter
Updated portfolio

Interview Checklist - 8 hints to ace your interview

Before the big day, research the company and the position you have applied for.
The more information you know, the more impressive to the interviewer.
Check out the company's website and talk to people who work there.

Practice answering common interview questions in front of someone (mom, dad, friend) and prepare questions of your own. Asking questions in an interview shows you have actually thought about the interview and have an interest in the position.

Showing up late for an interview doesn't make a very good first impression. Arrive ten to fifteen minutes early to check in with the receptionist and shake off any pre-interview
jitters. If you are not sure how long it will take to get to the interview location, do a trial run before the big day, timing how long it actually takes to get there. It is better to get to an interview too early than too late.

Non-verbal messages are being observed as well. Have a firm handshake. Look your interviewer in the eye and don't fidget (playing with hair, tapping feet).

Nobody likes getting stumped in an interview, but it happens. So what's the best way to recover from a blank-out? Turn the potentially negative situation into a positive one. For example, if you are asked if you can make spreadsheets and you have never tried, turn it into an opportunity to tell them what a quick learner you are. Just be honest. Lying will only get you into trouble.

You should not just be on your best behaviour during an interview - manners matter when it's over, too. Offering a firm handshake and a "thank you" is a respectful way to finish up. It can remind the interviewer who you are and help you stand out from the crowd.

Be enthusiastic and confident in your abilities to do the job if you get it. Interviewers want to see that your personality fits the company, so be yourself. At the end of the of the interview, ask about the next step in the process.

Send a thank you e-mail or note (not a phone call) the day after the interview. It will refresh the interviewer's mind about you if they've been interviewing a number of applicants.