The You’re Hired! Interview Competition has wrapped up for another year. Dalhousie’s finalists were Lindsay Proudfoot, fourth year Commerce student who landed in third place, and Danielle Skuy, first year Commerce student who scored second place.
We asked Lindsay and Danielle about how they prepared for the competition, what they felt set them apart from the other competitors, and what advice they had for students who may be considering competing in future interview competitions.
How did you prepare for the competition?
Lindsay felt that she had been preparing for the past five years for this competition! She completed three work terms at Scotiabank and she prepared for You’re Hired! by going over her work term reports from these co-ops. She also did further research on Scotiabank, consolidated her skills, and focused on behavioural questions. Lindsay noted that the preparation for the competition differed from a real job interview because she felt it focused on behavioural questions more so than highlighting specific skill sets for a particular job.
Danielle used the ‘STAR’ approach (Situation, Task, Action, and Result) for the interview stage of the competition, and she related the results portion of her answers directly to the job posting. She felt that she was able to use this approach to show how the results would benefit the company. Danielle found the situational question most challenging. Her advice to other students is to take a risk by not always making the safe response or always giving the answer you think they want.
Danielle’s preparation for the finals involved more research on Scotiabank, the banking industry, and fine tuning her STAR answers so that they were clear and concise. She also asked her mom for some guidance.
What set you apart from the other contestants?
Lindsay reflected that her previous work term experience helped to set her apart from the competition. Her unique work term experiences and the research she did on banking trends and financial information about Scotiabank were helpful to her. Lindsay believed the elevator pitch portion of the competition and the feedback she received was very beneficial. She was mindful of the time limit for the elevator pitch, and she advocated having a strong finish even if it meant finishing with a second to spare.
Danielle credited the elevator pitches as setting her apart from the other contestants. Danielle was well prepared; she studied the job description and connected the job characteristics with obvious traits and skills that would be beneficial. She also focused on her international experience and language skills which connected with the international scope of Scotiabank’s global business presence in over 50 countries.
What advice do you have for other students who may consider entering next year’s You’re Hired! competition?
Lindsay advises that connecting your experience with a required skill is important, and she feels that it is equally important to show your personality.
“The Interview Competition is the optimal way to build your professional network and gain insight into how to differentiate yourself in the interview process. The judges are eager to give you feedback and answer your questions. Overall, a very rewarding learning experience. No matter what, you’ll come out with a valuable learning experience and maybe a few business cards.”
Danielle thinks that students who are considering an interview competition should “go for it.” She received some great feedback, and she encourages other students to take advantage of it!