Interview process and procedures

Quick links

Interviews are a critical factor in the job search process. Review the interview skills module in CareerHub to learn best practices for successful interviews.

Commitment to interviews

Once you have applied to jobs in WaterlooWorks, you are committed to all interviews you receive.

Important: you are required to attend all scheduled interviews, regardless of their status 'Confirmed' or 'Unconfirmed'. Review the help documentation for more detail.

You are expected to conduct yourself professionally and with integrity in all interviews.

Withdrawing from interviews

The following are the only reason for which you may be exempted from interviews:

  • Prior to the start of the first interview cycle (before 12:00 p.m. on the business day prior to the first day of interviews)
    • You have chosen to return to a previous employer
    • You have accepted an arranged own job that has not been posted in WaterlooWorks​
  • During the first interview cycle
    • You are a first work term student, and you have accepted an arranged own job that has not been posted in WaterlooWorks
  • During the continuous interview cycle postings, if you have accepted an arranged own job that has not been posted in WaterlooWorks before 12:00 p.m. the business day prior to your interview
  • Anytime after the final continuous interview cycle match date while jobs are still being posted

Interview procedures

Individual interview

  • Once you're selected for an interview, you can select your timeslot from the 'My Interviews to Schedule' section on the dashboard
  • If the schedule isn't listed in this section, a time has already been selected for you. You'll need to 'Confirm' the interview. 
    • Important: you are required to attend all scheduled interviews, regardless of their status 'Confirmed' or 'Unconfirmed.'
  • The location and time of your interview is available in WaterlooWorks on the 'Interviews' tab of the dashboard
  • Check WaterlooWorks the afternoon before your scheduled interview for the correct room number. As a best practice, it is always good to check WaterlooWorks daily and in the morning the day of your interview as there could be a last minute revision due to an employer request.

If you have an in-person interview in the Tatham Centre

  1. Arrive at least ten minutes before your scheduled interview time
  2. Find a seat in the waiting area (Ground Level)
  3. Watch for your name to appear on the overhead monitors
  4. When your name appears, report to the Paging Desk
  5. After checking in at the Paging Desk, proceed to the interview room

Check in before your interview

We need to know you showed up for the interview. If you do not check in when your name appears or is called, CE staff can't account for your attendance. Your name will be added to the "Missed Interview" list and you will be contacted with instructions.

Group interview

  • If you have a group interview, go to the interview room directly five minutes before the group interview
  • Your name will not appear on the overhead monitors for group interviews

Phone or video/Skype interview

Phone and video interviews mainly take place on-campus in TC at one of our four call centres.

  • On the afternoon prior to your interview, please check WaterlooWorks for your interview time and the colour-coded call centre you wil check in at.
  • The location of your phone/webcam interview will be in the following format on WaterlooWorks:
    • [BLUE]-[TC][2217] - [Colour-coded call centre]-[Building][Room number]
  • On the day of your interview, please check in at your assigned call centre:
    • BLUE/RED/YELLOW: Second level
    • GREEN: Lower level
    • Always check in with the appropriate call centre attendant at least five minutes before your interview time and wait in the designates area as instructed
  • Do NOT wait in the main floor in-person waiting area, your name will NOT appear on the television monitors if you have a phone or webcam interview
  • When your interview is complete, please check out with the call centre attendant before you leave.

Requesting accommodations

If you are a student with permanent, temporary or suspected disabilities you may be seeking accommodations throughout the interview process. Students are encouraged to contact their student advisor or a career advisor to arrange for such accommodations with employers.

If you require support with determining your necessary accommodations, please contact AccessAbility Services.

Contacting employers after interviews and matches 

  • Do not contact employers to re-arrange interview times or dates. Connect with other students on the interview schedule to switch times, or submit an 'Interview Conflict' message in WaterlooWorks. Learn more about interview conflicts.
  • Don’t call an employer directly to discuss the interview process or to discuss rankings
  • If an employer contacts you, you don't have to share your ranking choices. Instead, we suggest that you refer the employer to Co-operative Education policies.
    • If you have a concern, contact your student advisor (or a career advisor if you’ve not yet had a first work term). The best way to connect with your advisor is by sending a message from your WaterlooWorks dashboard.
  • When you’re matched with a job, prepare a letter of acceptance (i.e., to acknowledge your employment match, confirm your understanding of the salary and the start date, etc.) and send it to your employer by email. Your employer's contact information is available on your work-term record in WaterlooWorks.

Interview conflicts

Individual interview conflicts

If you have an interview conflict (e.g. exams/midterms, medical appointments, conflicting interview times, personal/family emergencies, academic/professional events, etc.), try to switch time slots with another candidate:

  1. Look up other student names and email addresses on the interview schedule on WaterlooWorks
  2. Send an email requesting a switch
  3. If you’re successful and the interview schedule is open, make the switch in WaterlooWorks 
  4. If the interview schedule will not let you make the switch, the person who initiated the switch must send an 'Interview Conflict - another student agreed to switch times' form in WaterlooWorks immediately
    1. Once this form has been submitted, please don’t wait to receive confirmation. Both you and the other student should attend the interview at your new stated times

If you can't resolve your individual interview conflict

  1. Use the 'Submit a Form' button in WaterlooWorks to send an interview conflict form
  2. Contact the Information Centre, Ground Level, TC if you have any questions
  • Answer all questions on the form
  • NOTE: Resolving conflicts may take more than one business day. Please do not submit multiple requests for the same interview, as we are doing our best with the employer to resolve your conflict
  • If you have a valid conflict at the time of your scheduled interview, the completed form will be shared with your employer in priority sequence. You will receive confirmation once your conflict has been resolved, and the changes will be reflected on WaterlooWorks
  • If you do not receive confirmation by 4:30pm the afternoon prior to your interview date, please check in before the start of the schedule:
    • For an in-person interview - at the Paging Desk
    • For a phone/web interview - at the appropriate Call Centre (Blue, Red, Yellow, or Green)
    • Unable to come in person - via phone at 519-888-4026
  • If you do not have a valid conflict, and your request is declined, you are expected to attend your interview as scheduled. Missing interviews can result in suspension of your access to the job application process in WaterlooWorks. Find more information about missing interviews below.

Group interview conflicts

If you have more than one group interview scheduled at the same time, attend the one you’re more interested in.

If possible, let the interviewer of the other group interview know before their session begins that, due to a conflict, you can’t attend their group session, but you’ll be attending the individual interview later.

If you’re unable to inform the other employer, use the 'Submit a Form' button in WaterlooWorks to submit an interview conflict form.

Off-campus interview support

Students eligible for off-campus interview support

  1. Students on an 8-month work term (per sequence, students scheduled for two consecutive work terms)
    • Students on the first 4 months of an 8-month work term, recruiting for the second 4 months
  2. Exchange students
    • Students on an academic exchange in the term prior to a work term, recruiting for the upcoming work term
  3. 4A Architecture students studying in Rome
    • Students studying in Rome during the Fall term, recruiting for the upcoming Winter work term

Note: Students away from campus during interviews for reasons other than those listed above, are not eligible to receive off-campus support. Examples include absences due to academic field trips, personal/health reasons, etc. Students with short-term absences should follow the Interview Conflict process.


Currently on a Work Term – Working in Canada/USA

If you are currently on a work term and plan to participate in interviews this term you must complete all of the following steps in order to be able to search and apply to jobs:

  • Log in to Waterloo Works and complete your Terms and Conditions
  • Complete your Job Search Intentions and indicate ‘Participating in Job Search’
  • Complete the interview support form using the 'Submit a Form' button on your WaterlooWorks dashboard.
    • Category: Interview support
    • Sub Category: Interview support details while on a work term

Important to Note:

  • You are responsible for making your current Employer aware that you will be participating in interviews this term and that you will require time for those interviews.
  • You are required to indicate in your cover letter that you are currently off campus and therefore not available to interview in-person.
  • Once interviews have begun, you cannot be removed from the interview process and are required to attend all interviews.
  • All interviews and deadlines are in Waterloo time (Eastern Standard Time). Please organize your schedule accordingly.
  • The contact information in your ‘Interview support’ form will be used for all scheduled interviews.
  • If the information on your form needs to be updated, please edit your form with the corrected/updated information

When you are selected for an interview:

  • Interviews are scheduled by Co-operative Education - an interview time will be selected for you.
    • Off-campus students are generally placed into time slots at the end of an interview's schedule. If you have a conflict, follow the Interview Conflict process.
  • The employer receives instructions for contacting you, including the contact information you provided
  • To confirm that your Employer is aware of your contact information: from your Dashboard, select Interviews and click on the View button. Your contact information will be visible in the Booking Instructions.

Currently on a Work Term – Working Abroad

If you are currently on a work term, working abroad, and plan to participate in interviews this term you must complete all of the following steps in order to be able to search and apply to jobs :

  • Log in to Waterloo Works and complete Your terms and Conditions
  • Complete your Job Search Intentions and indicate ‘Participating in Job Search’

Important to Note:

  • You are responsible for making your current Employer aware that you will be participating in interviews this term and that you may require time for those interviews.
  • You are required to indicate in your cover letter that you are currently off campus and therefore not available to interview in-person.
  • Once interviews begin, you cannot be removed from the interview process and are required to attend all interviews.
  • All interviews and deadlines are in Waterloo time (Eastern Standard Time). Please organize your schedule accordingly.

When you are selected for an interview:

  • To accommodate differing time zones, the employer will contact you directly to schedule your interview
  • Contact information on your resume MUST be current.  This will be the information used by the Employer to contact you.

Currently Studying Abroad

If you are currently studying abroad and plan to participate in interviews this term you must complete all of the following steps in order to be able to search and apply to jobs :

  • Log in to Waterloo Works and complete your Terms and Conditions
  • Complete your Job Search Intentions and indicate ‘Participating in Job Search’
  • Complete the ‘Interview Participation - Study Abroad’ form using the ‘Submit a Form’ button from your Dashboard.
    • Category: Interview support
    • Sub Category: Interview support while on academic exchange

Important to Note:

  • You are required to indicate in your cover letter that you are currently studying abroad and therefore not available to interview in-person.
  • Once interviews begin, you cannot be removed from the interview process and are required to attend all interviews.
  • All interviews and deadlines are in Waterloo time (Eastern Standard Time). Please organize your schedule accordingly.

When you are selected for an interview:

  • To accommodate differing time zones, the employer will contact you directly to schedule your interview
  • Contact information on your resume MUST be current.  This will be the information used by the Employer to contact you.

Disregard interviews once you have a job match

Once a job match appears for you in WaterlooWorks, don’t attend any additional interviews (including those on the same day as your job match).

Where possible, alternate candidates will be contacted to take your place. Co-operative Education staff will inform interviewers that you are no longer available.

Your rights during interviews

The Ontario Human Rights Commission (OHRC) publishes a chart that illustrates the type of questions that are appropriate for interviews.

The following categories have restrictions:

  • Birthplace, ancestry, ethnic origin, and place of origin
  • Sex, sexual orientation, marital status, and family statuses
  • Age, race, and colour
  • Citizenship, religion, faith, beliefs
  • Education
  • Record of offences
  • Handicaps
  • References
  • Membership in an organization

Although it’s the responsibility of the interviewer to know the law, they may not be aware. Be informed about your rights. For more information, contact the OHRC.

How do you respond to an employer who asks you a prohibited question? 

  • Respond with the question, “Why do you ask?” This may cause the employer to clarify the question. Your response may offend some employers.
  • State, “I don’t feel obligated to answer that,” or, “That question is inappropriate.” You have the right to contact the OHRC if you feel that you’ve been discriminated against.

Interviews hosted at off-campus locations

Your attendance and professional participation in all interviews is required. We recognize that our student population is located on different campuses; therefore, every effort is made to bring employers to the most appropriate on-campus location(s) for you. We also recognize that some employers may choose, or be required, to conduct their interviews away from campus.

Some employers will know in advance and will state the location of their interviews in their job descriptions. You are required to attend any
off-campus interviews where this has occurred.  For other employers,
last-minute circumstances may cause a change to the location of their interviews due to space constraints at the Tatham Centre.  In the event that you are unable to attend a scheduled interview in a location away from campus (and the location was not clearly indicated in the job description), use the 'Submit a Form' button in WaterlooWorks to submit and Interview Conflict Form as soon as possible to explain why you are unable to attend your scheduled interview.  Where possible, staff in CE will work with you and the employer to make alternate arrangements.

Note:  In the case that you have a conflict with an interview that was posted and scheduled outside of WaterlooWorks, you are expected to connect with that employer directly to resolve your conflict.

Missing employer interviews

You’re required to attend all interviews granted to you through WaterlooWorks, with some exceptions as mentioned above in the off-campus interview section. without taking the steps listed under 'Interview Conflicts' above, the following consequence may take place:

  • Suspension of your access to the job application process in WaterlooWorks

Employers take the time to travel to Waterloo to interview students. Missing interviews is unprofessional and deprives other students of interviews. It may also jeopardize the availability of future work term positions.

If unique circumstances require your absence at any time during the interview cycles, you should call (519)888-4026. After missing an interview, you will be notified by email.

Requesting space in the Tatham Centre

Students requesting to book space in Tatham Centre: Please note, limited space is available in the Tatham Centre, so we can’t guarantee we can accommodate your space request, but will try our best based on the volume of interviews and activities taking place at your requested time.

Time of term

Instructions for students – who to contact

Up to day prior

(interview day or non-interview day)

Email the Room Booking Coordinator to request for space: cecaroom@uwaterloo.ca

Day-of

(interview day)

Visit the Red Call Centre (TC 2201A-N), on the second floor of the Tatham Centre to request for space

*If Red Call Centre is closed, then proceed to the Blue Call Centre (TC 2203-2217) on the second floor of the Tatham Centre to request for space

Day-of

(non-interview day)

Visit the Information Centre on the ground floor of the Tatham Centre to request for space