Competency Category:

15.6 – Work with Clients to Prepare for Employment Interviews

Purpose & Context

Career Development Professionals (CDPs) prepare clients for employment interviews to increase the client’s confidence, ability to articulate their value proposition, and ability to respond to behavioural and situational interview questions.CDPs inform clients that interviewers are not legally allowed to asks questions about country of origin and citizenship status (unless there is a legal requirement for citizenship for the particular job), religion, faith or creed, age, gender or sexual orientation, race or ethnicity, family status, marital status, or mental and physical disabilities. All employment questions must be relevant to the work that needs to be performed to ensure the hiring decision is non-discriminatory.
CDPs perform mock interviews in person, online, or by phone, and coach clients to help them gain confidence and mitigate any concerns that employers may have.

Effective Performance

Competent career development professionals must be able to:

  • P1. Describe purpose and format of different employment interviews, such as:
    • Networking meeting
    • Screening interview
    • Hiring interview
    • Group interview
  • P2. Explain how to perform research prior to the interview, e.g. industry, company, job
  • P3. Explain types of questions asked during interviews, for example:
    • Situational questions, e.g. “If –, then –?”
    • Behavioural questions, e.g. “Tell me about a time when you…?”
    • Illegal questions, e.g. “How old are you? Are you married? Do you have any children?”
    • Open-ended questions, e.g. “Tell me about yourself.”
    • Closed-ended questions, e.g. “Have you ever used a computer?”
  • P4. Formulate interview strategy:
    • Present answer format, e.g. situation, tasks, action, results (STAR)
    • Provide samples of responses
    • Recommend answers relevant to the requirements of the job posting
    • Review formulated answers
    • Address client’s concerns, e.g. perceived barriers
  • P5. Describe how to present for an interview, e.g. attire, personal hygiene
  • P6. Conduct mock interview:
    • Prepare interview questions based on job posting, résumé and cover letter
    • Help client prepare responses, e.g. how to handle inappropriate or illegal questions
    • Practice interview skills with client:
      • Record audio and video
      • Replay and assess videos with client
    • Practice client’s delivery, e.g. tone, flow, level of comfort
  • P7. Prepare clients to negotiate compensation, for example:
    • Conduct research to:
      • Identify appropriate compensation for the position, company, and industry
      • Identify the client’s own compensation requirements
    • Consider aspects of compensation, e.g. salary, perquisites, benefits
    • Prepare to phrase expected salary, if asked:
      • State expectation based on market rate, salary range, or grade level
    • Request offer in writing
    • Negotiate a mutually acceptable compromise
  • P8. Discuss performance after interview:
    • Identify what went well and areas of improvements
    • Select follow-up strategies, e.g. letter, phone call

Knowledge & Understanding

Competent career development professionals must know and understand:

  • K1. Competency-based selection interview best practices
  • K2. Human rights issues that often present in interviews, e.g. illegal questions
  • K3. Canadian human rights legislation and relevant human rights codes, e.g. human rights in the workplace

Contextual Variables

Competent career development professionals must be able to perform this competency in the following range of contexts:

Clients may present with significant barriers or issues, which can require unique interview strategies.

Clients must be trained and educated on human rights legislation and be prepared to identify any question that could potentially lead to discrimination, harassment and barriers to advancement and be prepared to respond effectively e.g. questions that contravene human rights legislation

Glossary & Key References


Industry-specific terms contained in the standard defined here, where applicable.

Value Proposition: is a message that a client can use to consistently communicate his or her promise of value to potential employers. Note this term originated as a marketing strategy to sell products to buyers. In career development, the client is considered “the product” and the employer “the buyer”.

Candidate: a person who is selected or nominated for screening, e.g. job, contract, credit

Information Sources and Resources for Consideration

Graham, Sharon. The Canadian Interview Strategist Study Guide. 5th edition. Career Professionals of Canada, Milton, Ontario, 2020.

Context Rating Scales


Q: What is the consequence of a professional being unable to perform this skill according to the standard?



Q: How frequent and under what conditions is this skill performed?

Occasionally, e.g. generally several times in a month

Level of Difficulty

Q: Under routine circumstances, how would you rate the level of difficulty in performing this skill?

Moderate difficulty or complexity

Time Required to Gain Proficiency

Q: What is the average length of time or number of repeated events that are minimally necessary for an individual to become proficient in performing the skill to the standard?

A competent career development professional requires a minimum of one year of experience with at least 40 different clients, representing a broad range of individuals.


Practitioners typically perform this competency without supervision, and alone.


It is somewhat likely that this competency will automate.

Requisite Work Aids, Tools, Equipment or Materials


Career Development Professional Centre

Help us cultivate a community we all enjoy by reviewing and following the Code of Conduct.  

Our Purpose  

Thank you for being a part of the online CDPC social learning community. To ensure that all members have the best possible experience, we have a few ground rules that we ask everyone to adhere to. This code of conduct applies equally to every person in the community and is intended to foster an online space that is inclusive, safe, and welcoming to all. 

Community Rules 

Be welcoming 

We strive to be a community that welcomes and supports people of all backgrounds and identities. We aim to create and facilitate a community that promotes excellence and innovation in career and workforce development. Please extend respect to all members; we all come from different backgrounds and levels of knowledge and there is no such thing as a stupid question. 

Be respectful 

We won’t all agree all the time, but when we disagree don’t let those disagreements turn into personal attacks. A community where people feel uncomfortable or threatened will not be a productive one. Instead, when having discussions in the online community, create productive conversations around the content being presented, not the person behind the content. Any post that is determined to be “hate speech” towards any individual or group will be deleted, and the user account may be locked until an investigation regarding the post has been concluded. The user may be given a written warning or removed from the CPDC community platform depending on the findings of the investigation.  

Hate Speech could include and is not limited to:  

  • Violent threats or language directed against another person 
  • Discriminatory jokes, language, or materials 
  • Defamatory or abusive language or materials 
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A good rule of thumb is to never post anything that you wouldn’t be comfortable with the world seeing or that you wouldn’t want anyone knowing came from you. We ask that you keep in mind the focus of this community, which is building excellence and innovation in career and workforce development for all individuals.  

Be considerate of the purpose of the community 

This community will be focused on building excellence and discussing innovation in the career and workforce development field. The goal of this community is to communicate goals, challenges, constructive feedback, and questions in relation to career and workforce development. The community should be a place for continued learning and development as well as a place to discuss the future of our field (solicitation without written consent by the Project or Advisory team, is strictly prohibited). Any post that is determined to be soliciting any individual or group will be deleted, and the user account may be locked until an investigation regarding the post has been concluded. The user may be given a written warning or removed from the CPDC community platform depending on the findings of the investigation. 

Post your discussions or documents in the most appropriate group or topic 

Make reasonable efforts to ensure that posts and materials are allocated to the appropriate group or topic. This will prevent cluttering the community and make it easier for everyone to find the information that they are seeking. Individuals who do this repeatedly will be contacted by one of the group admins and asked to follow these guidelines.  

Privacy and Release of Information  

CDPC-CEDC will not release your information to any third-party agencies.  

Group Admins 

There are four group admins who are available to you. Below are their names and their spoken language. 

Heather Powell | Anglophone 

Gabrielle St-Cyr | Francophone/Anglophone 

Florence Desrochers | Francophone/Anglophone

Muriel Andoblé-Yao | Francophone

Thank you and welcome to the CDPC Community!