Following on from our recent article sharing our new starters’ tips on acing your CGI interview, we sat down with three of our Directors to hear some of their own insights and advice.

At CGI, our goal is to empower all our Partners and that includes our prospective candidates. We do our best to create an environment that helps you to shine in your interview, and feel it’s the interviewer’s responsibility to give every candidate the opportunity to present the best possible version of themselves.

We asked our Directors what helps candidates stand out and how an applicant can demonstrate the value they’ll add to our company. Noting that every candidate is different, we look for ways that each individual can add to the CGI culture, rather than just fit into the team.

Here’s what Craig, John and Paul told us.

Craig Brown

Craig Brown, Director - Cyber security

What's your favourite question candidates ask you in an interview? Why?

“Can you tell me about the team culture?” It indicates the candidate is looking for more than a job and wants to be part of the team.

What advice do you have for candidates preparing for an interview with CGI?

There are a few items at the top of the list:

  1. Research CGI and understand who we are as a company
  2. Understand the role and prepare your questions to understand it even further once you’ve spoken to us
  3. Review your resume; we will ask you about the strengths you have stated on your CV. Be careful to not be overly creative.

What behaviours or answers do you look for in an interview?

To begin with, we look beyond the nerves of the candidate, because everyone has a level of nerves. Just concentrate on being on time, checking your technology is working for virtual interviews and have a glass of water or your preferred drink at hand.

We always look to see if the candidate answers a question or “dances around” the answer instead, especially when we ask for a technical response. When assessing your answer, we are looking at your understanding of the question, transparency of your level of knowledge, and ability to think critically even if you don’t know the exact answer. The goal is to build a team of strength, so it’s okay if you don’t know everything - we simply want to understand what you do know.

Beyond all of that, the most important thing we look for in the interview is what you will bring to the team. We encourage diversity and want new team members who will treat their clients and peers with respect, openly share their knowledge, and help the team grow.

John Taylor

John Taylor, Director Consulting Services Government

What's your favourite question candidates ask you in an interview?

“Why have you stayed with CGI for so long?” Because it is not a short answer! It also shows a level of investment and research.

What advice do you have for candidates preparing for an interview with CGI?

Do some research to really understand what services CGI provides to its clients and where you would fit in and add value to their delivery.

What behaviours or answers do you look for in an interview?

Thoughtful responses that are backed up with evidence that demonstrates a level of maturity and understanding of the intent of the question.

Paul Englund

Paul Englund, Director Consulting Services

What's your favourite question candidates ask you in an interview? Why?

“What’s it like working in your team?” or “What is the culture like?”

It reaffirms that the candidate wants to understand that the organisation they are looking to join is the right fit for them.

What advice do you have for candidates preparing for an interview with CGI?

Do the research on the company both globally and locally. Again, this reaffirms that the candidate wants to understand that the organisation they are looking to join is the right fit for them.

Understand the role as much as possible and if there are any gaps, have the appropriate questions prepared.

Be on time either virtually or at the location of a face-to-face interview.

What behaviours or answers do you look for in an interview?

Open and honest answers. If you don’t know the answer to a question, be upfront and say so. I’d encourage the candidate to explain how they would find out (e.g. research, ask a peer, etc.). This then demonstrates problem-solving.

Confidence when answering questions, because as an interviewer I want to trust the information being provided. This ties in with the being open and honest point above.

Although we take each candidate’s circumstances into account, generally we look for succinct responses that ably address the points of the question. Any additional points must be relevant to the question we’ve asked. Don’t waffle.

We want you to feel empowered to do your best when you interview at CGI. Our work really makes a difference, so we are looking to build teams that really understand and care about the services we deliver. Come prepared to show us your whole self and in return, we promise an interview experience you’ll walk away from feeling that you’ve been able to show us the best version of yourself and what you can add to our fantastic culture. Head to our careers page for our latest job openings.