Like people, job interview comes in all shape and sizes. Every employer has a preferred style of interviewing a candidate for obtaining information they need for their hiring decision.
Employer asks you lots of question and you answer them easy, right? Well, it would be if all interviews conducted are the same; but they are not. Nowadays, interview format varies and as a candidate you should be prepared for the one you are actually attending.
While the interview purpose remains unchanged.
Each type of job interview has a different end-goal in mind, and each type of interview requires you to prepare slightly differently. Never be afraid to ask your recruiter to describe what type of interview that will be conducted.
Do you know what to expect from your interview for a graduate job or training scheme?
That’s why we are here to help. We have had an advice from the experts to identify some of the most common types of job interviews and how you should tackle them.
Traditional One-on-One Interview
The traditional one on one interview is where you are interviewed face-to-face by the professionals in your industry – or at least the person in charge of deciding whether ‘You’re hired’ or ‘You’re fired’.
Here’s where the interviewer will try and find out if the candidate is a culture fit for the company, and leads to a judgement about your overall ability to do your job.
Now, the question here is what you expect in this format of interview. Be prepared to answer the experience you have mentioned on your resume, and how would you offer this experience to the company or the position you are applying for. This question may come to you in verities of form, that includes “Tell me about yourself”, or “Why would you be a good fit for this job”. As this one on one interview are the most common type, do not expect an offer at the end of it.
Here’s the tip to crack this type of interview format. Do your research on the person you are meeting and any big influencing news in the industry that is trending. A thank you note afterwards this type of interview can go long way. However, don’t make a mistake of asking a job, since that wasn’t the objective of the meeting.
According to Michele Jennae, executive career coach and owner of Perpetual Career Management.
Quick Tip: Go into an interview knowing that you have applied for the right position for you, having also researched the industry, company and people you’ll potentially be working for.
The goal of the phone interview is for an initial pre-screening to get a better understanding of the type of candidate you are and determine if you speak to the resume that you have provided them. You may be asked in terms of background, experience and qualification for the role you intend to apply for. These are usually the first step to screen out any unqualified applicants and to send the qualified further into the process.
If you get the interviewer call unexpectedly, it ok to ask them softly to schedule an appointment.
According to Steve Saah, phone interviews are the critical part of the screening process that can help candidate land a one-on-one meeting. He also added that, in the screening process your interpersonal skills will play a big role, so what you say and how you say will make a big difference. Remember, phone interview will not land you the job – it’s the interview where you don’t get eliminated for consideration.
Quick Tip: Prepare notes and keep them in front of you while you have the ongoing phone interview.
With this in mind, there are few points to keep in mind while preparing yourself for a phone interview. On a phone interview, make sure you are in quiet room, and you are not eating, drinking, or chewing gum. Also make sure that you don’t have to deal with interruptions like children, pets or a bad cellular signal, says Zach Brown, the senior sourcing recruiter.
Unfortunately, phone interview are less effective because they are generally on tight timeline, and they are number of applicants going through this interview process. So ultimate goal of an interviewer is to look for flaws rather than strengths.
Quick Tip: Make sure that your resume is perfectly aligned with the needs of the role and the company and, most importantly you are prepared for it.
Panel interview can be termed when you are interviewed by more than one person at a time. As you can imagine, the conversational dynamic compared to one-on-one interview is very different. With this type of interview several members of the company together decides whether you will be hired. Sometimes this type of interview are performed to save time or to judge your ability to deal under pressure.
Luke Harris say, in Panel interview you will most likely be bombarded with questions. Not all question you will be able to answer clearly either. And this is because you are tasted on how you handle conflict or work in group setting. Interestingly, you will be thrown up in a situation where you are going to have to disagree with some members in the panel. “Just do it politely.” And say calm and collected.
Under this given situation, it’s not possible to maintain eye contact with every member during the interview. However, focus on the person who fired you a question. But, while responding to a question make an eye contact with other members in the group from time to time.
Quick Tip: Ask for business cards from all group member so you can draft those thank you letters!
Behavioral interviewing is the most popular format of job interviews. This approach is based on the premise that your past performance predicts of future behaviour.
It is said that the best way to tell how well you would do at your next position is by the behaviour’s you showed at your previous position.
With this type of interviews, you are being examined for behaviour patterns rather than correct answers. You will be thrown with a series of question to determine how you handled various situations in your past which has relevance to the position you are applying.
Normally behavioral interview questions starts with phrases like:
– Tell me about a time when you..
– Describe a circumstance when you were faced with a problem related to
– Tell me how you approached a situations where
– Share with me an instance in which you demonstrated.
After having answered this type of questions, you will be evaluated for evidence of your intellectual competence, leadership, teamwork, personal skills, adjustment and flexibility, motivation, communication skills, administrative skills, and technical abilities.
Quick Tips: To prepare for this type of interviews, identify the skills and strengths that the employer is seeking for the job role.
The Lunch Interview
Lunch interviews, one of the reasons you are invited out to lunch or dinner is to evaluate your interpersonal skills as well as your table manners, and to see if you are capable of handling the pressure gracefully. Do remember you are still being observed, so make sure you order wisely and make sure you don’t spill your drink (no alcohol of course)
This types of interviews will have a different questions formats, and let me add an interesting fact. Most of the time you will have this type of meetings held with the recruiters before you actually get to meet the potential employers. These is because at times recruiters juggles to feel the open roles, or hiring managers have a gap to fill but haven’t got around to a job description or posting just yet. Even though the environment is casual, be sure to prepare yourself for the meeting. Be prepared with an elevator speech that speaks out how this potential role is perfect for you. Put on your outfit, along with a positive attitude and a smile and you’re almost there.
Days are long gone where you use to apply for local jobs only. Working remotely has gain a growing popularity and so is the necessity for an employer to interview the candidate for a position through modern software.
Software programs such as Face Time, Google Hangouts and the most popular one Skype has led to a new type of interview for candidates to prepare for. Sometimes video interviews are also held my agencies to filter out candidates before they are pass down to hiring managers.
“The best way I would recommend you to go for video interview is to prepare just like you attending a one-on-one interview” says Robb Hecht, marketing professor, New York City. He also mentions that just like brands succeeding today are purpose driven, employer are digging for candidates who can display their passions and personalities that can align with company purposes. With this mentioned, aim for setting a good lighting and clear background with a decent volume to communicate.