Even though it is the most popular type, not every interview will be a face-to-face interview. In fact, there are several different types of interviews that employers can use within the recruitment process.
Depending on the type of job and the employer, you could be asked to attend an interview that you have never done before. So, here is a list of different types of interviews and the key tips for how to prepare for them effectively.
A telephone interview will usually be a short 10-30 minutes (but sometimes longer) call that will consist of the employer getting to know you a little bit and asking you a few questions. It is also an opportunity to ask any initial questions about the role.
A telephone interview is often the first time the employer makes contact with you and some employers use it as an initial screening strategy, without commitment more resources for a face-to-face interview. Most employers also tend to use the telephone interview as a fact-checking exercise, especially to verify any prerequisites for the role, to avoid wasting time with someone ineligible.
In some cases it may be necessitated by geography – a recruiter may want to do a first interview for an employee hundreds of miles away, with the hope of a second face-to-face interview if the candidate is looking promising If the latter is the case, you will need to pick a time and date for which you know you will be able to talk on the phone.
Key Tip 1: Make sure you are in a place with good signal. If your location has signal issues, it might be best to use a home phone rather than a mobile phone as the signal will be better and you will have less chance of the call dropping. It is unprofessional to arrange a telephone interview and then have the call keep on abruptly dropping when in the middle of the interview.
Key Tip 2: Try and pick a time and day for which you know you will be able to conveniently talk on the phone.
Key Tip 3: Sometimes employers won’t arrange a telephone interview and will just call you without prior notice. If this happens, let them know whether it is okay for you to talk at that very moment. If you cannot talk, then politely let them know and arrange a time and date for when you can proceed with the interview. If you can talk, remain calm and try not to show that you are nervous as they will be able to hear it through your voice.
Key Tip 4: Have your notes, CV, Job description/specification in front of you either printed or on your computer/tablet.
Key Tip 5: Speak clearly and confidently, not too slow, not too fast – and show your energy and enthusiasm in the way you talk. If you can’t hear due to bad signal, politely request them to repeat, putting a disclaimer that the line is not brilliant.
Key Tip 6: Don’t be tempted to multi-task or check your emails whilst on a telephone interview. Not only do distractions cause some background noise, you could lose focus and unconsciously sound disinterested. The interviewer can easily spot this, if they are experienced. Remain focused, you never get a second chance to make a great first impression.
Some employers like to interview over video-call so they can see you but without have to spend time and resources on interviewing you in person. This is usually done on Skype, Google Hangouts, FaceTime, Webex or Go-to-meeting. Like the telephone interview, you will have to arrange a time and a date for when is best for you. Make sure you have access to a quiet space, computer/tablet/phone and WI-FI.
Key Tip 1: You should still dress smartly even if you are in your own home in front of the computer. Your top half of your body should be donned with smart clothing as that is the part of you they will see through the webcam. However, it might be a good idea to put on smart trousers or skirt in case you have to get up and move around. Make sure the background (and desk) is also tidy and looks nice and there is sufficient lighting.
Key Tip 2: Make sure the room you are in when doing the video-call has good WI-FI as you don’t want the call to lag or drop. If you know your house doesn’t have good WI-FI, go to a friend’s house or take the router and place it near your computer. Ensure the room’s good acoustics – no echoes or noises from within or outside.
Key Tip 3: Avoid background distractions such as someone or a pet coming into the room. Put your phone on silent and ensure no pop ups or sounds come from your computer. Test your technology prior to the video interview, to make sure is has the capabilities to handle the video interview. A camera/webcam, microphone, the right software, and a stable high-speed broadband connection are the key ones. When installing the software, put a decent username – preferably your name spelt properly (say, Sam Edwards not the likes of magic_sammyboy99 or anything unprofessional).
Key Tip 4: Again, avoid multitasking during the video interview; the interviewer can easily spot your movements and your eyes darting around or hear the keyboard or mouse noises. Also avoid reading from your notes. There is no hiding this time as you are live on screen! And remember, the employer is still expecting the same level of diligence and professionalism, as if it were a face-to-face interview.
Key Tip 5: Smile; and use your body language wisely – they can see all of your facial expressions, gestures and even your posture. The interviewer can spot the confidence and enthusiasm beaming through the screen. They can also spot the boredom, slouching, yawning and lack of energy. Aim to establish eye-contact as if it were a face-to-face interview.
This is, by far the most common interview and will consist of you having to visit the place of work and be interviewed by either a manager or a panel. They will ask you a series of questions that will determine whether they think you should be hired for the job. If there is a panel, you will have to answer questions from a series of senior employees within the company.
Key Tip 1: Research the company before the interview. Some employers like to ask what you know about the company and will judge you based on your knowledge of it. Showing you know what the company does, who it caters to and what services it provides shows that you have done your research and you are eager to join.
Key Tip 2: Research different interview questions and practice your answers with a friend or family member. You don’t know what it is they are going to ask you so you need to be thorough when researching. Come up with answers for the most popular questions so that if you do get asked, you will know what to say.
Key Tip 3: Arrive on time.
Key Tip 4: Don’t forget your firm hand-shake, eye-contact and gestures.
Key Tip 5: Remember the STAR interview technique when answering competency-based questions. Group interviews
A group interview is when an employer invites you and other candidates to one interview and assesses you all at once. Usually, group interviews will take place before the one-to-one interview so you will have to try your absolute best to secure one. It can consist of having a group discussion so make sure you pipe up and let your voice be heard.
Key Tip 1: Some group interviews will have team building exercises involved. These could be doing things such as building a tower out of straws and marshmallows or solving puzzles. Either way, you will be doing it as a team so make sure you show the employer that you work well in a team. Listen to the group but also give your opinion on how to do the exercise as well. Don’t take over and try to do it all by yourself as that won’t look good. You have to work as a team.
Key Tip 2: Avoid speaking over people when they are trying to speak. It may not give the best impression and it is very insensitive. Although you are trying to stand out from the rest of the group, you don’t want to come across as someone that is not a good team player. Give others a chance to speak and when they have finished, you can include your opinion as well.
Key Tip 3: Clearly show that you can manage with stress, team challenges, criticism and a highly competitive environment.
Key Tip 4: Avoid getting lost in the group, especially if one participant is trying to dominant. Be confident and assertive in articulating your views but without creating tension.
Key Tip 5: Be inclusive, to showcase your true leadership skills. Support the quiet and introverts and encourage them to contribute.
For more information, we recommend you to buy our Handbook. Please click below: