Different Types of Interviews

Formal? Informal? Panel? Telephone? …. Getting ready for an interview? Take a read of these different types of interviews and make sure you’re ready for you’re next time to impress.

So you’ve got your foot in the door and it’s time to shine at your first interview. All you have to do now is prepare. Easy! If you know how…

The more you know about the style of the interview, the better you can prepare.

The Telephone Interview
Often companies request an initial telephone interview before inviting you in for a face to face meeting in order to get a better understanding of the type of candidate you are. The one benefit of this is that you can have your notes out in front of you. You should do just as much preparation as you would for a face to face interview, and remember that your first impression is vital. Some people are better meeting in person than on the phone, so make sure that you speak confidently, with good pace and try to answer all the questions that are asked.

The Face-to-Face Interview
This can be a meeting between you and one member of staff or even two members.

The Panel Interview
These interviews involve a number of people sitting as a panel with one as chairperson. This type of interview is popular within the public sector.

The Group Interview
Several candidates are present at this type of interview. You will be asked to interact with each other by usually a group discussion. You might even be given a task to do as a team, so make sure you speak up and give your opinion.

The Sequential Interview
These are several interviews in turn with a different interviewer each time. Usually, each interviewer asks questions to test different sets of competencies. However, if you are asked the same questions, just make sure you answer each one as fully as the previous time.

The Lunch / Dinner Interview
This type of interview gives the employer a chance to assess your communication and interpersonal skills as well as your table manners! So make sure you order wisely (no spaghetti Bolognese) and make sure you don’t spill your drink (non-alcoholic of course!).

All these types of interviews can take on different question formats, so once you’ve checked with your potential employer which type of interview you’ll be attending, get preparing!

Here’s a list of interview formats that you should prepare your answers for;

Competency Based Interviews
These are structured to reflect the competencies the employer is seeking for the particular job. These will usually be detailed in the job spec so make sure you read it through, and have your answers ready for questions such as “Give me an example of a time you worked as a team to achieve a common goal.” For more examples of competency based questions click here.

Formal / Informal Interviews
Some interviews may be very formal, others may be very informal and seem like just a chat about your interests. However, it is important to remember that you are still being assessed, and topics should be friendly and clean!

Portfolio Based Interviews
In the design / digital or communications industry it is likely that you will be asked to take your portfolio along or show it online. Make sure all your work is up to date without too little or too much. Make sure that your images if in print are big enough for the interviewer to see properly, and always test your online portfolio on all Internet browsers before turning up.

The Second Interview
You’ve past the first interview and you’ve had the call to arrange the second. Congratulations! But what else is there to prepare for? You did as much as you could for the first interview! Now is the time to look back and review. You maybe asked the same questions you were asked before, so review them and brush up your answers. Review your research about the company; take a look at the ‘About Us’ section on their website, get to know their client base, search the latest news on the company and find out what the company is talking about.

General Interview Preparation
Here’s a list of questions that you should consider your answers for when preparing…
• Why do you want this job?
• Why are you the best person for the job?
• What relevant experience do you have?
• Why are you interested in working for this company?
• What can you contribute to this company?
• What do you know about this company?
• What challenges are you looking for in a position?
• Why do you want to work for this company?
• Why should we hire you?
• What are your salary requirements?

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