Formal, informal, group interview or the traditional One-on-one interview?... Employers use several interview styles and formats to evaluate candidate’s skills and abilities. There can be many different types of interviews and the more you know about the style, the better you can prepare. Different interview types require slightly different strategies, knowing what to expect can help you achieve your goals.
So if you have got your foot in the door for an interview, all you need is to shine and come across as the best candidate. But before you launch yourself into the interview room you need to know the lay of the land and prepare a winning strategy. Although you may not always be able to predict in advance what type of interview an employer will use, time spent preparing answers to different interview scenarios will never be wasted.
Listed below are examples of the different interview scenarios you may experience. Use this information as a guide to help you prepare for your interview – but remember, that some interviewers prefer to use a combination of several interview styles:
This is the most common and traditional type of interview and often known as ‘One-to-One Interview’. During such interviews, you will be invited to meet with the hiring manager, often accompanied by an HR representative. The specifics of the position, the company and industry will be discussed. Your CV will be reviewed with questions designed to establish your suitability for the role and your cultural fit with the business. All you have to do is listen to their questions, and provide the information that you are asked for, without deviating too much from the main topic of conversation. At the end of the interview, supply information you think is important and not covered during the interview. You can also ask questions you have about the job and the company.
A structured interview format is a standardized technique of comparing job candidates. If the position requires specific skills and experience, the employer will draft interview questions focusing exactly on the abilities the company is looking for in a job applicant. As the interviewer has to follow a specific list of pre-determined questions, the focus of the interview is on what is required for the position. This type of interview creates a greater chance for the employer to be able to select the best candidates based specifically on skills and abilities and not on other factors like personality and looks. There are different types of structured interview an interviewer can select from.
BEHAVIOURAL INTERVIEW: - Behavioural interviews are based on the idea that past behaviour is the best predictor of future behaviour. Your whole interview may sometimes be purely behavioural questions based, but usually, such questions are mixed with other interview styles. These are structured to reflect the skills and abilities 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 based upon your past behaviours.
- COMPETENCY INTERVIEW: - This is a commonly used type of competency based questions in a structured interview. Skills like decision making, leadership, team play and the ability to handle stress are equally important to succeed in the workplace. Employers conduct competency based interviews to evaluate these skills in a potential employee and determine how they will act on the job and in certain situations that they are likely to encounter.
Group interviews generally means getting together with other job candidates to interview with one or more interviewers. Employers bringing several candidates together in a group situation to solve a problem are testing your ability to work in a team environment. Group interviews can be more demanding than this. Candidates may be required to participate in work-simulation exercises which can take the form of presentations and discussions where each candidate's contributions and participation is noted. As organisations increasingly recognise the value of teamwork and healthy interpersonal relationships amongst their employees, group interviews have become more common. Another reason why group interviews are becoming more prevalent is simply more practical – they’re a tremendous time saver.
Panel means a selection committee or interview committee that is appointed for interviewing the job candidates. It’s nerve-wracking enough to have one interviewer take you through your paces. Imagine having two, three, or even more people interviewing you all at once. They ask questions to the candidates about different aspects. They give marks to each candidate. The final decision will be taken by all members collectively by rating the candidates. Panel interview is always better than an interview by one interviewer because in a panel interview, collective judgement is used for selecting suitable candidates. That’s what a panel interview is all about. It gives the employer multiple opinions about you.
Employers often screen the job applicants who have applied for a particular position, by conducting a quick interview over the phone. This type of interview allows the employer to screen candidates based on their knowledge, experience, qualifications, and eliminate the candidates that are unlikely to meet the company’s expectations. It is crucial that you convey your enthusiasm verbally, since the interviewer cannot see your face in this type of interview. To ensure this, introduce yourself clearly. Engage in some rapport building small talk. Modulate your voice and speak clearly into the receiver. Your voice is the only tool you can use to convey your enthusiasm for the job so make sure your voice reveals both your personality and attitude positively.