Different types of interview you need to be ready for (Part one)

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What does the word ‘interview’ bring to mind for you? Chances are, you’re sitting opposite a potential employer in a meeting room answering (and asking) questions to help them decide if you’re the right person for the job.

As a job hunter you’re still very likely to attend a one-to-one interview at some point, but there are plenty of other types around too - and they’re becoming more and more common.

In our mission to keep you clued up on what sort of interviews to be ready for, here’s part one of our rundown - plus a killer piece of advice for each format.

1 Phone screening

Next time your phone rings, could it be about a job? Phone screening is now an integral part of recruiting candidates, and you might be asked to have a phone call with a recruitment agent or HR manager before you’re invited for an interview. During the preliminary chat, they’ll ask you questions to help them decide whether you’re the right fit to get through to the next stage.

Killer tip: Use the fact they can’t see you to your advantage. Make some research notes and keep them on your phone - the preparation you do now can stand you in good stead for the next interview, if you have one. We’ve come up with some more advice on how to nail phone interviews, here. 

2 Video interview

It’s not always easy to get people together at the same time for a face-to-face meeting, which is why live video interviews are being rolled out more and more. At HR GO, we also often use video interviewing to record short clips of candidates answering specific questions as part of their job application.

Whether you’re jumping on Skype, Facetime or the software we use at HR GO, the key is to dress appropriately, find somewhere quiet and prepare as thoroughly as you would for a face-to-face interview.

Killer tip: You might be used to seeing yourself chatting to friends on screen, but how about a potential boss? Record yourself answering questions, then rate your performance when you play it back. That way, you can take note of any off putting habits like playing with your hair or touching your face. Read some more of our video interview advice here.

3 Panel interview

Fielding questions from multiple managers who are sat opposite you? A panel interview may crop up in some people’s recurring nightmares, but there are ways to turn the situation to your advantage. Besides, these days you’re more likely to be sitting on comfortable chairs in a friendly huddle rather than facing intimidating bosses in an echoey boardroom.

Killer tip: Before a panel interview, try to find out who you’ll be meeting so you can research them on LinkedIn. Being able to remember names on the day - and perhaps some relevant career information about them - can boost your confidence a little.

4 Working interview

There are several ways for an employer to find out what you’d be like as an employee, and colleague. One of the best is to get you busy in the actual office with some real tasks for a few hours or a full day.

For you it can be a chance to demonstrate what you’re made of, away from the nerves of a sit down interview. Plus it’s great if you find it easy to slot in with other people. A working interview isn’t just about finding out if you can do the job - it’s also whether or not you’ll fit with the company culture.

Killer tip: It’s a no-brainer, but stay polite and friendly at all times. Your potential boss will probably ask the people you’ve been working with what they think of you, too. 

Prepare for success

Even though interviews come in all shapes and sizes, the best piece of advice is to prepare, prepare then prepare a bit more.

So at HR GO we aim to give candidates like you as much information as possible about what to expect - and that includes what type of interview you’re likely to face. The more you’re able to prepare, the higher your chances of feeling confident at every interview, no matter what’s thrown at you.

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