Different Types of Interviews
By the Monster Career Coach
As a job seeker you can expect to have a number of interviews before getting a job offer. Not all of these interviews will be the traditional kind, where you meet the interviewer one-on-one for a discussion.
You may instead be invited to a panel interview with several interviewers at once, a stress interview where you’re deliberately put under pressure, a case interview where you are asked to prepare a presentation, a screening interview, or the “beauty parade.”
Regardless the type of interview, your goal is to always come across as the best candidate. Knowing in advance which format you’ll be facing can help you prepare effectively.
Before you even get asked in for an interview, you might receive an initial phone call from the employer. It could be one of their Human Resources people wanting to ask you a series of questions that will help them decide if they want to bring you in for a face-to-face discussion. So be alert and on your best behaviour when your phone rings.
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. That’s what a panel interview is all about. It gives the employer multiple opinions about you.
Your job is to engage each member of the panel when answering a question. Start by making eye contact with the person who has posed the query. Then gradually shift your focus to each of the other panel members while continuing to answer the question.
You’ve been given an “in-basket” full of tasks. The interviewer gives you 20 minutes to sort through the tasks and put them in the proper priority. Or part way through the session, your interviewer suddenly starts asking two or three questions a time, glaring at you when you try to answer, then suddenly gets up and walks out for a few minutes – no explanation supplied.
Chances are you’re being stress-interviewed. The employer puts you under pressure to see how you react. You show them what you’re made of by keeping your cool. The more they continue to apply the tension, the calmer you become.
The employer gives you a problem or topic for which you must prepare a presentation, either before arriving or directly on the spot. They want to see how you communicate your ideas in front of a small group.
That’s why you do your homework and show up ready to perform. Keep in mind who your audience is, what they might be expecting to hear, and the time limit you’ve been given to make your pitch.
Sometimes the employer has decided to hire you, but asks you back just to meet a few more people. Probably their objective is to make certain they haven’t missed any obvious shortcomings that others might see in you.
You’re now in a beauty parade. Show up dressed professionally, be enthusiastic, and don’t give them a single reason to reconsider giving you the job offer. These sessions tend to last no more than a half hour each.
From the screening interview to the final interview, you’ll need to come across as confident and upbeat. Having an understanding of each interview format helps. You’ll know what to watch for and how best to get yourself ready.
Being yourself each time you’re interviewed makes for a consistent impression. The employer then begins to trust you and feel more comfortable. And you will naturally be at your best no matter what kind of interview they throw your way.