Being prepared for the different types of interview you may face is essential for landing a job. Let us give you the low-down on what to expect.
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Telephone interviews are just that, a telephone conversation with a recruiter. These usually take place at the start of the recruitment process so that the recruiter can get a feel for the candidate. These are at a time pre-agreed upon by you and the interviewer and most don’t last longer than 30 minutes. There’s no cause for too much concern at this point, really. Recruiters mainly use telephone interviews to screen for weaker candidates in as cost-effective a way as possible, before whittling it down to the gems in the later stages of hiring.
Making sure you nail your telephone manner, communicate your knowledge, and come across in a clear understandable way is really important.
The important thing with telephone interviews is to not forget the fundamentals. As much as having a good grasp of the knowledge you’ll need later on in the interview process will help you here, making sure you nail your telephone manner, communicate your knowledge, and come across in a clear understandable way is just as important. You’ll be surprised, recruiters can tell a lot about a person’s organisation and personality from one phone call. Here’s a few tips on being successful at this stage:
If you make it to a face-to-face interview, congratulate yourself – you’re the cream of the crop. In a world where thousands of candidates get their applications binned at the first or second hurdle, you’ve come to a point where you can interact with your recruiter in real life. Naturally, this comes with its benefits as well as its drawbacks and you need to be prepared for the different formats.
Find out what your interviewer’s goals, career path and pet projects are and engage them. LinkedIn is your friend.
This’ll be the one you’re most familiar with (or will soon come to be). One-on-one, face-to-face interviews are most companies’ preferred form of combat. In these the manager in charge of hiring, who’s typically also in charge of your department, will sit down with you and ask a series of questions that not only reveal your competences but your motivations and your compatibility with the culture. It takes two to tango though, and this is how you can make the right moves:
If one interviewer isn’t enough to separate the wheat from the chaff, the company might go with a panel of experts to assess new potential talent. This is usually made up of the hiring manager, two or three people that they trust and someone from the department you could potentially be working in. The same techniques should fly here as did in a one-on-one, but just remember; you’re playing to a wider audience here, so your answers have to compensate accordingly. Here’s how:
They’re an odd phenomenon but they do sometimes happen. Some employers prefer to assess people in a group format. Again, there’s an efficiency argument to be observed as to why they do this (to see multiple candidates at once) but perhaps more crucially, they get to assess people’s emotional intelligence as well as their teamwork and social skills.
Take time not just to talk to the recruiters but to the other candidates. You’re competing, but they aren’t your enemy.
They may assign you a task to complete as a team, as well as set challenges for individuals and pairs. Be prepared to give presentations on the fly too; you’ll almost certainly come across something like this in an assessment centre, so it might be worth knowing how you can make the most of your opportunity with less of a spotlight.
So there you have it, every type of interview you could come across. Don’t forget to check out the rest of our Guides for more in-depth information on a whole host of topics about careers and jobs. Best of luck, Debutants.
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