5 Most Common Types of Job Interviews and How to Pass Them Successfully

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In general, all job interviews are alike. The employer’s goal is to compare the candidate’s skills and experience with the requirements to find the best employee to perform certain tasks. The candidate’s goal is to present his or her strengths (supposing that the candidate meets all the requirements) and get the job if the offered conditions satisfy him or her.

Job interviews differ in forms. HR-managers point out various types of interviews; most often the interviews are divided into structured, situational, projective, group and panel, stress, competence ones but there are more complicated classifications. Without going into detail of staff selection theory, let’s look into the main types of job interviews, which a specialist has all chances to face at least once in a career: what the nuances are, how to prepare, what the risks and ways to avoid them are, how to pass the interview successfully and get a job.

A traditional (or structured) job interview

This is the most widely spread type of a dialogue between the employer and the candidate.

The conversation is based on the principle “a question – an answer”.

How to prepare:

  • Gather information about the company, so you do not ask strange questions like “What does your company do?”
  • Think through how to present yourself best in 3-5 minutes (your skills and work experience, not your excellent performance at school)
  • Prepare answers for the frequently asked questions
  • Get your clothes and shoes ready for the interview
  • Rest and have enough sleep the night before the interview.

How to pass successfully:

  • Keep confident (you need to have a good preparation for that)
  • Explain breaks in your work record clearly (if you have some)
  • Support statements about your skills with examples (there was a problem, you used your skill and solved it)
  • Do not criticize your former colleagues and boss, tell only good about them
  • Give direct answers, focus on the topic without getting distracted.

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A telephone interview

As to its contents, it is a usual interview, but the form of communication has a certain influence on it.

How to prepare:

In the same way as for the traditional job interview. It is important that you can answer the questions clearly and fully, so you should be able to tell about:

  • Your skills and work experience;
  • Experience in performing certain tasks (real cases);
  • Personal qualities important for the job.

The telephone interview has its own nuances and they must be taken in the consideration – they are mostly related to the absence of the eye contact and the fact the call can catch the candidate by surprise.

How to pass successfully:

  • If the employer called without prior arrangement and it is not convenient for you to talk, ask to postpone the meeting – this is better than communicating in a noisy street or in the line to the doctor.
  • Try to speak a little slower and clearer than in the everyday life – you can make an impression only with your voice, not with your appearance and gestures, so focus on your speech
  • Choose a suitable place for the dialogue (the time is usually arranged beforehand, so you have an opportunity to prepare). Ideally, it can be a quiet room in your house; you should avoid such places as a noisy coworking, cafe or office room where you are currently working.

Group interview

This is a type of the interview when a representative of the employer company is communicating with several candidates at a time.

Its peculiarities are related to the fact that the employer’s attention is not focused on a single candidate and you have to stand out of the rest, show your strong points in the competition with several other candidates.

How to prepare:

In the same way as for the traditional interview. You will have to improvise on a group interview but it is impossible to prepare for that beforehand.

How to pass successfully:

  • You should remember that during a group interview not only the contact with the employer is important – it is also important how you communicate with the other candidates (the employer will assess that as well). Take the other candidates as partners, do not try to best them.
  • While solving shared tasks (which is possible), show how well you can cooperate with other people. If you can, take the role of the leader (if you are a born leader)
  • Try to stay friendly, calm and reasonable in any situation.

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Panel interview

This is an interview where there is only one candidate but several representatives of the employer company.

How to prepare:

In the same way as for the traditional interview.

How to pass successfully:

  • Most probably the interviewers will introduce themselves at the beginning. Try to remember their names. Later address them by their names (if you are sure that you remembered correctly).
  • Answering questions, try to create the impression that you address all the representatives, not the certain person. Look from one interviewer to another.
  • You may be provoked or baffled. Keep calm and friendly.
  • Do not try to please everyone. Keep to one line of behavior – give the image of the person who is interested in the job and sure that they can manage it.

Skype interview

This type of interview requires careful preparation and not only informational one. The environment which the employer will see, the candidate’s appearance are also very important and these factors are often underestimated by the candidates.

How to prepare:

In terms of information – like for a usual interview. As for the technical side, the following things are important:

  • Make sure beforehand that the webcam, the microphone, and the computer work perfectly.
  • Decide on the place where the interview will take place. Ideally, it should be a quiet neat room in your house (not a noisy cafe). Tidy up the room. Personal belongings like clothes, toys, etc should stay out of the employer’s sight.
  • Warn your family members not to disturb you during the interview.
  • Ensure good light in the room: it is important that the employer sees you well.
  • The webcam should be set up on the level of your eyes or a little higher

How to pass successfully:

The same principles apply here as in the traditional interview. The task is to answer the questions comprehensively, tell about your experience and achievements, keep calm, confident, with dignity. Pay additional attention to the “image”:

  • Your clothes should be formal – no sports suit and slippers. The formal appearance is also what the candidate needs: it is easier to turn into a serious mood if you are wearing a shirt, not a T-shirt.
  • In case of technical problems do not panic. Ask for a 5-minute break (over the phone if the Internet connection failed) and try to solve the problem.
  • During the interview look at the camera from time to time, so the interviewer will have an impression of a “live” conversation.
  • Do not type anything on the keyboard or your smartphone (only if it necessary to send something to the employer). Focus on the interview completely.

Whatever type interview you will have to pass, the preparation makes 90% of the future success. Answers to typical questions, examples of solving difficult tasks, the list of achievements, awareness of your strong points – if you have all this information prepared, you will succeed with a high probability.