8 types of job interviews and how to ace them
Not all job interviews are created equal, they come in all shapes and sizes. Depending on the role, company, industry, and even country you interview in, job interviews will differ significantly.
You may find yourself interviewing in-person or talking on Skype to HR in a country half-way around the world from you. This is why it is important to plan ahead and be prepared for the different types of job interviews that may come your way.
These are the most common types of job interviews and tips on how to ace them.
This is the traditional interview, and the one you will find yourself in most often. In fact, you have probably already done a number of them before. You will sit down with a solo interviewer at their office and answer a series of questions. These questions will likely be broad ones that you need to answer in a sincere, authentic, personal way. The interviewer will likely want to go through your employment history while probing your experience, education, and achievements along the way. Stay cool, calm those nerves, you got this!
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Telephone interviews are often the first point of contact you have with a future employer. They are usually short, to the point, and pretty straight forward. Just long enough to rule you ‘in’ or ‘out’. It is important to remember that your end goal of this initial telephone call is always to secure a face to face interview. You will want to prepare just as if it was an in-person interview as you never know what they may ask.
Companies that hire more remote workers and recruit on a global scale frequently use video interview programs as a way to conduct job interviews. They give a good sense whether candidates will be a good cultural fit, and they help hiring managers get the interview process started much faster. If you are really uncomfortable on camera, then practise, practise, practise. The more you practise, the more you will be comfortable with this kind of interview.
Panel interviews are normally made up of 2 or more people. There will often be representatives from different lines of the business. These are the people you probably will interact with daily, should you get the position. There will generally be one person “leading” the interview, but everyone present is important, and you need to engage with them as such. While all of this can sound incredibly intimidating, know that panel interviews have the same elements as other job interviews you have done before. They just have more people in them.
Behavioural interviews are used to get past ‘canned’ answers with no-nonsense “show me” type questions. They allow interviewers an opportunity to probe more specifically to get an idea of how you would actually respond in a situation. As the interview asks more probing questions, they will find out about your team work, composure under stress, problem solving skills, and your ability to learn from mistakes. Succeeding in behavioural interviews is a better guarantee that you truly fit the position that they are looking to fill.
Case Interviews are most common in consulting firms. You will be expected to ask logical questions that help you further understand the case, while probing insightfully into relevant areas to gather information and arrive at a solution or recommendation. The most important item looked at is not the answer you give, but rather the thinking you used at arrive at the answer. The process for case interviews is difficult and you will need to invest a lot of time into preparation – they are not easy.
In some industries you will be asked to complete actual job tasks, or work in the role for a couple of days, as part of the interview. Basically, they want to see you can do the job, not just talk about your skills. Chances are, if you have been asked to a working interview, this is your final test. One caveat is to make sure to set a limit on how much “free” work you are willing to do. But if you go in prepared, this is your chance to shine!
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Staffing Agency/Recruitment Firm interviews
These types of job interviews are a little different than traditional interviews. Recruiters that work at Staffing Agencies or Recruitment Firms are looking to thoroughly understand your work experience, personality traits, and job preferences. They are interviewing you for the open roles they have right now, as well as future roles. The information they gain is used to persuade a client that you are the best candidate for the role. Be honest and professional in these interviews. A recruiter interview is still a real interview and needs to be treated as such.
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No matter what types of job interviews you find yourself in, stay focused, practise, and get prepared. Hiring decisions aren’t based solely on a good first impression. What you say and your relevant experience matter. Succeeding in any one of these types of job interviews is a guarantee that you truly fit the position they are hiring you for.
Make plans for your future
Throughout the year we often think about career goals and start making plans for our future. If those plans involve a job change, our recruiters love helping qualified candidates move their career forward. Upload your CV, and search our job listings for roles that are relevant to your experience. Connect with one of us today!