5 types of interview and tips for success


You have been successful in securing an interview - congratulations! Interview trends are changing in the modern job market, with many employers using Video and Skype interviews. Some employers will include several different rounds of interview in their search for the right candidate, so being familiar with the most popular processes is vital. It is essential you find out what types of interview you are having in order to prepare effectively. This article offers tips on how to approach 5 popular interview processes.

The telephone interview

Employers and recruiters conduct telephone interviews as it can be a quick way to check details on a CV and see if you have relevant experience for a role before the employer invites you for a formal interview.

What to expect: You will be asked basics such as what you are currently doing, what relevant experience you have and why you are interested in the company. Recruiters will immediately be assessing your credibility and personality fit for their clients.

Tips for Success: Be professional and enthusiastic. Thinking about your audience, talk about your experience and skills in relation to the opportunity. Don’t speak negatively about past employers. Wear smart, interview clothes - it can help you focus and get into a professional mind-set. End the call positively, commenting on how interesting the role sounds and asking when you can expect to hear about the next stage of the interview process.

The structured interview

This is the most commonly used interview. The interview will generally follow a specific format and structure. The interviewer will ask the same list of predetermined questions to all candidates.

What to expect: They will talk through your CV with you so it is important that you know it, and are prepared to talk about your experience and how your skills can add value within the company.

Tips for success: Before the interview research the interviewers background and use this information to guide your answers. Dress to impress - this is your opportunity to promote yourself professionally. This type of interview will normally be held by the hiring manager, so they will be interested in your fit for the role from a motivational perspective, as well as any specific technical expertise you have. Typical questions include: Why are you available for work? What challenges do you think you will immediately face in the role? What are your reasons for applying for the position? What did you like the most/least about your role?

The Video or Skype interview

The option to complete interviews remotely is becoming increasingly popular with 63% of companies using Skype or Video interviews.

What to expect:  If you have confirmation of a video interview they will use a specific platform which will offer you an option of a practice session.

Tips for success: You are in control of the location so consider where you want to conduct the interview, ideally plain and free from distraction. Dress as you would for a face to face interview. For both of these types of interview it is important to deliver your answers to the camera not the image of yourself or the interviewer. Initially this can seem difficult but will become more comfortable with practice

The competency interview

What to expect: A competency based interview is a style of interviewing used to evaluate how a candidate behaves in certain situations rather than test their technical ability. Candidates will be asked to do this using situational examples

Tips for success: Use the job description to identify the key competencies you will be measured against. Prepare structured examples that demonstrate the competencies required most relevant to the role you are applying for. There is a great technique that can be used to help you structure your answer to a competency based question. It is called the STAR (Situation, Task, Action, and Results) technique. A good answer should take no more than 2-3 minutes.

The panel interview

Panel interviews are increasingly common, especially for executive appointments. This is a formal interview where instead of one hiring manager asking questions there are several people interviewing one candidate.

What to expect: The panel will ask you very precise questions about your experience and work projects which will often include competency based questions.

Tips for success: Preparation is key. Take time to learn about each interviewer - their backgrounds and the reason they are present on the panel. This will help you pre-empt what they will want to learn about your experience, for example, a hiring manager will be more concerned with technical expertise, whereas a HR person will be more focussed on your cultural fit. Make eye contact with the person asking the question, but when delivering the answer attempt to make eye contact with everybody on the panel. As the audience will have varied backgrounds it is important to consider the way you communicate your answers at both a technical and non-technical audience. Post-interview send a thank you email to each panel member to thank them for their time.

For all of the types of interview featured in this article, preparation is key to enhancing your performance. Prepare for commonly asked questions and practice delivering your answers out loud ahead of your interview to instil confidence and become comfortable and fluid with the content.

Renovo is one of the UK’s leading providers of outplacement and career transition support. We work with both organisations and individuals to support all their career transition requirements. If you would like to understand how Renovo can help you please call 0800 612 2011 or email info@renovo.co.uk

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