Interview Types Explained

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There are many different types of interviews as we discuss below, you’ll see that not all interviews follow the same format. Here are some of the Interview types you may well come up against for that important job. Understanding the different will help you to appear calm and professional and give you a better chance of succeeding especially if you have not been  in the job market for sometime.

Interview types: Screening interview

This type of interview aims to do an initial sift of candidates. They are often carried out by recruitment
consultants or sometimes personnel or HR staff. Often they are done over the phone. They usually focus on your relevant experience and skills so that the candidates they put forward for second interview are qualified to do the job.

Interview types: One-to-one interview

These are the most common of interview types you’ll come across in the private sector. As there is usually only one person involved, it’s important to try and develop a relationship. Work on rapport building as ‘compatibility’ scores higher than ‘competence’.

Sometimes a series of one-to-one interviews with different interviewers might take place, and this is known as sequential interviewing. The interviewers may cover similar ground, so remember what you tell them! Sometimes, two people may interview you together.

Interview types: Panel interview

This panel interview type is most common in the public sector and in education and when you
apply to work in some charities. The panel usually consists of people who have a common interest in making a successful appointment. To ensure fairness and consistency, the panel asks all candidates the same set of questions in the same order. The panel’s chairperson will normally introduce and direct the proceedings.

The thing most candidates seem to worry about with panel interviews is who to look at. The answer is simple.
Look at the person who asked you the question and glance occasionally at other members of the panel as well to show that you are including them in your response. On the positive side, panel interviews can be much fairer to candidates in that there is less room for personal bias from the interviewer.

Interview types: Competency based interview

This type of interview is becoming increasingly popular. Instead of being assessed by comparing you with the other candidates, using whatever standards the interviewer chooses, you are assessed against the competencies required in a job. Competencies are the skills, qualities, knowledge and characteristics needed to succeed in a particular job.
Competency based interviews don’t just look at what you did but how you went about it. They will want to collect examples of your past behaviors which are relevant to the requirements of the new job.

So you might face questions such as:
Describe the toughest problem you have faced in the last six months. What would you have done differently if you tackled it again?
Tell me about how you have improved production quality. What did you do?

Try to keep your answers concise and structured around the competencies that you used — so that the interviewer can pick them up easily from what you say. The interviewer will probably write down most of what you tell them.

Interview types: Telephone interview

Telephone Interview Formal:

These are often used as part of the selection process for jobs in the customer service or telesales area. The company will tell you when the interview will take place. You will usually be asked a series of structured questions and perhaps asked to take part in a role- play situation on the telephone.

You might also come across automated telephone assessments. Candidates are asked to respond to questions using their telephone keypad to indicate their answer. If telephone manner is important in a job, employers might also carry out a telephone performance test.

Telephone Interview Informal:

This is when a company rings you up unannounced to ‘have a chat’ or to ask you to clarify something on your application form. Get them to call you back in a couple of minutes when you have had time to sort yourself out and do some quick preparation.

If a job advert invites you to ‘ring for further details or for an informal chat’, do take up the offer, you might learn something, but be prepared to make a good first impression. Have a copy of your CV at your side, a notepad and a copy of the job advert. In every case be ready to explain why the job interests you and what you can offer in
relation to what they are looking for.

Good luck

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