Interviewing Types & Tips
Employers often use a variety of interview techniques and settings to determine your hireability. It is to your advantage to be aware of which type of interview you'll be having and how to respond accordingly. Following are common interview types and suggestions on how to be successful in each situation.
Screening interviews may be conducted in person, over the phone, or via video to help employers determine if you meet the minimum qualifications for a job. These interviews are usually handled by a representative from the HR department and tend to follow a set format and logical procedure. Tip: Emphasize succinctly and directly that you possess the desired skills/abilities for the position. For phone interviews, keep your portfolio close at hand for easy access and reference. For video interviews, rehearse in advance with a career counselor to come across naturally.
This is the most common interview format and is usually conducted on site by the hiring supervisor. The interviewers focuses on questions to assess your skills, knowledge, and abilities as they relate to the job. Tip: In addition to selling your key strengths, ask what problems the supervisor currently is facing and then suggest strategies that he or she could implement to resolve the issues.
This group interview is usually conducted by three or more people representing different departments within the company, and they generally ask you questions that correspond to their areas of interest/expertise. Tip: Remember to direct your answers to the person who asks the question, but maintain eye contact with the other members of the group as well. Following the interview, be sure to send a thank-you note to each of the participants.
Peer Group Interview
This type of group interview will introduce you to your potential co-workers. They will probably not have ultimate authority as to whether or not to hire you. Rather, they will be evaluating you and making recommendations as to whether or not you will "fit-in." Tip: Focus on being agreeable and approachable rather than someone with all the answers.
The lunch interview is to assess how well you can handle yourself in social situations. You will probable be dining with you potential boss and co-workers, as well as HR professionals. Tip: Make you meal selection carefully. Select light, healthy, and easy things to eat. Steer clear of spaghetti in sauce and other potentially messy foods that are not easy to eat gracefully. Do not order alcohol even if others do.
Second interviews are similar to first interviews except they are usually longer (1 or 2 days), involve more people, and are often held at company headquarters. You may have a combination of individual, panel, and peer group interviews throughout the process. The focus of the second interview is to ensure you have the necessary skills and that you will blend well with the organization's culture. Tip: Switch your focus from emphasizing your specific strengths to selling yourself as a well-balanced package. Listen carefully to the interviewers to determine any underlying concerns and attempt to dispel them. Prove that you've researched the company and emphasize that you will work as a dedicated member of the organization.