Interviews come in all shapes and sizes: Sometimes you are with one interviewer, and other times it is with a group of other candidates. There are ‘informal’ coffee dates and invitations to a remote interview via Zoom. No matter what the format, we will give you the low down on what it takes to succeed.
Traditional face to face in person interview
This is an interview that you will face most often. The initial interview could be with a recruiter or directly with the employer. Prior to the interview, it is imperative to do research and have questions ready to ask. Make sure you are dressed for success; you only have one chance to make a great first impression. Remember that 'on time' is running late. Make sure you arrive early and take a moment to breathe. Once in the interview, you will usually answer a series of questions that are designed to work out if you are a good fit for the role on offer.
The rules of the face-to-face interview apply to the video interview. Research the role on offer as well as the company. Dress for success and be on time to the video ‘waiting room’ – again, first impressions count. Video interviews are now commonplace and a regular part of the job interview process. Make sure you find a quiet (and clean) location, and test the equipment to make sure the audio and video are working. When the interview starts, try a ‘digital handshake’. This is where you look at the camera then lean slightly forward with shoulders & eyes focusing ahead. Then nod your head in a slow, confident, deliberate gesture without breaking eye contact.
‘informal’ coffee catch up
Make no mistake, this is still an interview. The rules of job interviewing still apply here! You may not need to dress in a pants or skirt suit but this is not the time to be turning up straight from Pilates in your workout gear. Coffee spots can be very noisy so get there early to grab a well-positioned table away from the crowds and the noise. Keep your drink order simple – please do not order the double soy mocha latte with a dash of vanilla. Skip the foamy top, a milk mustache is not a good way to be remembered. Go for a simple tea or coffee – remember the meeting is about connecting via conversation.
Has a potential employer requested a phone interview? This call is typically considered a first-round screening to see if you are a fit to attend a full interview. Nailing this interview is key to making it to the next round. You will need to prepare just as you would for an in-person interview. However, there are some key adjustments to the telephone format. Whilst you may not have to dress to impress for this one, it does not hurt to get into the right mindset by being dressed up to add to your confidence level. It is hard to sound like you will rock the job when you are wearing your PJ pants. Like the video interview, it is vital that you find yourself in a quiet and comfortable location. And you will need to ensure that your location offers reliable phone reception. One other tip – try to answer the call on the second or third ring – it will start the telephone call off strong!
Group interviews may not be that common. But you can find them in sales roles and at times when a company is hiring multiple people for the same role or when a company is trying to expedite the interview process. The question is, how do you stand out from the crowd? One great tip is to involve everyone. Whilst other candidates may be your competition, they can assist you to stand out. Remembering their names and addressing them by name can make you appear like a leader.
A one-on-one interview has the ability to produce sweaty palms. Now imagine the sweat when there are four or five people on a panel interviewing you! Typically, the panel interviewers represent different areas of a company. Because of this, they will consider your resume and responses differently. Initial introductions with the panel are vital and will set the scene for how the interview unfolds. Make sure to use their names where possible to incorporate their department into your answers. This will demonstrate to you have remembered their role in the company and that you have a great memory for details.