When applying for a job, you are no longer faced with the prospect of just one interview: there is usually a series of different types you could go through before getting an offer.
Not all of these include the traditional one-on-one discussion, so it is important to prepare yourself for all types to ensure you can demonstrate you are the best candidate for the job.
This interview can either be with someone in the human resources team or your potential manager themselves, and is often conducted by phone or video chat.
This is the first contact they will have with you, so it is important you make a good impression – it will help them decide whether they would like to invite you in for the next stage of interviewing.
It is important to plan ahead. As this usually isn’t a face-to-face interview, you can make notes before the call that you can refer back to while you’re on the phone. Having some knowledge of the company, your potential role and the interviewer themselves will help you feel confident.
This is less formal than a screening interview, but don’t let that give you a false sense of security. You still need to be professional and confident, performing consistently.
You are usually meeting only one person, but this will likely be a key member of the organisation or team you would work with. Prepare for common questions and have some of your own ready to ask as well.
During the interview, try to build a rapport with your interviewer, but keep it professional. They want to see that you are a good fit for the company or team as well as assessing whether you are going to be good at your job.
Remember that you can still bring your notes with you to the interview. Having a pad out and making notes during the interview is also a good way to show you are engaged and taking it seriously.
Competency-related interview questions rely on your working skills and abilities rather than your personality or your CV. They are less informal and more structured.
The best way to prepare for this kind of interview is to read the job description and practise your answers to the different types of competency-based questions you may be asked.
Presentation and Q&A
The employer may ask you to create a presentation before arriving. This may be about your skills, abilities and career passions or aspirations.
Following your presentation there will usually be a Q&A. It is just as important to have prepared for this, because it is when your employer will be analysing your presentation. Your answers needs to be succinct. They want to see how you communicate your ideas in front of a small group.
After the presentation and Q&A you may then be given some aptitude tests, spreadsheet/interactive exercises or some psychometric testing. You need to ensure you have prepared, done your homework and are ready to perform. Prepare with your audience in mind, thinking about what they might be expecting to hear and the time limit you’ve been given.
From the start to the finish of the interviewing process, you need to come across as professional and confident and to be yourself. Prepare yourself for any interview by understanding all potential kinds you may face, and always research the company.