Perhaps you thought that interviews were always conducted in offices with only one interviewer meeting with you face-to-face. While that may be how a majority of interviews are performed, there are several other ways you can be interviewed for a job position. Keep in mind that interviews can be conducted in various formats and combinations.
Types of Interview Formats
1. One-on-One Interview
The one-on-one interview is the old standby of employment interviewing. Basically, it’s you and the employer representative given the task of interviewing prospective employees. It could be a Human Relations (HR) rep,a department manager, or small business owner doing the interviewing.
The interview begins the moment you step into the room, so be aware of your body language while you’re still doing the pre-interviewing warm up chit chatting. The interviewer will be sizing you up so make sure you are well-groomed, have a good, firm handshake, and keep a pleasant smile on your face. To break the ice, look for interesting things around the room that you can comment on.
2. Behavioral Interview
Perhaps you’ve heard of behavioral interviewing. What is it exactly? The premise behind the behavioral interview is that the employer is looking for specific examples of Thomas Alvec how you handled situations and/or problems in the past.
Employers figure if you did something well in your recent past, then there’s a strong chance you’ll have the same type of performance with them. This is a case where you are definitely going to need to prepare some story examples ahead of time.
How do you know when you’re being asked a behavioral interview question? When you hear interviewers ask questions like: “What would you do if you had… ” or “Tell me about a time when… ” or “Give me an example of… ” These are all good examples of behavioral interview questions.
For maximum impact, make sure your behavioral stories have these three major components: Situation, Action, and Results.
- Situation – “I had a client who was very angry about an overcharge on her account. She was ready to cancel with us.”
- Action – “I calmly listened to her describe the problem and then restated the problem back to her to make sure she knew I’d heard her. Once I realized we’d made an error on her bill, I apologized and told her we’d correct her account immediately. Not only did I credit her account, but I sent her a company pen set along with an apology letter.
- Results – The customer was very happy that someone had listened to her and was willing to help so quickly. She was thrilled with getting a gift and said she couldn’t wait to order again!
3. Panel or Group Interview
The group interview may involve you alone interviewing with two or more representatives of the company. Or, it may involve you and several other candidates interviewing together as a group.
While facing several people asking you questions may seem a little intimidating, if you do a good job of using the interview tips found on this site, you will keep your cool and have a successful interview and be in a great position to get the job.
Here’s some important tips on how to successfully get through a group job interview:
- Treat all interviewers equally. Sometimes in a group interview situation one person will play “good cop” and the other “bad cop”. The “good cop” will ask you pleasant questions, while the “bad cop” will throw out the tough interview questions. Don’t favor one over the other.
- Keep good eye contact with the person asking you the question. When you give your answer, however, make sure you look at each interviewer.
- Try to get each person’s business card before the interview so you can address them by name. Also useful for sending out thank you letters.
4. Telephone Interview
Phone interviewing is used by employers to pre-screen job applicants before granting a face-to-face interview. You could receive a phone call from a prospective employer at any time of day. Many employers like to call in the evening when it’s easier to catch people at home. A phone interview may last anywhere from a few minutes to an hour.