Types of interview
Telephone interviews are often used as a way of screening
candidates at a relatively early stage in the process. They can be
short, relatively informal conversations, or longer, more in-depth
interviews. Either way, it is important that:
- You have somewhere quiet and undisturbed to take the call. The
employer will give you a time that they are going to call you, so
make sure you have a space that you know you won’t be bothered by
others, has good phone reception if you’re using your mobile (and
that your phone battery is charged!).
- Have you application form and the information about the job
with you, along with a pen and some paper. You never know when it
might be useful to refer to your details, or if they are going to
give some details that you need to make a note of.
- Research the job in the same way that you would if it were a
face-to-face interview, and try and make sure you demonstrate your
motivation for the role through how you speak, and what you say
(without going over the top!).
1-1 or Panel interview
If your interview is a face-to-face interview, it may be either
with one person, or with a group or panel of people. Again they can
sometimes be quite informal, but generally this is a very formal,
structured interview, especially if there is more than one person
interviewing you. With some employers, you might go through a
number of interview stages, perhaps with an informal 1-1
interview/conversation, and a more structured panel interview.
Competency-based interviews focus on identifying whether you
have the skills (competencies) that the employer is looking for.
This is where they will test things like teamworking, leadership,
or communication skills. It is important that you give evidence to
support your answer to these kinds of questions – if you’re asked
about your ability to work in a team, you need to give an example
of when you have done this successfully. See example interview
questions for examples of these sorts of questions.
Case study interviews
This is where you would be presented with a hypothetical
business problem to discuss and analyse. They are looking to judge
who well you analyse the situation, recognise the key issues, and
how you would go about solving the problem.
These are more relevant where you applying for a job that
requires specific technical expertise, that you might have gained
on your course or through your experience so far. They are not
always about seeing if you can identify the ‘right’ answer – there
is also an element of looking at how you approach the problem, your
thought process and logical thinking.