Following on from yesterday's interview advice, it's time to address the other type of interviews that you may face during your application process. Depending on the role you are applying for and the location you are applying in, there are certain styles of interviews that recruiters and employers use to judge whether you are the right fit for the position.
The recruiter will usually inform you about the overall interview process beforehand so you know exactly how and what to prepare. The recruiter should cover the following - the expected duration of the interview, who will be attending, and this will usually include information about which type of interview/s they will be conducting.
There are lots of different styles of interviews from Telephone Interviews, Dinner Interviews, Group Interviews, Skype Interviews, Panel Interviews and more. Each type of interview has a different approach and you will need to make sure that you prepare properly for that particular interview style in order to land your dream job.
To make sure that you arrive at your interview feeling confident and ready, we have some top tips for 3 of the most common interview styles; Group Interviews, Panel Interviews and Skype Interviews…
In the modern competitive job market, it has become a lot more common for companies to conduct group interviews. Group interviews are effective ways of conducting multiple interviews at once, saving the recruiter a significant amount of time and effort but also enabling them to get a good idea of who works well in a team, who will fit into their company culture and who works well in stressful situations...
Take note of the following 7 tips to stand out from the other candidates in your next group interview…
Whether or not you are an interview veteran or complete novice, it's important to do your research on the company and the role you applied for before you enter the interview. You also need to review interview questions that you will likely be asked and prepare questions to ask the interviewer.
Do not make a bad impression by arriving late so the company and the fellow participants would not have to wait for you or even worse – interrupt the already happening conversation. Arriving on time will give the interviewer an insight on how serious you are about this job position and that you have no problems meeting your deadlines. Nevertheless, the earlier you arrive the more time you get to impress.
You can be armed with the most eloquently produced oral pitch, CV and bucketloads of experience, but your gestures and posture etc. can still let you down at the crucial moment. Things like keeping eye contact, smiling and having good posture are great ways of showing your charisma, and that you are interested in the role. Having good body language is essential in a job interview.
It's important to make your voice heard during the interview, but avoid talking over people or butting in. When you see an opportunity to speak, take it, but it's important to not to take over the whole interview.
Everyone goes to the interview with an idea that it is important to impress the interviewer. This sentence is true, however, you need to do it by being the real you. Not being true to yourself can be very telling to an experienced recruiter who interviews people on a daily basis. Over-use of common interview clichés is therefore important to avoid - you should use specific examples of your experience and keep your answers authentic.
Whether you are doing a Skype interview or a group interview there are some etiquette rules that you need to be followed no matter what.
- First of all, do not talk to the interviewer as though they are someone you have known for a long time, even if you do. Interviewers are not your friends so do not act like it.
- Do not use bad language. Even if it is a very open-minded company it may give a bad impression in front of the interviewer and your fellow participants.
- Do not be rude if you do not like other people questions, answers or statements during the interview. Keep the opinion to yourself and avoid creating a conflict.
- Avoid mentioning lifestyle habits that may give off a bad impression - such as drugs, gambling etc.
If you are working on a team project during the group interview, find an opportunity to lead. This does not mean taking over the whole interview, it can be as simple as including everyone, and making sure everyone has a task to complete.
Panel interviews involve being interviewed by multiple interviewers from the same company all at once. Companies tend to use this style of interview to ensure that they make the best hiring decision possible, gathering opinions from each interviewer and avoiding the risk of making a bad hire. Similar to group interviews, panel interviews enable the recruiter or hiring manager to see how you interact with different individuals in a high-pressure environment.
This interview style may seem like the most intimidating, especially if you haven’t been to many interviews before, but think on the bright side, at least you are not limited to just impressing one interviewer, you have the opportunity to impress multiple interviewers all at once!
As daunting and as nerve-racking as it may seem, we have some key tips to make sure you impress all interviewers at your next panel interview…
If you can, try to find out from the recruiter who will be attending the interview beforehand. This will also give you a hand preparing for the interview and what to research etc. By knowing who will be present in the interview, you will be able to do some investigating to find out what each individual's involvement in the company is, through their LinkedIn profiles and company website.
Arriving at a panel interview with background knowledge about each interviewer and their role within the company will be extremely impressive and it will show your strong desire to work for that company. Of course, the recruiter won't always be able to provide you with this information beforehand, but if they can, take advantage of it!
We always recommend preparing as much as possible for an interview and especially with this style of interview. It’s important to remember, it's not just one person listening to your responses, there are multiple people involved, which means more people can notice if you are underprepared.
Reflect back to our advice yesterday, think of all of the things that we told you to bring but make sure that you adapt this to this style of interview. Bring enough CVs for each interviewer and if you were told to bring any other material, it may be worth printing a few copies of these too. Arriving at the interview with a copy of your CV for each team member will show how well prepared and organised you are and how you use your initiative. As we know, organisational skills are desirable skills for employers.
Just like any interview, body language is important, especially eye contact. Try to sit and speak in a way that engages everyone. Instead of leaning to one side of the room, looking at one interviewer, try to converse with all of them, redirecting your eye contact between each person. Most importantly, treat each member of the panel with the same respect, this is one of the key things the interviewers will be looking out for and if you get the position, you could be working alongside each of these people.
If you can, try to use the name of each interviewer when you are talking to them individually, this will demonstrate your people skills. Make sure you provide a mixture of individual responses and group responses too, you want to show that you can adapt your communication skills to different situations and scenarios. In the eyes of any hiring manager or recruiter, the more communication skills, the better!
If no one mentions it, don't be afraid to ask what the next steps of the hiring process are. By asking this question, you will find out who you should expect to engage with next, it also shows your genuine interest in the position.
When you are leaving the interview, engage with each member of the panel by collecting business cards, shaking their hands and mentioning their names. This will appear very professional and leave the interviewers feeling impressed by your professionalism.
Extra tip: If you do manage to gather the business cards and details from each member of the panel, it's always a nice touch to send a thank you note, thanking each of them for their time.
In this modern technological age, it's becoming common practice for companies to interview their candidates through Zoom and other video platforms. Video interviews save a significant amount of time, money and effort for both the recruiter and for yourself. Skype interviews bring the convenience of being able to attend your interview from almost anywhere in the world, which is perfect for those of you who are thinking of relocating for a job abroad or working remotely!
Just like the above interview styles, a Skype interview is your chance to shine, it's your opportunity to show off your skills, experience, and why you are suitable for the company and that particular position to the recruiter or hiring managers. Follow our 6 top tips to help you prepare for your next Skype interview...
Some of you may have embarrassing email addresses and skype names from when you were younger. We come across this a lot, candidates with embarrassing nicknames and inappropriate email addresses. This could be costing you that dream job, you need to come across as a professional, not as an immature person! It will only take you 5 minutes to create a new account - so do it! It could be costing you your dream job.
In this tech-savvy generation, we have access to technology pretty much everywhere we go. In public libraries, internet cafes on a range of devices; laptops, tablets, desktop etc. Although some phones are higher quality cameras, they are not as stable and reliable as some laptops and desktops. Using a desktop/laptop also enables you to freely express yourself during the interview. You don't need to worry about holding the phone or about incoming phone calls and other interruptions. All in all, using a laptop or desktop is a lot easier and convenient for both you and the recruiter. We also recommend having a backup just in case your device decides to let you down before the interview or even during! If by chance, your laptop breaks or the signal disconnects, use your phone to call them to inform them and rearrange for another time.
Make sure you complete a test run first. Ask one of your friends if you can do a practice skype call with them, test your signal strength, your microphone, your speakers and the quality of your webcam. You need to make sure that they can see you, they can hear you, and of course, you can see and hear them. It's even a good idea to get them to send you a print screen so that you can see how you look and what your environment looks like. Ask your friend to act like the recruiter, prepare some questions and see how your answers flow! Practice makes perfect.
Ensure that you choose a quiet, well-lit place with minimal distractions. As it ́s an interview, all the attention needs to be on you, this is your time to shine! Any interruptions may cost you your dream job and make you come across extremely unprofessional. Obviously, Skype interviews are not as convenient as a face-to-face interview so it's important to make the most out of the situation. We strongly advise you to avoid loud public spaces, believe it or not, we've experienced beach skype interviews, noisy car parks and so on. It´s also extremely important to make sure that the area you are skyping from is clean and tidy!
Just like a normal interview, it's important to portray yourself in a professional light. We don't expect you to wear a full suit or a shirt and tie, but we do recommend wearing respectful, smart clothing, high-neck top, clothes well ironed, generally following the ́smart-casual ́ dress code. Just make sure that you are well presented in order to highlight your professionalism. Dress appropriately from head to toe, you never know what may happen during your skype interview and imagine if you need to stand up to grab something, only to reveal your bright orange pyjama bottoms - how embarrassing! The same goes for accessories, ditch the sunglasses, the big summer hats and remember, this is just as serious as a face-to-face interview!
Just like a physical interview, you should come prepared. Complete your research on the company beforehand, practice your questions, review the job description and just get yourself focused! Make sure you have a notepad next to you to take notes and even take advantage of the ́virtual ́ environment by preparing sticky notes with notes on the company and the role - lucky for you, they won't see these! We can't express enough how important it is to ask questions at the end so make sure you are ready to ask these too. Always thank the hiring manager for their time and make sure you have exited the interview before you start discussing your interview with a friend or family member!
Skype interviews are just as important as any style of interview and sometimes they can determine some of your most life-changing decisions; relocations, career changes etc. It is so important that you take them seriously and respect the hiring manager's time and effort also. Remember, first impressions count, a bad interview can cost you your dream job - so make the extra effort to ensure that your interview runs smoothly!
Each of these interview styles has a different approach and different audiences, but each style requires the same preparation and motivation! At the end of the day, as long as you feel ready and prepared for your interviews, this will have a knock-on effect on your performance during the interview. Hopefully, with our above tips, you understand the difference between these 3 popular interview styles and this will help you to prepare the best you can for all 3 interview styles. Once you have the interview there are more things to be done. Tomorrow we take the next smart steps immediately after the job interview!