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Different types of interview

There are different kinds of interviews including the following:

  • Face-to-face – one person.
  • Panel – 2 or more people.
  • Telephone – often the first stage in recruitment and used when there are many applicants.
  • Pre-recorded video – you’re sent interview questions in advance and you provide your answers in a video recording (often with a set time limit).
  • Live video – you’re interviewed online in real-time using video conference software such as Skype, Microsoft Teams or Zoom.

Preparing for an interview

Preparing for an interview is essential. The following list will help you to prepare for an interview:

  • Research the company. We recommend checking the company website to find out more about the company including any plans for the future.
  • Research the industry. From industry challenges to direct competitors know the industry and what you can do to help the organisation’s standing in the market. Industry publications and LinkedIn cab be a great source of industry updates.
  • Read the job description and person specification carefully and if you haven’t received a copy be sure to ask for one. You need to be clear on the skills and qualities the employer is looking for. Relate your list of skills, work experience and accomplishments to key aspects of the role.
  • Review your CV or application form carefully and think about things the interviewer may ask you about. Have examples ready to answer these questions.
  • Ask someone you trust to practice answering questions.
  • Write down at least 3 questions you can ask at the end of your interview that show you’re enthusiastic about the job. Choose questions that demonstrate your enthusiasm for the job. E.g. “what opportunities are there for further learning or training with your company?”
  • Choose the right interview outfit. Whether you are being interviewed face to face or over video camera it’s essential to dress suitably. You can ask about the organisation’s dress code ahead of the interview. Alternatively, if you do not know about the organsation’s dress code we suggest dressing professionally in office wear.
  • If the interview is face-to-face check what time you need to arrive and the name of the person you need to see. Make sure that you know how to get to the interview and allow plenty of time to get there.

On the day of the interview

Before the interview starts
These tips will help you set up for the interview:

  • Make sure your mobile phone is silent.
  • If it is a video interview:
  • Choose somewhere quiet where you won’t be disturbed.
  • Remember the background will be visible on your camera so make sure the area behind you is tidy and uncluttered.
  • Make sure your device is fully charged or plugged in.
  • Test your internal microphone by recording a voice memo.
  • Check that your internet connection is good.
  • Smile and greet your interviewer confidently. If it is a video interview try to ensure you look at the camera.
  • Remember a few nerves are completely normal!

During the interview
The following tips will help you during the interview:

  • Maintain positive body language including good posture and appropriate eye contact. This demonstrates confidence and shows that you’re really listening to what the interviewer is saying.
  • Avoid slouching, touching your face or moving too much as fidgeting can make you come across as nervous and it will distract the interviewer from what you’re saying.
  • Listen carefully to questions and think before you answer.  If you’re nervous, it is very natural to rush what you’re saying. But remember that the interviewer wants to hear your answers.
  • Try to be careful not to interrupt what the interviewer is saying. This can be easily done in video interviews given the slight delay over the internet.
  • If you do not understand a question do not try to answer the question. Ask the interviewer to repeat it or clarify.
  • If it is a live video interview and there are technical problems (such as if you can’t hear the interviewer) don’t struggle through. Mention the problem and suggest re-joining or taking a moment to try and fix it.
  • Be positive about your experiences and if you’ve faced difficult situations show what you learned from them.
  • Answer the questions honestly without exaggeration.
  • When you’re invited to do so ask your pre-prepared questions.
  • At the end of the interview thank the interviewer for their time and tell them that you are looking forward to hearing from them.

After the interview
When you leave the interview try to write down some of the harder questions you were asked as this can help you to prepare for future interviews.

If you do not get the job ask for feedback on your interview. They should be happy to give you constructive feedback.

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