The common advice for a job interview is, “Be Prepared”. But prepared for what? There are many different types of interviews. Here are some examples:
THE TELECONFERENCE – By using Skype or Facetime you can be interviewed via computer in your home. Usually it’s a screening interview to see if a face-to-face interview is worth the cost. You’ll be one of 10 or 15 to be screened. Many times the questions are scripted so be expansive in your answers to demonstrate two things: competence and results.
THE PRE-INTERVIEW PROJECT – You are asked to complete a project, program or report prior to the face-to-face interview. The objective is to see if you are familiar with the work to be done. During the interview you’ll be tested on the practical application to see if you can explain what you did and why. If someone helped you complete the project it will show through.
THE FIRST INTERVIEW – This interview usually lasts about an hour. The interviewer’s objective is to identify “knockout” factors. Prepare by going through your resume and identify the results you’ve achieved for each and every item on the position description. You need to demonstrate expertise for each item listed.
THE SECOND INTERVIEW – This interview is focused on relationships and your ability to fit into the organization. You have already been vetted for competence. Now it’s time to be vetted for your ability to integrate into the existing organization and people. Focus on teamwork and your ability to interactively contribute to the working group. They don’t need a potential problem child.
THE CASE STUDY – You are given a case situation and expected to role-play in a near real-life environment. You are being tested to see how you deal with stress, organize the work, prioritize activities, plus your ability to manage a crisis. There is no way to prepare except to review other case studies available on the Internet.
THE CONSECUTIVE INTERVIEWS – You are to interview multiple people, one after another. Make sure you have enough time to review your prior interview and then prepare mentally for the next one. Understanding who is next, in what function, will help your preparation. Answer the questions based on the perspective of the interviewer and their function.
THE GROUP / PANEL – This interview is in a group setting with 3 to 6 or more people around a conference table asking questions about your experiences. It’s important to know who (or what function) is asking the question, which is why you need everyone’s name and job. Always answer the question looking at the person asking, to make it as personal a connection as possible.
The questions that you ask are also extremely important. Be prepared with impressive questions relating to the job you’re seeking, like, “What are the expectations for this position in the first 6 to 12 months?”
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