When it comes to job interviews, you used to just have to show up to the office with your résumé and answer some questions; now, we’ve got everything from Skype interviews to group interviews. And that’s great!
Different kinds of job interviews give you different opportunities to show off your strengths—provided you manage the interviews correctly. Here are some tips that can help you do just that.
Employers are using group interviews more than ever to expedite the interviewing process. Basically, instead of spending all day interviewing 10 different candidates, they just see all the candidates at the same time. Furthermore, you’re interviewing in front of a panel.
In group interviews, you have to assess and respond to various personalities within the panel. This is where interpersonal skills, otherwise known as “soft skills,” get put to the test.
It’s important to remember that you shouldn’t alter yourself to fit everyone’s needs. You’d rather have one person on the panel love you than have all of them think you’re vanilla or have multiple personalities.
Furthermore, it’s important to remember that you aren’t the only person in the room. Make eye contact with each panelist, and acknowledge that they are all working on a team.
The only real difference between a Skype interview and an in-person interview is that you’re on camera. Other than that, a lot of the same rules apply.
Make sure you’re dressed appropriately for the position at hand. The outfit you’d wear to interview for a finance position may not be the same one you’d wear to interview for a nonprofit that sends people to the jungle.
Also, prepare your surroundings. Keep it simple, so the attention is on you and not everything going on around you—especially if you live with other people.
If you run into technical glitches during the interview, a polite “excuse me?” will make sure you understood the questions correctly. If things get too bad, simply suggest hanging up and re-dialing. You don’t want to run the risk of misunderstanding a question or making a poor impression because of a bad connection.
And finally, perhaps the greatest advantage of a Skype interview is that you can have your notes off to the side or slightly in front of you because the employer won’t see them. Take advantage of this, so you make sure not to forget anything.
The most important thing to remember about an informational interview is that while it could lead to a job for you, that’s not the point. Informational interviews are all about the other person. You’re gathering intel on a position you’re interested in from someone who already has that experience.
That being said, do have your résumé on you just in case they ask you for it. Since they’re already connected, they may be impressed by you and want to help you out.
Also, follow up and thank them for their time. It may not seem like much, but going the extra mile will put you way ahead of the game.
Situational Job Interview
A situational job interview is one that focuses on what could happen during the job. The candidate is asked a series of questions based on scenarios that may happen if they get the position.
Questions range from asking what they would do first if they get hired to how they would solve certain problems on the job.
The best way to handle these questions is to give concrete examples of how you’ve handled similar situations in the past. That way, you’re giving the employer solid information.
A great way to prepare for situational interviews is to use the S.T.A.R. interviewing method. This acronym is a formula that helps you organize your answers for the interview.
What other types of interviews have you run into that you have questions about? Let us know in the comments.