Landing an interview is undeniably one of the most exciting parts of the job hunt, second to being offered a job. But what type of interview did you just land? It usually won’t be a surprise, but it’s still helpful to know some of the different settings an interview can take place in so you’re prepared for anything.
The Traditional Interview
This is the interview format you’ll most likely experience. You sit down one-on-one with a representative from the company. The interviewer is usually the person you will report to if hired. The questions are generally standard, including ones like, “Why do you want to work here?” As with any interview format, it’s best to have done company research beforehand.
The Phone Interview
This is usually a preliminary screening conducted by either an HR representative or the person you will report to if hired. The nice thing about phone interviews is you can take as many notes as you want—more so than during an in-person interview—and you don’t have to worry about being professionally dressed. Just remember to speak clearly, be in a quiet environment, and listen well.
The Panel Interview
A panel interview consists of multiple people from the company, usually representing various departments, who will interact with you in some essential way if hired. They will each ask their own questions, but it’s important for you to acknowledge everyone in the room, even if it’s just making eye contact. When it’s your turn to ask questions, focus on a couple group questions and individualized ones as well. When you send a thank you note, be sure to include everyone on the panel.
The Job Fair Interview
This is one of the biggest benefits to attending job fairs—immediate interviews. The downside is that a recruiter might be talking with a lot of people, so you need to maximize the time you get with them. Plan for five to fifteen minutes of conversation. You’ll want a strong introduction about yourself memorized and get a business card so you can follow up.
The Lunch Interview
Sometimes you’ll get invited to an interview over lunch. There could be several reasons why the hiring manager wants to do this, one of which is removing the formality of the office interview setting. It’s a more casual environment, but remember to remain professional. You’re not out to lunch with a friend and you’re still trying to sell yourself for a job.
The Video Interview
As technology takes over more aspects of the workforce, you might find yourself in a Skype interview. Be sure you have somewhere private and quiet to participate in the interview. You don’t want to be in a noisy coffee shop with a lot of background movement. It’ll be too distracting. And unlike other remote interviews, such as the phone interview, you will need to wear professional attire since people can see you.
Do you need help preparing for an interview? You can visit a no-cost Goodwill Career Center and ask a career advisor for assistance. Call 602-535-4444 to find a center near you or visit our locations page. Good luck with your job search!
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