Different Interview Types
Interviews can be done in a variety of different ways for many reasons. Regardless of the type it is always important to fully prepare for each as, all of them will influence whether you are successful.
Phone interviews are usually for getting to know you and for you to get to know the company. Employers use them to find out basic facts about you and, in turn, you will hear more about the job posting and what they are looking for. These calls may be done by a hiring person, someone from Human Resources or the person directly hiring.
Prepare for these as you would a normal interview and make sure you have questions! Find a quiet spot with no distractions and good cell service. Charge your phone battery and if it makes you feel more confident, dress up!
These can be done for a variety of different interview types. They may be instead of a phone interview or they may be something more advanced, maybe a meeting with a manager who is not in town. Prepare as you would all interviews, think about your past interview (if applicable), ensure your Skype, camera or other equipment work and make sure you have a good Wi-Fi connection. Check to see if you need to enter a video conference (see the email for details), and don’t forget to look professional! Dress as you would for an in-person interview and check what is behind you in the shot. Don’t have distractions like your phone or notes around you, always look at the camera and the people speaking.
These are the most common interviews but can still have many variations. There may be one or many people interviewing you, there may be small tasks they ask you to do, they could take place in the place of work or offsite and they can last anywhere from 15 minutes to over an hour. Always prepare appropriately (see our other blog, Preparing for Your Interview), dress professionally and plan for the interview to be long. If you have a time constraint such as getting a ride or child care, let them know when you are setting the interview up. Interrupting someone to tell them you have to go is a sure-fire way to lose that job.
At Home Task:
After an interview you may be asked to do some work at home for their review. This is more common in writing or design jobs. If you get one be sure to read the instructions carefully as soon as you can, so you can ask questions if need be. Note the due date and time and how to send it back. When possible send it in earlier than when they requested to show your enthusiasm. If for some reason you will not be able to complete the task by their required time let them know as soon as possible, and give them a firm, realistic new time. They may let you have an extension, but they may not. Always plan some time before you send it in to review it and the instructions again. Don’t finish it and send it off at the last minute without looking it over to see if you’ve missed something important or have typos!
There are few situations where someone may ask you to try some work either during an interview or to come in at a separate time. Ensure this a reasonable request and they are not trying to get you to work for a long period of time for no compensation. It may be hard to prepare for this any more than you have prepared for your interview but remember to always act professional and don’t be afraid to ask questions, both for clarification and to show your enthusiasm. The employer knows you aren’t fully trained in what you are doing but they will want to see how you work with others and how you act in situations that you are not completely comfortable in.
You may come across a group interview during your job search. Most of these are done when employers need to hire many positions all of which have similar roles and duties. Prepare as you would for all interviews and when you are in the interview aim to not interrupt others and to not react negatively if you don’t agree with one of them. These interviews are to find the best people for the job, not the loudest, and the ones who work best together.
Remember to send a thank you, follow up email after all in-person or secondary interviews. This is a great way to make a good impression after the conversation is over.