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Careers Guide

Standard Interview Types

Most people will likely attend many interviews throughout their lives. If you are just starting out on this process, it can be incredibly daunting and anxiety-inducing.

Not to worry as we are here to help! Below is a guide to different types of interviews and top tips for acing all aspects of the interview process.

interview

Video Assessment

A video assessment takes place remotely and uses video technology as the communication medium. Usually, the hiring manager will pose a set of questions and ask job seekers to record their responses in a video. The main purpose of this interview is to get an overall sense of your personality and whether you will be a good fit for the company, as well as seeing if you have the qualities they are looking for.

This can be quite daunting, especially if you are not used to recording yourself speaking. It may be helpful to practice recording yourself speaking so that you can get used to it. Body language is important for a video assessment so make sure to sit up straight and look enthusiastic when replying to the questions.

Location is also important – ensure that you chose a quiet and tidy location so that they can hear you properly and are not distracted by any mess behind you! Lastly, make sure that you are still dressed appropriately. Wear what you would wear if you were meeting the employer face-to-face. If you are unsure about the company's dress code, it is always best to dress smart. 

Phone interview

These are typically conducted by employers in the initial interview round of the hiring process. This type of interview allows an employer to screen candidates on their experience, qualifications, and salary expectations pertaining to the position and the company.

As the employer cannot see you at a phone interview, make sure to sound enthusiastic! It helps to smile whilst you are speaking – even though they cannot see you, this will help you sound more animated whilst you are talking. Similar to a video interview, make sure you are in a quiet location with zero distractions; it is important to take this interview as seriously as you would a face to face one.

A top tip would be to have your CV on hand so that you can refer to this when you are answering your questions (read more here about CV top tips...)

Group interview

This is an interview in which several candidates are present. You may be asked to interact with each other, usually by a group discussion. You might even be given a task to do as a team, so make sure you speak up and give your opinion. 

During a group interview, you want to make sure to stand out! However, this does not mean talking over other people and being the loudest. Make sure to include other members of your team and ask them what they think, as well as giving your own opinion. You are more likely to stand out to the interviewer if you have thoughtful ideas AND include everyone in the discussion or task.

Face-to-Face interview

This is a meeting between you and one or more members of staff of the company in person. Every interviewer should let you know beforehand how many people will be present at the interview and what their roles are (and if they don’t – it is okay to ask this question beforehand).

panel interview

This is usually the last step of the hiring process and the one that people are most nervous about. Below are some top tips for face-to-face interviews (however they are also useful for ALL types of interviews).

Top tips for all interviews:

  1. ARRIVE EARLY (or be ready to answer the phone/set up to record yourself early). Leave yourself plenty of time to get to the location, just in case things go wrong on the day. You want to show the interviewer you are reliable.

  2. RESEARCH. This is perhaps the most important step. Research the company, the role and your interviewers. Most interviewers will ask why you want the role or why you want to work at the company and this is incredibly hard to answer without completing adequate research beforehand! Explore the company website and search for the interviewers on LinkedIn – you may be able to find some common interests.  

  3. PRACTISE answering common interview questions with the STAR technique beforehand. Don’t know what the STAR technique is? Take a look at our blog that explains this method: https://uptree.co/blog/the-star-technique/

  4. PREPARE questions for the interviewer. You can write these down and take them into the interview with you so that you don’t forget. Interviewers will normally ask if you have any questions towards the end. If you feel your questions have already been answered, don’t be afraid to let them know you were going to ask a specific question, however it was already covered. This will still show you were prepared beforehand.

  5. BRING a copy of your CV to look over on the journey. It is important to familiarise yourself with your CV (and covering letter if applicable) and what better way to do so than on the journey.

  6. SPEAK CLEARLY and concisely. It is okay to pause to think before answering your questions. If you take a moment to collect your thoughts (and remember your STAR answers) the words that come out will likely be more to the point and relevant. Do not feel like you have to rush an answer as this may cause you to not answer the question. It is also okay to ask questions if you are unsure what the interviewer means. Better to ask and answer correctly, than to give an answer that doesn’t make sense.

Summary 

Remember that every has to go through interviews – even those who are interviewing you now! It is normal to be nervous about an interview, especially if it is for a role that you really want. The most important thing to do is to be prepared; the more preparation you put in beforehand, the more likely it is going to pay off.

If you get a job offer after an interview – that is amazing! If you don’t, try not to be too disheartened. Many employers have to go through thousands of applications and rejection is something everyone will have to face at some point.  Think about how the interview went and ask the interviewer for feedback – this will help you for future interviews.

If you are going to an interview soon – good luck!