Interviews can fill even the most experienced candidates with fear and anticipation. And nowadays they can come in so many forms, it’s hard to know what to expect.
But fear not, Pentasia have prepared a handy guide to 8 of the most common interview types to help you secure that dream job.
1 - The Recruiter Screen Call
Their Goal: Decide if you cover the basic requirements and aren’t out of the budgeted salary range.
Your Goal: Get an introduction to the role, pass the first stage so you can meet the hiring manager.
Our Advice: This interview is to share introductions and cover off the basics. Whilst you don’t need to delve too deep into your career history and achievements, it’s a good idea to practice a short summary of what your current role entails, especially focussing on how you fit the brief and why you might consider a move. It’s common for recruiters to mention salary here, so prepare your response. It’s usually best to provide be open, at the very minimum providing a ballpark range of your expectations (you can negotiate harder further down the line).
2 - The ‘Casual Coffee’
Their Goal: Establish if you’re willing to move from your current workplace, and if the move would be a good fit for both parties
Your Goal: Find out more about the role and the team.
Our Advice: It may be a ‘casual’ chat but don’t be fooled – it’s still important to make a positive impression, even if you think the company is trying to headhunt you. Be polite, inquisitive and candid – and take the opportunity to ask lots of questions so you get a feel for the company.
3 - The Classic ‘Line-manager’ interview
Their Goal: Delve into your job history, skills and motivations for the role.
Your Goal: Present your experience in the best light to convince them you could excel in the role. (Plus, sound out your potential boss!)
Our Advice: Follow the obvious steps: research the company, job and the team (Linked In, company website, industry news) thoroughly, prepare a list of questions, and revise your CV so you can talk about your most relevant experience and achievements.
4 - Meeting the Team’ interview
Their Goal: Get a wide range of opinions on your suitability for the position. Enable others from the organisation to ‘sell’ the role to you.
Your Goal: Come across enthusiastic, competent and a team player – someone the team can get along with.
Our Advice: Prepare questions tailored for each individual interviewer. Eg ask the CEO about overall company strategy and direction, ask the HR manager about culture and progression. Having back to back interviews can be tiring, so grab a coffee and remember to smile throughout!
5 - The Presentation
Their Goal: Assess how well you can research a topic and articulate it fluently.
Your Goal: Blow them away!
Our Advice: Unless you are an experienced presenter who knows the topic, resist the temptation to ‘wing it’. It’s best to put some effort into creating a presentation that shows you’ve done your research on the company, and practice beforehand so you can deliver to the best of your abilities.
6 - The ‘behavioural’, or ‘competency’ based interview
Their Goal: Discern if you can demonstrate, with examples, the skills and behaviours required for the job.
Your Goal: Pick the right examples from your CV to show you fit the criteria.
Our Advice: This type of interview, where the interviewer is looking for evidence of specific skills or behaviours, can throw off even the most experienced candidates. It’s worth researching the company values and the job description, as competencies / behaviours will often be based around these. Practice speaking about your experience succinctly using the STAR formula. (Situation, Task, Action Result).
7- The ‘Role Play’ Task / Technical interview
Their Goal: Put you in a situation that closely mimics the daily challenges of the role and see how you cope.
Your Goal: Show them you can deal with anything this position could throw at you.
Our Advice: Gaining in popularity, these interviews try to replicate the job, so naturally will vary depending on the position you’re interviewing for. If you’ve been given preparatory material, do your homework - thoroughly – as well as doing general research on the job role and company values to give you a better idea of how they might want you to behave.
8 - The Final HR interview
Their Goal: Check if you would be a cultural fit. Manage salary expectations and (if you’re lucky) deliver an offer.
Your Goal: Impress the HR manager, ask any last-minute questions, and discuss next steps.
Our Advice: This is often the critical last stage, so you want to impress. Come prepared with some insightful questions, be prepared to give feedback on the interview process and your thoughts on the role, and remember to be positive and polite at all times.
Now you know how to ace an interview, there’s nothing holding you back from applying for your dream job.
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