Locking in an interview can come with a whole host of emotions. There’s the exhilaration for getting to the next step. And there’s the equally as strong anxiety over getting past this step and onto the next. An interview, after all, is somewhat like a large test. If you ace it, you reap the benefits of your good grade and move on to the next level: a new job. If you don’t, well, you retake the test – but for another company.
Succeeding in an interview is largely dependent upon the amount – and quality – of the preparation done before. Like a test, those who spend time researching and studying are much more likely to whip out the correct answers.
Before heading into an interview, it’s incredibly important to understand just what you may be walking into. Studying for multiple choice when the test will be fill in the blank can make a huge difference. To prepare for whatever may come, take a look at these six types of interviews.
- The Phone Call Screening Interview
The phone interview is generally a preliminary first screening of a candidate’s qualifications. It elaborates on the information found on a job application or resume, and a phone interview helps determine whether or not a full interview would be worthwhile.
If you know about the phone interview ahead of time, find a quiet, comfortable place to talk. Gather all of the materials that would normally be needed in an in-person interview, such as a resume, references and a job portfolio. Having this information handy will give an advantage of seeing the same materials that the recruiter is seeing.
- The Standard/Traditional Interview
The standard interview is the most common. Often, it involves a single interviewer and a single candidate. The best way to prepare for this type of interview is to go through and rehearse honest answers to a series of common interview questions. Solicit the help of a close friend or relative who is willing to be forthright about opportunities for improvement.
- The Job Fair Meet and Greet Interview
The job fair interview is common for recent graduates looking for an entry-level position. The companies who participate in the fair will see multiple candidates on the same day, so it’s imperative to make a good impression and stand out amongst all of the other applicants.
Dress professionally and be prepared. Learn about the companies who will be there ahead of time. Take plenty of resumes to give out, and work on a mini sales pitch to tell potential employers about your work. The job fair is a mini-interview in itself, but you may be asked to do a formal interview on the spot, or on the following day.
- The Group Interview
The group interview can be tough because it generally means you’ll be interviewed alongside several other candidates. Just like at the job fair, focus on making a good first impression and standing out. You could also call this personal branding.
There are several ways to do this, but one of the most effective is to speak up and ask questions about the company or specific parts of the job. The first shows that you’ve done your homework; the latter shows your interest in being the right fit for the qualifications necessary. For more tips on securing a job in a group interview, check out this great article by Ashley Cobert from The Muse.
- The Lunch Meeting Interview
A lunch interview can pose a different sort of challenge: eating during your presentation. Every skill on social etiquette learned from your parents should be used in this situation. Avoid foods that are difficult to eat or are particularly messy. Spaghetti? Don’t even think about it.
This setting tends to be a bit more casual, but everything that is on the line in a more traditional interview is still on the line here. Be sure to treat it exactly like you would in a standard setting.
- The Online Video Chat Interview
Technology continues to unfold, and more and more companies are moving to online video chats for interviewing candidates. This type of interview is most appropriate when a candidate currently lives a long distance from the company and can’t necessarily make it in person for the first round of interviews.
As with all of the other interview types, do your research about the company and the position, and focus on personal branding. Wear proper business clothing, speak clearly and make sure you check the connection prior to the commencement time.
For more help and tips with an online video interview, look at this article. It’s important that the attire worn matches what would be worn in the office. It’s also important that the space for the interview is distraction-free.
Interviewing for a new position can certainly be exciting. Forgo anxiousness! All you need to do is understand the interview setting and properly prepare for it. Remember that an interview is simply a small portion of the test; through careful attention to detail and lots of studying, you’re sure to ace it.