Techniques by interview type
There are many different formats for the job interview, each with its own challenges and advantages. The technique you use during an interview may depend on where you’re interviewing and with whom you’re interviewing. Common interview formats include:
A phone interview is usually one of the first steps in the interview process. If the hiring manager thinks the skills and experience on your resume are a potential fit with the company, they may reach out to you over the phone to learn more about you. Follow these techniques during your phone interview:
- Research the company and review the job description beforehand to better explain how you’d be a great fit and why you want to work there.
- Practice common interview questions, especially “Tell me about yourself” so you can answer with confidence.
- Keep your resume, interview notes and other materials nearby and reference them when needed.
- Move to a quiet environment so you can focus and limit yourself from any distractions that may occur during the interview.
Many companies use video technology to interview both candidates in the early stages of interviewing and also candidates that will work full-time remotely. Candidates may also be instructed to send pre-recorded videos answering interview questions for the hiring manager to view later.
Employers often use video interviews to learn how well the candidate works with technology and follows directions. Video interviews are often used as a replacement of phone interviews since it allows hiring managers to see the candidate’s facial expressions and mannerisms as they answer basic interview or screening questions. Video interview techniques to follow include:
- Practice using your video software to interview beforehand and ensure your internet connection is strong throughout the entire practice interview.
- Test your computer’s microphone and camera to ensure you look and sound clear.
- Position yourself in a quiet area with proper lighting and a neutral background. Place your phone in “do not disturb” mode.
- Dress accordingly based on the culture of the company
- Try to use the same body language you would use in an in-person interview by sitting up straight, nodding along to show your listening and using professional hand gestures to engage the interviewer.
One-on-one in-person interview
When a hiring manager invites you to an in-person interview, you’ve passed the initial screening phase. Usually, during this stage, the employer has general knowledge of your skills and experience and is now trying to learn more about your personality, work ethic and commitment to the role. Some techniques to follow include:
- Act polite and engaging as soon as you meet the interviewer. Be sure to smile and shake hands with them when introducing yourself in person.
- Stay friendly, energetic, and professional as you meet other employees. Interviewers may use this time to see how well you interact with others. If you’re in the office, they may show you around and introduce you to other team members.
- Be sure to show your enthusiasm and passion for the position as interviewers may try to gauge your excitement for the role. – Don’t forget to show your appreciation for their time as well.
If an interviewer has limited time to meet with each candidate, they may schedule a group interview. This consists of several candidates interviewing together and helps interviewers understand how well you work with others and perform in high-stress situations. Techniques to follow during a group interview include:
- Be friendly and polite to the other candidates and treat them respectfully by nodding along and smiling as they talk.
- Listen to other candidates’ answers and try to think of a way to make yours sound more unique and specific to the company.
- Remain confident, charismatic and relaxed as you answer each question clearly.
Panel interviews consist of interviewing in front of multiple employees at once. This type of interview helps employers gauge how well you can handle high-pressure situations since many people are focusing on you at once. The panels may have leadership members, your potential manager and department teams attending. Many hiring managers enjoy panel interviews because other employees can provide their opinions on whether you’d be a good fit for their team.
- This is a great time to show how well you can handle group settings. Here are some interview techniques you can use during a panel interview:
- Focus your attention on whoever is talking and provide responses whenever necessary to show you’re listening to them.
- Try to remember the names of each person on the panel, so you can politely and professionally address them by name when answering their question.
- Prepare yourself for many follow-up questions as your answers may satisfy some people while other panellists may want you to expand further.
- Take notes of questions that come up that you’d like to ask when it’s your turn. Keep note of who brought up the topic so you can address the specific person who prompted your questions.