Tips on different types of interviews

Interview preparation is the utmost thing. Researching the company and preparing answers to likely questions, be sure to ask what form the interview will take. Different formats require you to adopt a different approach.

If you’re invited to attend a video, phone, panel, or group interview. Here’s what to expect and how to impress your interviewer.

Telephonic interview

Some of the employers conduct short telephone interviews in screening candidates, while others will carry out entire interviews by phone.

Get ready: Take the call where you won’t be disturbed and minimize background noise. Switch off your computer or TV so you’re not distracted, and make sure your notes are on hand.

How to impress: “You will not be visible, so you cannot communicate anything by your appearance, gestures, or body language,” says John Lees, career coach and author of The Interview Expert. “Your voice has to do all the work, including establishing rapport. Speak with enthusiasm. If you’re nervous, take the call standing up and remember to smile – it will help you sound friendly. Most people ramble when they’re nervous, so slow down.”

To build rapport, John suggests referring to the interviewer by name from time to time and engaging in small talk if invited to at the start or end of the call. “Remember, interviewers don’t have visual clues to aid them either. If you need time to answer a question, say so. Unexpected prolonged silences can be worrying.”

Video interview

Skype is so widespread, that many recruiters are using video calls in place of telephone interviews.

Get ready: Take the call somewhere quiet where you won’t be disturbed. Make sure your Internet connection is working properly by having a practice call with a friend first. He or she can also give you feedback – are you talking too quickly, too loudly or too softly, perhaps?

Generally, the background should be simple and well lit. Dress smartly but avoid stripes or busy patterns, and keep in mind that white can be draining.

How to impress: Nonverbal clues are important in video interviews, because the recruiter is typically trying to read the candidate’s face to ensure he or she is relating to what’s being said.

“Eye contact is vital,” says Lees. “Look at the camera, not the person shown on the screen. If you forget, stick a Post-it note under the camera as a reminder. Smile, nod your head regularly, and use your hands (within reason) as you speak. Sitting upright and leaning slightly forward will show that you’re engaged.”

Group interview

Group interviews are a time saving way for employers to see candidates’ team working and soft skills in action.

Get ready to face several questions: Prepare several answers to common interview questions. That way, if you’re the fourth person asked the same question, you’ll have something new to say.

How to impress: “If you’re asked to complete a group project, recruiters want to see that you can work well with others, so make sure you demonstrate that you can collaborate. Don’t talk over others and don’t get angry if someone talks over you,” advises Corinne Mills, managing director of Personal Career Management and author of Career Coach.

“That doesn’t mean you should take a back seat or agree if you have reservations. Employers value strong candidates who can express their ideas. Be persuasive but not forceful.”

Panel interview

Usually reserved for senior roles, panel interviews are a good way for various stakeholders to be involved in the recruitment process. They also reveal how well you cope with high-pressure situations and if you fit in with the company culture.

Get ready: Find out who will be present. Then research each person via a professional networking site or the company website. Knowing who will be there will give you an indication of what questions may be asked.

“A technical expert may want to test your knowledge and awareness of developments in the sector and will ask different questions to a sales or HR manager, for example,” says Mills.

How to impress: Eye contact is vital to build rapport, but facing a row of people can be intimidating. Mills suggests that directing your answer to the person who asked the question, and then sweeping your gaze across the rest of the panel so that everyone feels included. It also allows you to read their facial expressions and assess how well your answer is received. So take care on the above mentioned points to get threw in interview.