How To Prepare For Every Type Of Interview
Whether it’s a video call or a face-to-face meeting, learn how to prepare for your next job interview to give yourself the best chance of success.
Preparation is the foundation of a successful job interview.
However, every job interview is different - particularly in today’s world, where candidates need to juggle video sessions, phone calls, and face-to-face meetings.
Don’t worry - we’re here to help you tackle your interview head-on. Let’s take a closer look at the different types of job interviews, and explain how you can prepare yourself effectively to maximise your odds of success.
According to data from Standout CV, there has been a 57% increase in the use of video interviews since 2019. That means if you’re currently seeking out job opportunities, it’s a wise move to sharpen your video interviewing technique.
So how can you prepare yourself for a video call?
Firstly, make sure that you’re set up in an appropriate environment. 15% of candidates have had their video interview interrupted by someone they live with, so notify anyone you’re living with about the meeting ahead of time.
Small touches can also make a big impact on your call. Tidy up your background, and dress appropriately. It may not be a face-to-face scenario, but appearances are still very important!
Double-check that everything is functioning correctly from a tech perspective, too.
7 in 10 candidates claim to have missed a job opportunity due to technical issues, so set up a trial run to test any software (e.g. Teams, Skype, Slack) beforehand. If you’re concerned about WiFi speed in your home, find a more reliable location - for example, a private booth in a workspace, or a friend’s house.
Before the pandemic, 94% of final interviews were carried out face-to-face - but nowadays, this figure has dropped to just 17%. If you’re searching for a new role, there’s a good chance you’ll need to join at least one phone interview.
To ensure a smooth phone conversation, take the call in a quiet place where you can hear and be heard.
Telephone interviews can feel a little awkward since you won’t be able to gauge facial expressions or maintain eye contact. To compensate, make sure that you’re using the right tone of voice - try to sound as engaged, enthusiastic, and interested as possible.
Although phone interviews may be tricky at times, they do offer one major benefit - you can quickly reference your CV and notes if you need a killer statistic or talking point. Make the most of this by preparing a few bullet points about the company, the role, and your relevant experience.
Flash cards are better than lengthy paragraphs, and you should avoid sounding like you’re reading from a script, but having key information in front of you can help you to feel more comfortable.
Lastly, end your phone call on a positive note. Follow up on next steps and thank the interviewer for their time to leave a good impression.
Face-to-face interviews may be less frequent nowadays, but they still offer a fantastic opportunity for you to build meaningful connections in person.
Always dress appropriately for the occasion. Company dress codes often differ, but a smarter outfit is usually a safer bet than casual attire.
Maintain eye contact with your interviewers, and think about your posture and presentation. There’s no need to go overboard here, but if you’re looking engaged and carrying yourself with confidence, it can make a big impact on potential employers.
And finally, never underestimate the importance of punctuality for face-to-face interviews.
84% of interviewers view lateness (without forewarning) as the worst interview offence possible, so don’t fall at the first hurdle - plan out your journey, leave a generous buffer for transport issues, and turn up on time!
Best practices for every type of interview
Now that we’ve covered the different types of job interviews, let’s look at some general best practices that you can apply to every scenario.
Number one, always study the company and job description carefully before your meeting.
Research shows that a lack of understanding about a role is the most common reason for failed interviews, so come equipped with specific knowledge about the position you’re applying for.
Secondly, tailor your answers around the specific skills your interviewer is searching for.
This is particularly important for contractors, as clients will often be looking to fill a skill shortage or tackle a short-term project. That means they’re less interested in your long-term ambitions and more interested in hearing about the immediate value and experience you can offer.
Last, but not least, don’t overlook the importance of a first impression.
33% of hiring managers claim to know whether or not they would hire a candidate within 30 seconds of meeting them, so whether it’s a phone call or a face-to-face, make sure that you’re coming across as confident, positive, and personable.
Looking for more advice on interview prep? Check out our comprehensive guide to successful job interviews here.
Job interviews can be a scary prospect, but you’ll save yourself a lot of stress through effective preparation and thorough research.
Once you know when, where, and how your interview will take place, just follow the steps above to set yourself up for a successful meeting.
And whatever type of interview you’re taking part in, always stick to the basics. Carry yourself with confidence, show your enthusiasm, and remember the value that you can offer potential employers.
For more advice and useful resources on navigating the recruitment process click here.
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