Interviews are a very useful tool for an employer to ask you more questions about you as a person, your past experience and your suitability for the role you are applying for.
It is also a chance for you to ask the employer any questions you may have about the company or the role. Interviews are daunting to most people – it is completely normal to feel nervous, however there are many ways you can prepare in advance to help you feel more confident on the day.
Types of interview
There are a number of different types of interview. It is important that you know which one you will be attending as this will guide you on how to prepare for it. The different types are explained in more detail below.
A group interview is mostly likely to occur when there are a large number of people interviewing for a role. It allows the employer to see how people manage working in a group, as well as being able to assess people's presentation, communication and social interaction skills. Although group interviews can vary in form, it is most common to have to complete a few tasks as a group, often followed by an interview on your own.
A structured meeting with the employer where they ask you questions in regards to your skills and experience. It is most common to be interviewed by a panel of two or three people. Sometimes you may be asked to prepare a task in advance (e.g. a presentation or a written email/letter), or you could be given a competency-based task to do during the interview. There will always be time in an interview for you to ask questions to the employer about the role or workplace environment – this tends to happen at the end.
An Assessment Day, which can also be referred to as an Assessment Centre, is quite similar to a Group Interview and is usually interactive. Employers use these to assess skills and see first-hand how you complete set tasks, communicate with others and gauge your suitability for their company.
This is a period of time where you will be undertaking the role while being observed/assessed on your suitability and understanding of the role; these are more common in the retail or hospitality sector. As you are active, it can be easy to forget that a trial shift is actually part of an interview process so it is important to make sure you try your best to display your skills and knowledge as you work.
Rather than meeting face-to-face, the interviewer and candidate will connect with each other online using video software. Even though you are not in the same room as the interviewer, you should treat a virtual interview in the same way as a formal interview. Here are some things to consider:
- Ensure your technology works properly and test it before your interview.
- Dress in the same way you would for a formal interview.
- Remove any distractions (e.g. pets, TV, music) and let other people know you are in a private meeting.
- Make sure the room you use is clean, tidy and does not show personal photos / items in the background.
- Even if your interviewer appears relaxed, try to remain professional throughout your interview.
- Keep your body language professional - remember to sit up straight, look at your computer camera and smile!
This video has some great tips that could help you prepare for your virtual interview.
It is important to check your technology in advance and be ready to join the meeting on time. Here are some guides to help you access virtual meetings on Zoom, Teams and Google Meet. Click on the links below to access the meeting guides.
Joining a Zoom meeting
Joining a Teams meeting
Joining a Google Meet
Please ask your Employment Coordinator if you would like some further advice about different types of interviews or how to prepare for a specific interview.