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Different types of interview you need to be ready for (Part two)

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Interviews come in all shapes and sizes - whether you’re sitting in a meeting room with a potential employer, facing a panel of managers or chatting to a recruiter via a screen (or if you’re particularly unlucky, you might even find yourself in a ‘stress interview’). 

Following on from part one of our rundown of interview formats to expect, here are four more you may experience. The more you know about what might be round the corner, the higher your confidence levels - no matter what your interviewer has in store. 

1 Group interview 

Interview nerves can take on a whole new dimension if you throw other candidates into the mix. 

For many employers, the chance to get a group of potential team members together to see how they interact is too good to miss - particularly for sales roles or internships. 

Not only can group interviews be a way for hiring managers to see who stands out, but also how candidates interact with each other - so skills as a team player as well as a potential leader are both important. 

Killer tip: 

The trick is to be confident and shine, while still being friendly and polite to your competitors. Working to be as inclusive as possible can pay dividends, so support what others say (if you agree) and encourage quieter interviewees to participate in the discussion. 

2 Competency-based interview 

Your future boss wants to find out if you have the right skills for the position, as well as how you tackle certain problems and situations. 

Enter the competency-based interview, which as the name suggests, is designed to test your competence. It’s common for positions where you needn’t necessarily have a lot of previous experience - for example a graduate position or entry level role. 

You’ll be asked questions specifically designed to test competencies like teamwork, communication skills, problem solving and decision making. 

Killer tip: 

Scour the job advert for clues on the competencies your potential employer is looking for. If it mentions they want a good team player, say, think of times when you’ve performed well with others. This needn’t be at work - times when you showed strong teamwork at college, school or in a club, all count. 

3 Coffee interview 

Been invited for coffee with a would-be boss and not sure if it’s an interview or not? Chances are, it is. 

Coffee interviews are becoming more common, especially if businesses are in a state of rapid expansion and are keen to recruit top talent for positions that might be coming up in the future. 

From a recruiter’s point of view, it’s a chance to see how you act outside a formal office environment - and the relaxed setting can help banish nerves, making it easier for you to highlight your strengths and achievements. 

Killer tip: 

The worst mistake is to allow the informal surroundings of a coffee shop make you feel too relaxed. 

Despite the fact you may be both sipping a latte on comfy sofas, it’s key to keep the same levels of professionalism as you would do for any other interview in an office, not skimping on preparation and staying just as focused. 

4 Second interview 

Congratulations: you’ve been invited back for a second interview, and if it goes well you’ll be one step closer to a job offer. 

Chances are, a second interview will be more in-depth than the first, and you might also be meeting different senior staff members. There could also be an added element in that you’ll be asked to sit some tests to gage your calibre as a potential employee - perhaps personality quizzes to gage how you handle pressure, or IT skills tests to find out if you’ll be able to perform elements of the job. 

Killer tip: 

Rather than feeling daunted by sitting tests or meeting different members of the team, try to reframe a second interview as a golden opportunity to stand out above your rival candidates. 

Knowing what to expect 

As a job candidate, it’s up to you to put in the preparation beforehand (reading our killer advice on how to nail an interview will give you some extra pointers). 

At HR GO, we want to give you a helping hand too. That’s why our mission is to brief candidates like you as thoroughly as possible. We liaise closely with our clients who are looking to fill roles to find out what type of interview you’ll be doing, and who you’ll be meeting. Arming yourself with the right knowledge is your best chance of success - at interview stage and beyond.

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