What Types of Interview are There?
Face to Face
This is still the most common medium for interviews. Normally there will be one or two interviewers.
The interview might be very casual and informal or highly structured where the interviewer has a list of questions that he or she does not deviate from.
One of the benefits of face to face interviews is that you can read the interviewer’s body language. It is generally felt that this gives you a better chance to build up rapport and a good relationship with the interviewer/s. Obviously, in a face to face meeting your own personal presentation is very important and you should plan carefully what to wear to the interview.
Advice would be to always “dress up” for an interview – i.e. dress smarter than you would for a normal work day. In many instances this will mean a business suit. However where you are being interviewed say for a counselling role in a not for profit organisation it may be more appropriate to dress smart casual.
Panel interviews are more common in the public sector, education and the voluntary sector. A panel might be three people, or it might be up to eight people all of whom have an interest in the appointment of the right candidate. A large panel will usually be chaired.
Most candidates worry in a panel interview who to look at. The answer is simple. Look at the person who asked you the question and glance occasionally at other members of the panel as well, to show that you are including them in your response.
On the positive side, panel interviews can be fairer to candidates as they are generally all asked the same questions in the same order and there is perhaps less room for personal bias from the interviewer. Panel interviews might typically combine the line manager, a representative from HR and a technical expert.
In common with face to face interviews, telephone interviews might range from a chat on the phone to a highly structured competency based activity. You need to be prepared for all possibilities.
Telephone interviews are often used for call centre roles where using the telephone is a key requirement for the job and also where travel to the interview would be a high cost.
The interview might be conducted by the recruiting company but often an agency or perhaps a head hunter might be involved.
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