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4 different types of interviews - and how you should be tackling them

20 Jan

While companies have usually favoured in-person interviews, seeing them as the best way to engage with candidates and assess whether they are the perfect fit. Enter 2020 and the working from home revolution has led to a 524% spike in demand for video interviewing software, with more hiring teams looking to use technology and take their interviews over to the digital space. Video interviews are very similar to the traditional format, plus, there’s the added benefit that it removes some of the geographical barriers. Here are four different types of interviews you’ll face in the virtual world and how you can approach them.

1) The phone call

Hiring managers will often suggest a phone call as a first stage interview. Traditionally, they’ve been favoured by hiring managers as a brief meeting to get to know a candidate, before taking the interview process any further. As social distancing measures have transformed the hiring process, phone interviews have become an essential way for interviewers to interact with candidates.

Though it might be a first-stage interview, you should prepare for a phone call just like you would do for any other interview. Before the call, go over the job description and make a note of any experience you have that is relevant. Get yourself set up in a quiet space where you can talk without any distractions, with a pen and paper by your side and your phone or computer fully charged.

2) The panel interview

A popular technique for speeding up the interview process is the panel interview, which requires candidates to build up a rapport with more than one interviewer at the same time. Though this may seem daunting, panel interviews can be less pressured than a one-on-one interview because the group naturally follows a more conversational style interview.

You might not be in the same room as the interviewers, and chances are that they’ll each be conducting it from their own home office. So a top virtual panel interview tip is to emphasise that you’re speaking to each of them when you answer your questions. One way of doing so it to pay attention to how each person introduces themselves and use their names when you’re talking.

Another top video interview tip that will help you shine in a panel interview is to do a trial run. Record yourself to see how you come across over screen and take note of whether you avoid looking at the screen or use too many hand gestures.

3) The competency test

When you’re taking your first steps into the job market, it can be hard to demonstrate relevant experience to employers. Because of this, hiring managers often use a competency test to vet candidates. A competency-based interview can be split into three categories:

  • Technical competency tests your ability to use technologies and systems
  • Cognitive competency measures your aptitude
  • Behavioural competency evaluates your teamwork, leadership, problem-solving and communication skills. More employers are seeking these emotional and social skills in candidates and predictions show that between 2016 and 2030 the demand will rise by 22%.

How will an interviewer check of these competencies? You might be asked to create a presentation, describe a scenario and what your reaction would be to it, or demonstrate your written skills by writing a short article. The STAR method is also a great way of answering questions professionally and concisely: by following the framework ‘Situation’, ‘Task’, ‘Action’ and ‘Result’, you can make sure that you give a fully-rounded answer to your interviewers.

4) The virtual assessment centre

Another favourite technique for candidates applying for graduate schemes and entry-level roles is the virtual assessment centre. This type of interview is used to test a variety of skills and may include presentations, group exercises, role play and even psychometric testing.

While traditional assessment centre interviews often include group work to see how you work within a team, in a virtual assessment centre, interviewers will build in situational questions to gauge this.

Give yourself some time in advance to read through any material sent through, and practise common interview questions and tests beforehand. You should also do your research on which skills, interests or experiences your employers are looking for. Lastly, make sure that you login at least 10 minutes early and dress to impress – doing the assessment centre from home is no excuse not to look professional.

Prepare for your future with Travis Perkins

Whether you’re starting out in the world of full-time work, or taking the next steps in your career, we can help. At Travis Perkins, we’re committed to helping people find something more than just a job. Explore our site to find advice about setting career resolutions or check our stories from our colleagues, like Marianna, to learn more about working with the Travis Perkins Group.

If you’re ready to take that next step you can browse our driver jobs, branch, store and showroom jobs or find out more about our apprenticeships.

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