Different Interview Types and How to Nail Them

Pakistan’s business landscape’s gone through some drastic upheavals in the last few years – we’re now home to eclectic new companies, promising startups and ever present multinationals. What does that mean for a job seeker today? A lot of things, actually. However, today’s we’ll be looking at one aspect of this new age – How these diverse new companies are conducting varied, need driven job interviews and how you can prepare yourself for them!

The One on One Interview

The classic. Do you really need this one spelled out? You’re interviewed alone by the recruiter, with a series of questions designed to bring out your skills and personality to the surface. This sort of interview is ideal in developing a good rapport with the hiring party.

The Lunch (or Coffee) Interview

The informal interview is all about putting you at ease. Don’t be fooled though, it’s also about assessing you thoroughly! Don’t forget at any point that this is an interview and not just a casual meet-up.
Here’s the setup: You and the interviewer at a café or restaurant, some great food and some disarming questions. Make sure you’re not caught unawares – have a copy of your CV at hand, along with a notepad. Good food shouldn’t come in the way of professionalism, after all!

The Telephonic Interview

These interviews are less common now, thanks to the advent of online video calling (discussed below) but there are still industries that thrive on this, particularly in the early stages of shortlisting. Time is short and the candidate list is long – that means you need to be instantly able to switch on since this chance will likely not come again; the recruiters will likely have moved on to the next likely candidate.

Luckily, it’s really easy to ace this interview. You don’t need to dress up, you don’t need immaculate posture and you don’t need to make eye contact – a recipe for success! Just keep your notes on hand, make a list of all talking points and FINISH THAT LIST. You can also walk around if that helps you concentrate, lie down, sit or even stand on one leg! Anything goes – just ensure you have a stable phone connection.

The Video Interview

Broadband and 3G have ushered in the era of the Skype interview – this one’s primarily for people stuck in different timezones, great distances or just for convenience’s sake. It’s essentially the 21st century version of the one on one interview.

That said however, the same rules apply! Dress well, make eye contact (which means, don’t put your webcam to the side of your screen!), maintain good posture and for the love of God, sit in a well-lit place! Additionally, and this goes without saying, make sure you’re not interrupted during the interview – not everyone is as lucky as the star of the viral BBC interview to be interrupted by two adorable children (not many interviewers are that accommodating either).

Some pre-reqs before you go into a video interview – test your internet, test your network, test your software! Borrow a friend and run through the paces with him/her to make sure everything’s working smoothly come interview time.

The Panel Interview

This one’s becoming popular in recent times – it saves the need for several rounds of interviews by putting all relevant people in front of you simultaneously. Expect managers, HR executives and even a few of your peers to be asking you questions.

Here’s why this is a good idea: Such an interview is a prime way to see how you handle pressure, how well you multitask and how well you adjust to changing stimuli. The presence of your peer is two-fold: Not only are they present to ask technical, job specific queries but they’re also there to see how good a culture fit you will be at the company. Both the employer and you can use this opportunity to see how well you fit into the organization – make sure you ask pointed questions to that effect!

Acing a panel interview is as simple as ensuring that you address the person who asked the question. That’s it. Knowing the answers to their questions helps too, but we imagine you knew that already.

The Group Interview

We left this one for last because frankly, it’s not that common in the Pakistan yet. However, that does not justify not being ready in case you are faced with such an interview.

The group interview is another time saving strategy akin to the telephonic interview – eliminating volume to retain the high quality candidates. Recruiters also use this interview format as a chance to observe how you would interact with peers in a standard office scenario. You need to be cordial with everyone present, this isn’t a belittling contest! That said, however, you also need to present yourself in a leadership role whenever the opportunity becomes available – group interviews are all about standing out from the crowd, in real-time.

 
Make sure you have the basics of your upcoming interview covered – review our list before you head out so you’re prepared for all eventualities! Remember, ultimately, any interview is about presenting yourself to the best of your ability, in the most professional way possible.

About Hassaan Ahmed

Engineer-turned-creative who romps through multiverses, travels through time and space and explores dimensions unknown - all before breakfast. Tech and pop culture enthusiast but then again, who isn't? Will work for Nandos and/or Hardees. Money, too.
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