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Different kinds of interview and how to prepare for them

Different kinds of interview and how to prepare for them

Interviews! just the thought of one can send some people into a quivering jelly, but love them or loathe them, they're here to stay.

If you really think about it, all an employer really wants from you in an interview is for you to perform at your best and showcase your skills and fit for the role.  Make their job easy and prepare as best you can, it really is THE key to a successful interview.

Employers will use different styles of interviews depending on what it is they want to assess. They can be one-to-one or a panel of two or more people. Here's a whistle-stop overview of eight of the most common kinds of interviews you can expect.

  • Competency based: You'll be assessed for the skills, knowledge and experience required for role you are targeting. Use the STAR approach to structure your answers.
  • Behavioural:  These interviews will focus on how you behaved in previous similar situations.
  • Strength based: To see your fit for the role, these will focus on what motivates you, what energises you, on what tasks you enjoy doing. Would you thrive or just survive?
  • Stress based: Questions to understand how you'd handle uncomfortable, unexpected, and stressful situations. Used in high-stress sectors such as investment banking,
  • Case StudyInterviews: You'll be presented with a business problem or hypothetical situation to test your critical thinking and asked to show how you'd strategise a solution. Typical in consultancy and analyst roles in professional services as well as law
  • Portfolio Interview: You'll be asked to present a portfolio of your work and answer questions about it. Used a lot in creative industries and industries that require provable metrics of results.
  • Telephone interviews: Used in early-stage recruitment to screen candidates and assess communication skills and fit for the role.
  • Video: Live two-way interviews on platforms like Zoom, Microsoft teams, Google Meet. Employers are using these more and more since the pandemic. These can also be one-way video interviews where you record your answers to pre-set questions- common in graduate recruitment.

There are many more types but whatever kind of interview you have success depends on preparation, preparation, and more preparation. If you research the company well and make sure you have relevant examples to evidence and quantify or qualify anything you say, you'll be great!

Suggested Reading

> The Different Types of Job Interviews and What to Expect
> Competency-based interviews
> Strength-based interviews
> Strength-based interviews for jobs and grad schemes

Different kinds of interview and how to prepare for them

By Anna Gordon - Certified Business Coaching Psychologist ABP CBCP

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