Surprisingly enough there are lots of different interview types but to keep it simple & sweet we are going to discuss the three most common types.
Type #1: Phone Interview
A phone interview can be completed by anyone an HR Professional, Hiring Manager, etc. This is typically the initial conversation you have that allows you to learn a bit more about the organization and the role you applied for. This time also allows for those that are considering you to have any upfront questions they may have. Typical questions may be things like why are you interested in this role, why are you looking to leave your current employer, how do you feel your background/experience applies to this position.
Many people can take these sometimes brief conversations for granted, being checked out on the phone, not being in a quiet place, not having solid responses on why you applied in the first place and certainly be reasons for potential employers to move on to the next applicant that has applied.
My recommendation would be to treat it like any other interview, while I don't recommend being dressed in a suit, if that's what it takes for you to put on your professional phone voice than so be it. Every communication whether it's via phone or email should be treated seriously, as they are all ways you are introducing yourself to a potential employer. And remember to treat everyone with respect throughout the interview process even if they aren't as professional as you might like, you'd be surprised the kind of influence current employees have over hiring managers.
Type #2: One-On-One
Most people are familiar with one-on-one interviewing and it's the most common and expected. Typically these happen with the hiring manager. While it's always easier said than done to "not be nervous", it's ok to be nervous because that shows that this is something important to you.
I recommend trying to put it in the perspective of this simply being a face to face conversation. Interviews are not a one sided thing even though candidates seem to feel that way. If you have questions this is your time to ask them as well. Most interviewers will ask you if you have questions and it's always good to have some and at the minimum at least one! You can ask anything you'd like, here are some examples: Why is this position open, How long have you been with the company, Where do you see this department in the next year, Are there any long term goals you have for the department, What would you say your management style is.
As much as the potential employer is trying to figure out if you're a good fit you should be making sure the organization is a good fit for your needs as well. Interviews just like communication are a two way street, so shake off those nerves and get answers to your questions so you know exactly what you are getting into!
Type #3: Panel Interviews
These are historically the types of interviews that give people the most heartburn and can feel like your in front of a firing squad. I encourage more optimistic thoughts, think of it as the organization is so invested in finding the right candidate that they've involved other people into the process. And the best part you're meeting more people and may not have to come back several times for additional interviews.
Even though it can seem overwhelming just remember it's just a conversation with a few more people interested in what you have to say. Here's a tip for how to "work the room", always greet everyone on the panel, and provide initial eye contact to the person that asked you a question and then while you are answering the question look at each person on the panel.
There's nothing more awkward on a panel than someone acting like no one else is in the room and not making eye contact with other people, they want to feel just as engaged with you, so be memorable!
If this has you feeling like you need to brush up on your interview skills Harris Writing Services, LLC is here for you! All you have to do is schedule an appointment and we will talk and coach you up to help alleviate some of those nerves and give you the tools you need to be cool, calm, and collected during your next interview!