Preparing for Interview - Zinny Factor

You apply for the job and nervously cross your fingers. When the call for the interview finally comes, you’re likely to experience a whole host of feelings! You might start thrilled and excited, but then nerves and even dread can kick in. You want to perform your best, and interviews are notoriously nerve-wracking.

Modern interviews can be a bit more complicated, too, since there are so many different approaches now. Here are some hints and tips for surviving these three common types of interview. 

Panel interview

This is possibly the most popular type of interview, particularly in the public sector. You’ll have a panel of interviewers opposite you, typically with a chairperson who leads the discussion. Companies use this kind of interview so they can get a range of perspectives when making the decision. It might feel intimidating, but they all want to see if you’re a good fit for the team. 

Prepare for a panel interview in the same way as a regular face-to-face interview. It may be wise to prepare a few examples for each point you’re likely to make, since two interviewers may ask a similar question but in different ways. If you know it will be a panel interview, it’s a good idea to get everyone’s names and positions beforehand so that you can feel prepared for the kinds of questions they may ask.

Don’t forget to think up some questions for them, too, as they’ll usually ask at the end. Be sure to introduce yourself to everyone and make eye contact with each person on the panel throughout the interview. A follow-up note to say thank you afterward always helps. 

Video interview 

A video interview can be a daunting experience for some people. Somehow a camera is more terrifying than a panel of interviewers. But it doesn’t have to be. The first thing to do is to prepare your technology. Make sure your webcam, microphone and speakers all work, and that your internet connection is fast enough.

Some video interviews will be live, via a medium like Skype or Google Hangouts. Treat it just like any other face-to-face interview. Dress smartly, introduce yourself, maintain good eye contact, and body posture. It can be challenging over the camera, but try to project a positive demeanor and genuine interest in the role. It’s essential to maintain eye contact and show your interviewer that you’re listening through your body language since it can be harder over webcam. A smile, nod, and good posture all go a long way. 

Some companies will ask you to record your video interview. This might be done under timed conditions, and you may or may not have a chance to re-record your answers. Sometimes the hiring manager will send your questions to answer on video, but you’ll just be talking to the screen. This can feel unnatural and uncomfortable. But just do your best to pretend you’re having a conversation. Project confidence and positivity, and your nerves will soon melt away. Try not to stress, and just remember they are hoping to see the authentic you. 

Telephone interview 

In this modern age of messaging, more and more people hate phone calls. If you’re asked to have a phone interview, you might be overjoyed that you can be in the comfort of your own home. It certainly makes the interview process less stressful. What’s more, you can actually have some notes in front of you! Just make sure the pages don’t rustle, and that the notes don’t distract you.

A top tip is to find a quiet space where you can take the call. You should also dress smart, so you feel the part. Be sure to smile as you answer the phone since it makes your voice sound more cheerful and pleasant. Good luck with your interview! 

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*This is collaborative post.