Job interviews will always be stressful situations. However, while a candidate’s stress and nerves may never go away, they can be significantly reduced with a little bit of preparation.
Different Types of Interviews
The Phone Screen
The phone screen is usually the first contact a candidate has with a recruiter or employer. This phone call is often used as an initial “get to know you.” The recruiter or employer will confirm general details about your background and your salary and benefit requirements. Later phone screens can be used to quiz applicants on their technical knowledge.
Preparation Required: If you haven’t done so already, research the company. Even though you shouldn’t expect tough questions on this initial phone screen, it’s best to be prepared. Also, be expected to answer questions regarding why you are looking to leave your current employment situation. Take some time to formulate a well-thought-out response. Additionally, make sure you double-check with the recruiter or employer if you will be making the call to the interviewer or if they will be reaching out to you. This is also a good time to confirm phone numbers. Lastly, make sure that, at the time of the call, you have a pen and paper in front of you to jot down notes.
The Sit-Down Interview: Panel Occasionally Included
The sit-down interview is usually the most nerve-racking part of the process since, in most cases, the candidate won’t know what to expect until they walk through the company’s front door. Will you speak with just one person or will you meet with several? Will you meet with a large panel where there are multiple interviewers present, occasionally bouncing questions off each other?
Preparation Required: It’s best to ask the recruiter what the workplace dress code is before you arrive for your interview. Much like the phone screen, research the company in-depth and examine their corporate history and current work projects. If you know the names of your interviewers, you may want to dive into LinkedIn and do some research on them and their work and educational history; try to find commonalities that you share with your interviewers and use these for friendly “small talk” during the interview itself. Lastly, get a good night’s rest before the interview and arrive a few minutes early to make sure you are on time, and give yourself a few moments to relax and breathe!
Skills and Operational Interview
In a skills and operational interview, the prospective employer requires a candidate to demonstrate their ability to perform specific job-related tasks. These interviews are standard in the industrial and warehousing industries.
Preparation Required: Inquire about the specific skills and areas an operational interview will cover. Once you know the focus of the interview, you can spend some time studying instructional manuals and procedure documents.
In a behavioral interview, an interviewer will ask you questions regarding how you handle conflict. You will be given example scenarios and asked how you would resolve them. In this type of interview, prospective employers are trying to get an idea how you respond to conflict and how well you are equipped to handle stressful situations.
Preparation Required: No prep needed! Just be yourself. Make sure you get a good night’s sleep and go into the interview with a positive attitude.
Most candidates do not enjoy interviews, no matter the type. Unfortunately, they are necessary if you want to find the right job for you. While interviews aren’t easy or fun, a little preparation on the part of the candidate can go a long way to make the process easier for them and their prospective employer. When a candidate is in doubt about proper interview preparation, it’s best to consult a professional recruiter.
At New Era HR Solutions, we provide our candidates with the appropriate interview preparation and make sure they are armed with all necessary tools to succeed in the interview process. Check out our complementary Interview Guide for additional tips on effective interviewing.