Need a New Job? Here’s How to Excel in Different Types of Interviews

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Excel in interviews

The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines interview as ‘a formal consultation usually to evaluate qualifications’. Sounds simple, right? However, anyone who has given even a single interview in their life would know that it is anything but simple. Interviews can be nerve-wracking, vexing and sometimes even stressful. If you have an important interview coming up soon, it would be great to have a sort of guide that will help you crack it. That’s where we come in. Here are the most common types of interviews and how you can ace them.

Panel interview

Panel interviews are interviews on steroids. If it is already intimidating to have one person question every aspect of your life and judge you, imagine the stress when there are multiple people doing the same simultaneously.

Tips to ace them:

  • The motto that will help you excel this type of a formal and structured interview is by not getting overwhelmed by the number of people interrogating you.
  • What you could do before the interview is to understand the role completely and be sure of who is on the panel.
  • Start with having eye contact with the one who asked the question and then look at others while you are talking.

Related: 5 Innovative Résumé Styles That Are Sure to Land You an Interview

Stress interview

Yes, they are as scary as they sound! So, stress interviews can throw many people off balance. These interviews are generally common for profiles where candidates will have to a face high amount of stress in their daily activities at work. In a typical stress interview, you will face questions that make little sense, receive comments that can be demeaning and have an interviewer that is super hostile.

Tips to ace them:

  • First of all, you need to realise early on that it is a stress interview. Once you are aware of that, you will hardly make any mistakes.
  • Make sure you remain calm, give reasons behind your answers, be assertive and not get intimidated.

Problem-solving interview

At every workplace, you find three types of employees – those who create problems, those who spot them and those who help solve them. It does not take a rocket scientist to realise that organisations look for the third type. Thus, the problem-solving interview was born.

Tips to ace them:

  • During this conversation, your interviewer will assess your analytical skills, ability to solve impromptu problems and cope with complicated scenarios. Typical questions of this interview range from asking you to solve a tricky puzzle to telling you to describe a way you helped solve a problem in your current workplace.
  • Be honest and composed and come up with an effective solution or examples. This interview is your best chance to show innovative thinking, indicate that you are a team player and convey that you are action-oriented.

Related: 8 Tips to Enhance Your LinkedIn Profile When Job Hunting

Behavioural interview

More and more interviews, especially for client-facing jobs, are becoming less traditional and more behavioural. Common behavioural questions during interviews range from ‘describe a situation when you had to work with an extremely difficult/arrogant client and how did you handle it’ or ‘did you ever get a chance to lead a team, if yes, how did you go about it’.

Tips to ace them:

  • The prime basis of this interview is assessing your past behaviour to predict your future reactions. Sounds fair, doesn’t it? Your key to crack this interview would be to be specific, demonstrative, assertive and confident.
  • In case you are describing any mistakes, ensure you also state what you learnt from them.

Role play interview

Remember that interview where the interviewer asked you to sell a pen to him? That was a role play interview. These conversations stress on you playing a ‘role’ and actually deal with the said scenario. The scenarios could range from explaining something to a child to training a bunch of newbies.

Tips to ace them:

  • The interviewer will test your communication skills, creative thinking, confidence and logic. Once you are given a situation, don’t just jump the gun. Take some time to think what the best approach is, how you will describe it and then go ahead and stick to the plan.
  • Don’t forget to get into the character as that will help you think and be more authentic.

Informal interview

Move over traditional interviews, as casual ones are taking over! Yes, those ‘let’s meet at Starbucks at Orchard on Wednesday 4pm’ fall under this category. Increasing number of managers, especially those involved in start-ups are moving away from the conventional office set-up to know the potential candidate better.

Tips to ace them:

  • This interview is all about first impressions so make sure you dress appropriately. Try to strike the right balance between over-the-top formal wear and outfits that are too ‘weekendy’. The interview generally is more of a discussion that flows in a casual manner.
  • However, you must always be prepared to answer the typical interview questions too as they will crop up at some point. Focus on unpretentious conversation, keep your resume and business cards ready and ask relevant questions.

Need more dope on how to excel your next interview. Here are 20 simple and effective tips. Go, get that fab job. You can thank us later!


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