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How to rock any kind of job interview

 

You’ve found it – your ideal job!  You’ve applied with your newly updated resume and perfectly tailored cover letter.  The difficult part is over, right? WRONG.

The application process is just the beginning.  Next comes the dreaded interview. Or it would be worth dreading if you skipped over this article, because this read is going to address the four standard types of interviews and how to prepare for each one.

1.The Group Interview

Group interviews are useful for an employer to evaluate large amounts of people and screen out the ones who will not fit as quickly as possible.  The key to acing an interview in a group setting is to make yourself heard without being obnoxious. You do not want to be dominating every conversation or speaking first every time.  If you can, graciously give one of your fellow interviewees who has not spoken a chance to speak after you have contributed to the conversation several times.  Never forget that politeness is a virtue and should be used as often as possible. 

However, do not let others walk all over you – establish yourself as a force to be reckoned with,  and also be sure to build off of other people’s answers to show your grasp of collaboration.  Emphasize teamwork if you are asked to create a presentation with other interviewees and tactfully take the lead when the opportunity presents itself.

2.The Individual Interview

You lucky duck, you’ve landed a solo interview right off the bat.  This saves you from going through the nerve wracking process of a group interview with maybe one hundred other hopefuls.  The first thing you should do is research the company or organization that has extended an interview to you.  Although you should have already done something similar in order to write your cover letter this will be the time to focus on actually learning important names, major events that occurred over the past year and the company’s mission statement or goal.  Maintain eye contact with your interviewer(s) while listening to their questions and answering their queries.

3. The Phone Interview

This may sound less intimidating than the first two options, but do not be fooled by its apparent simplicity.  Since you are not sitting in front of your interviewer they cannot evaluate your state of dress or your body language but you can be sure that they will take note of your tone of voice, your ability to think on the spot and your capability to communicate clearly in an oral format.  This method is a popular choice to gauge your language skills so do not be thrown off if a phone interview is requested too test your proficiency in your secondary tongue.

4. The Prove Your Mettle Interview

Personally, I have never encountered an interview where I have been thrown into the workplace and expected to complete a task within an established timeline, but that does not mean that those sorts of situations do not occur.  In fact, what better way for a potential employer to see for themselves how you react under pressure than to throw you to the wolves and see what you make of your opportunity?  Compare this type of interview like the audition process on Masterchef US or The Voice, the strain is great but the reward is even greater. 

Finally, no matter what type of interview you will be participating in, always look the part: dressing up may even help you centre yourself for a phone interview so do not overlook this step.  Dress in business casual wear or formal business attire depending upon the organization’s or company’s standards.  Style information may be included with the letter, e-mail or call that notifies you that you have been selected as a potential candidate for the position you desire. 

Make sure that you copy down all of the details correctly and review the list the day before the interview.  Ensure that you arrive ten minutes early to the interview in case of any unforeseen complications. 

Even for phone interviews, be sure that everyone is off the phone, if you are using a house phone, at least ten minutes before you expect your call or turn up the ringer on your cellphone in order to answer promptly.  Always greet your interviewers with a firm handshake and before you leave, thank them for the opportunity to participate in an interview for the position.  Be positive, be confident and believe in yourself.  I wish all of you the best of luck.

I am a third year student double majoring in humanities and English. I love to drink tea, talk to people, and write.
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