Top Tips

Jobkit >> Types of interview

1.Panel interviews

Most people do not like these sort of interviews and find them quite difficult.

Some helpful hints for panel interview:

  • Take the lead from the chairperson (this person will be easy to identify, as they will generally make the introductions).
  • Try to establish which member of the panel you will be working with directly.
  • When you are talking to the panel remember you are talking to all of them and not just the person who posed the question. Remember to use eye contact with each panel member.
  • Take a breath before answering.


2.Group interview tests

Group tests are sometimes used by employers to see how a person reacts in a group situation e.g.

  • How did you conduct yourself in a group situation?
  • Did you take a leadership role and involve other members of the group?
  • How do you generally get on with others?


3.Hypothetical or scenario situations

The interviewer will describe a situation that you may encounter in the job role and ask how you would react to this. If faced with this type of interview it is always best not to ‘jump in’ and answer without giving your reply any thought. Give your reply some thought. Give yourself time by repeating back to them the main scenario while you compose your answer.


4.Behavioural situations

This is an increasingly popular method of interviewing. You will be asked to describe a particular situation and explain how you dealt with it. For example ‘Give an example of when you have dealt with a customer complaint and tell us how you resolved it”

This is the STAR method of answering behavioural questions

There are FOUR STEPS to using this method:

S = Situation (describe the situation)

T = Technique (what approach did you use?)

A = Action (what action did you take?)

R = Result (what was the result of your action?)

An important part of interviewing is answering questions. Your ability to clearly and concisely respond to questions in an informed manner that relates your background to the question posed will set you apart from others who stumble over questions.

Behavioural questions: are those that require you to describe a situation in your educational, volunteer, or working past, in which you displayed the behaviour that the employer is looking for.

Before you ever even think of going on a job interview, make a list of your accomplishments, especially those that relate to activities such as:

Job-related experience: (What have you done at other jobs? At school? At a place you volunteered?)

Technical interests: (Do you have proof that you know how to do what you say you can do?)

Leadership examples: (At school, in a club, at a job)

Teaming activities: (When have you successfully worked as part of a team?)

Communication skills: (Did you teach something? Did you write a manual? Did you give a speech?)

Develop short stories that illustrate your successes in these areas, especially ones that relate to the job opening.

With a little practice, you’ll find the STAR method will help you organise your responses so that you can state your accomplishments well.

For example:

Situation: With only 2 days’ notice, I had to plan and implement new training for 25 new employees.

Technique: Based on previous experience, I had filed all necessary materials in a room hire file; I looked on our booking system and found 2 available conference rooms.

Action: Put together packets of information, payroll forms, and handbooks and sent to copy centre as rush job; received back within 8 hours; booked one available room for 3 hours.

Result: Was able to accommodate all 25 new employees in one session, saving over 50 hours’ administrative time.


Now, tell the story:

“We hired 25 people, and instead of giving each one a new employee orientation and training separately, I decided it was much more efficient to train them as a group. But I only had 2 days’ notice, so I was working against a tight deadline. Based on previous new hire training, I had organised all the training materials in files ahead of time, so I hand-delivered the materials to the copy centre as a rush job, and then found 2 available rooms, and booked the larger one. I recruited two secretaries to help put together the new employee manuals once the copies were received the next day. On the day of the training, all the employees finished their paperwork at the same time, and it was all done in only 3 hours. We ended up saving over 50 hours of administrative time.”

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