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One of four methods might be used to interview you:
Live, or face-to-face, interviews, are the most common interview interaction. An increasing trend of recruiters is to pair up with another colleague and have two or more interviewers per interview candidate. Many candidates will end up interviewing before a panel of interviewers, so be prepared for that to happen as well.
You will need to employ all of the strategies outlined earlier in this chapter, in the section titled “Different Types of Interviews.” In addition, here are some specific strategies to employ when you are interviewing with one or more interviewers.
When you are interviewing with only one person, the focus is clear—it’s on one person. Ensure your nonverbal and verbal communication is focused, positive, and results oriented. The more you practice, troubleshoot, and improve, the more you will succeed.
If you are interviewing with two or more interviewers at the same time, focus and practice are just as important, but you can employ a few additional strategies:
Phone interviews are just as important, if not more so, than face-to-face interviews. In down economies, more companies choose to conduct interviews via the phone versus face-to-face to save time, money (if they have to pay your expense to come to their office), and effort. So preparation and practice are key to succeeding on the phone.
Prepare for a phone interview (similar to a regular interview) by taking seven important steps:
Phone interviews have several advantages:
You can focus more on the actual questions because you have fewer distractions:
You can treat the interview like an open-book test and have several items at hand to help you:
Since many companies save time and money by conducting phone interviews, spend the time now to master success strategies as it will benefit you in the long run!
Phone interviews have some disadvantages:
Strategies for a successful phone interview include the following:
Ensure your office or interview space will be quiet and uninterrupted.
Dress up even though you don’t have to:
Stand up during the interview:
Remember that body language is important:
When you are at a more senior level, interviews might take place with someone in a different city, state, or even overseas. In such a case, a videoconference or SkypeA software application that allows users to make voice calls over the Internet. Calls are free if both participants use Skype. Skype has also become popular for its additional features, including videoconferencing. interview may be used. You will be seated in front of a computer with a camera and your interview will be live via that camera.
Strategies to succeed during a videoconference interview include the following:
Taped interviews are so rarely used that you probably will not encounter them. They are primarily used to hire a large number of people for the same exact position, for example, sales positions. If a company has a goal to hire one hundred or five hundred salespeople, a taped interview saves them time in reviewing candidate answers, since all the questions might be the same. Taped interviews are also helpful when hiring salespeople in different parts of the country because taped interviews save the enormous expense of flying interviewers from city to city to find the best possible candidates.
Companies that use taped interviews may direct you to a satellite officeRegional offices that are not the headquarters of a company. where the taping takes place. You would be seated opposite a computer or computer kiosk, and you would be given an overview of the process. Taped interviews could involve timed responses, so the pressure could be high. Remember these types of interviews are rare, but it is good to know they exist and how they are formatted.
Strategies to succeed in taped interviews include the following:
Knowing the four different types of interview venues will help ensure your success:
If your interview takes place on campus, you will probably receive instructions from your career services office regarding the date and time of the interview. Check with the office to ensure you know how you will be notified. Most career services offices have a general check-in area, a waiting area, and very small interview rooms. It’s best to practice in these rooms ahead of time, so you know exactly what to expect. Some rooms are literally five feet by five feet.
If your interview takes place off campus, the company with which you are interviewing will send instructions regarding where to report and when. Ensure you know exactly how to get there, and arrive early if at all possible because you probably will need to go through security. Bring the interview schedule with you; it should include the name(s) of the individuals with whom you will interview and their contact information.
If you need to travel via train or plane to an interview, dress professionally on the way there. Wearing yoga pants and flip-flops doesn’t make a good impression, and there is always a chance you will bump into company representatives during your trip.
Most often, candidates will be interviewed in the interviewer’s office, but there are times when you will be interviewed in a conference room. Some conference rooms are glass-enclosed areas, and it can be distracting to interview as individuals look in and walk by. Regardless of the setting, maintain your focus on the questions asked and the interview at hand.
Mealtime interviews can be tricky situations because food and drink are involved. Strike a healthy balance of not being ravenous but not leaving your plate untouched either. Focus your full attention on the conversation and interview at hand. It is wise to stay away from messy marinara sauces and long strings of pasta because they can easily stain your clothing. Forgo alcohol at all costs and certainly if you are not of legal age to consume alcohol. If you are not comfortable with dining etiquette, familiarize yourself with it to increase your comfort level. Know which fork is correct to use for salad versus dinner. Research this so you are prepared in advance. Interviews that take place during a meal can heighten nerves and cause you to spill a glass of water, which doesn’t bode well for your confidence level. Practice can only help, so try to attend a dining etiquette class or study proper techniques to ensure a good impression.
No matter what the venue, dress well and take extra copies of your résumé, a portfolio with paper and a pen that works, a list of questions you will ask, and perhaps a bottle of water just in case you need it.