Once your resume has gotten an employer's interest, you may be contacted for an interview. If you are feeling overwhelmed, don't worry! Everyone is nervous about this next step. Understanding what interviews are all about, how their formats differ, and how a typical interview might go should put your mind at ease.
In today's job market, you will likely need to go through some type of interview in order to secure a job. An interview is a meeting between an employer and a job applicant. This meeting can take place in person, over the telephone, or via video conferencing.
The atmosphere may be formal or fairly casual. It may involve just you and the employer, or you and a group of people or panel. Regardless, your interview serves a purpose for both you and your potential employer. The hiring manager uses the interview to assess your qualifications and determine if you are the best candidate for the job.
The employer asks questions to see how well you understand the industry and the position, as well as to determine if you are able to perform the job duties. In addition, the employer is trying to decide whether you will fit well within the culture of the organization.
If you don't meet every job qualification but you present yourself well in an interview, there is a good possibility that you could be chosen over candidates with similar or better qualifications who don't communicate as well.
The job interview is your chance to find out if the company—and the job—are a good match for you.
Ask genuine questions of your own to learn more about the company and the position itself. Use this time to decide whether the job and the direction of the company will maintain your interest and use your unique skills and abilities. Your questions should help you determine if the work atmosphere is one in which you work well and one you will enjoy.
Types of interviews
When we think about interviews, we often imagine going to a place of business to speak with one person—usually a potential boss or hiring manager. However, job interviews can take a wide range of forms.
Here are seven types of interviews you may encounter in addition to a face-to-face, one-on-one interview...
Every interview is unique; your interview may be a combination of the interview types discussed above, or it may be completely different.
Regardless of which type of interview you will have, all should follow the same process. We suggest keeping the following GOA2L Process in mind during an interview:
1. Greet the interviewer with a firm handshake, introduce yourself, and thank the interviewer for taking the time to meet with you.
2. Offer an additional copy of your resume. Have several copies with you in case you'll meet with multiple interviewers. If you have previous work samples, a list of references, or other materials to share, you can bring them out now or hold onto them until you are asked about them.
3. Answer the questions that are asked of you, making sure to be honest, clear, professional, and concise. If you don't understand a particular question, it is always acceptable to ask for clarification.
4. Ask whatever questions you may have about the job or the company. Remember, this is your chance to find out if you really want this job for this organization. Not sure what to ask? Read more about asking your own questions.
5. Leave on a good note. When the interview is over, shake the interviewer's hand again. Thank the interviewer for taking the time to talk with you, communicate your interest in being hired, and ask when you can expect to hear an answer about the job.
6. Finally, don't forget to send a thank you email! Less than half of job candidates send them, but all hiring managers are impressed by candidates who remember to do this. It's just one more way to put yourself ahead of other candidates. Use the email as a chance to: