Your hard work has finally paid off and you’ve landed an interview for a great role. You already know how to dress for success (link to part 1 in series), but what can you expect at interview? In part 2 of this series, we’ll brief you on three interview types and offer our top tips to help you prepare.

Type #1: Tackling telephone interviews

When you meet someone in person, you’re relying on personality, body language, and conversation to make a good impression. In a telephone interview, the only thing your interviewer has to assess you on is what you say. A lot can be lost in translation when you’re speaking over the phone; in our survey of 800 recruitment and HR professionals 95% of respondents said that candidates come across differently over the phone compared to in-person meetings.

A telephone conversation is often a way for recruiters or employers to pre-screen a group of candidates with similar qualifications before bringing them in for a face-to-face meeting. By not taking the interview seriously, you could cut yourself out of the running before you hang up the phone.

Tips for success:
• Prep with the same rigor as you would an in-person
• Make sure your environment is free of noise so you
sound professional and calm
• Use a landline instead of a cell phone if possible,
to avoid reception problems
• Give the potential employer your undivided attention
• Make sure you’re listening just as much as you’re
• Be as polite and professional as you would be in
real life; don’t use any slang, and avoid using
over-familiar terms such as ‘mate’ or ‘love’.

Type #2: Competency-based interviews

If you’ve ever been asked a question that started with: “Tell me about a time when you…”, then chances are you’ve already experience this type.

Competency-based questions are asked on the premise that your performance in the job you’re going for can be predicted by your behaviour in past roles. It’s one of the most popular interview types, and requires significant preparation. Research the company and analyse the employer’s needs when formulating your best possible answers.

Tips for success:

• Re-read the job description – can you prove your
experience with each responsibility and task listed?
• Go over your CV once more, and make sure you can
recall real-life examples that will support the
skills required for the role
• With each response, explain: the details of the
situation, the actions you took, and the impact you
made on the business
• Avoid using theoretical scenarios or using ‘we’, as
this potential employer is interested in you, not
your former team
• If you find a question difficult, allow yourself
the time to think about it before you respond
• Have a list of things to ask prepared for the end;
this will show your passion and excitement for the

Type #3: Preparing for panel interviews

Above any other type, the key to a successful panel interview is preparation. There can be several people on the panel; either led by a chair who might ask all the questions, or multiple people asking questions around different subjects.

Tips for success:

• Research your interviewers to learn more about
their background. Do you have any common
connections on Linkedin? What’s their work history
like? Do you have any commonalities? This will help
you develop a relationship with them and allow you
to tailor your answers to them
• Engage the entire panel. Make eye contact with the
questioner, and then move across the panel
• Don’t waffle; make sure you get to the point.

Remember that the point of an interview is to sell yourself, so keep this in mind when responding to any questions that they might throw at you.

Dreading those tough interview questions? In part 3 of this series, we’ll identify the trickiest ones to answer and guide you through what you need to say so you can land your dream job.

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