Now that you know which types of interviews there are, these tips will show you how to nail them.

Phone Interview

How to Prepare:

• Always be prepared! This means, practice discussing your background, experience and accomplishments to the point that is automatic for you and you can recite your prepared responses even when you do not have a scheduled phone interview. You never know when that phone will ring and you never want to ask to reschedule a hiring manager just because you don’t feel prepared.

It is your background and your resume, so you should always know it inside and out.

• When possible make sure you are on a land line versus a cell phone. You do not want any distractions like a bad connection.

• Prepare specific examples, projects and demonstrated outcomes and create a bullet point list in your mind so you can easily access them during the phone interview if you are caught off guard by the hiring manager just calling your without a scheduled time.

If it is scheduled, have a list written in front of you with key words so you can reference them easily during the call and you will avoid delays on the phone while you think of a response. Since you will not be in front of the person there will be no non-verbal cues you can use.

You must be able to provide rapid fire answers which shows how well you communicate and think on your feet.

• Don’t let a pause or awkward silence throw you off. They’re a natural part of conversation, albeit more noticeable over the phone. Your interviewer is probably just taking notes or preparing their next question. Don’t feel the need to fill the silence with a nervous giggle or pointless comment.

Wait patiently for the interviewer to pick up the conversation.

Traditional or Standard interviews

How to Prepare:

• Create standard responses to the anticipated questions by writing down your responses and rehearsing them several times.

• Practice role-playing with a family member, friend or career coach to make sure you know your resume inside and out.

• Ensure you can elaborate on anything you have documented on your resume. Make sure you can provide additional information or back up to claims of accomplishments or skills you have listed.

• Prepare answers to describe what you have learned from each role you have held and all of the key experiences that support your background.

• Provide real-life examples to drive the point home

Behavioural interviews

How to Prepare:

• Make a list of a few stories, projects and/or examples of where you overcame a challenge, created a new process, increased revenue and efficiency, decreased time to perform, improved customer service, motivated yourself and so on.

• Structure you responses in a 3-part manner.
1. Part A – “What” was the task, duty, charter, situation
2. Part B – “How” did you accomplish it
3. Part C – “End Result” what was the measurable outcome or result?

• Research the organization and reach out to current and former employees via LinkedIn or other avenues so you can learn a little about the culture of the organization. It will help you understand some of the behaviors they seek in hiring candidates.

• Know the job description inside and out. Make sure you can provide relevant examples that speak directly to the key requirements of the job.

Case Interviews

How to Prepare:

• Since you will not know the subject or content of a Case Interview it is difficult to prepare pre-canned responses or examples. However, researching case studies, white papers and post-mortem consulting reports for your industry will help you identify key areas to question and the basic types of questions you should elicit from the interviewer to begin to prepare your solution.

• Start by fully understanding the situation, based on the information you’ve been given. This type of interview is a two-way conversation, so make sure you have a process for evaluating the data set and formulate thoughtful questions.

Stress Interviews

How to Prepare:

• The first key to surviving a stress interview to stay calm and focused. Remember it is an interview and one designed to evoke a stress response, so take a deep breath.

• Do not take this treatment (or mis-treatment as it may appear) personally. It is all part of “stress” so approach it like any other business problem. Do not get flustered. Be calm and methodical in your responses.

• Do not ever get defensive, argumentative or aggressive. That is what they are hoping for and it will show the crack in your armor. You want to be the rock solid candidate they look to hire.