Interviewing is a skill that one perfects over time. Not only do you need to prepare, but you need to find out what sort of interview you will be attending. Knowing beforehand means you get to prepare well to ace the said interview. If you are working with a Recruitment Firm, always ask them to specify the kind of interview you have been invited to, the Hiring Company’s expectation and who will be the panelists.
There are various types of interviews:
- Phone/Skype Interviews
- Structured Interviews
- Unstructured Interviews
- Stress Interviews
- Behavioral Interviews
- Competency Based Interviews
- Case Studies
- Panel Interviews
- Group Interviews
- Simulation Interviews
- Lunch/Dinner Interviews.
Today, we will to focus on the Structured Interviews and incorporate a format of how that would look like.
Structured Interviews are very consistent in nature as they ask the same questions and they have preempted answers in the case of a competency-based module.
They have a grading system and are scientific in nature.
They are majorly done by a panel of interviewers as they would want to get the average points on the candidate’s performance.
Companies are adopting this interview style due to its consistency format. Some will mix it with case studies for senior roles.
How would a Structured Interview look like, especially sample of a type of a Competency-Based One?
The first section would be about yourself: This is more of your schooling, the grades, any awards, any professional qualification related to the job etc.
For example, If we have two candidates for a Marketing Job; Both have undergraduate degrees in Marketing with First Class Honors and one of them has the CIM Certification; the one with the extra certification automatically scores higher in this section of Academic Professional qualification.
The second section is usually created to determine your competencies;
Sticking to a Marketer Role: Some of the Competencies they may want to interview on are;
- Technical Knowledge (Marketing)
- Commercial Awareness
- Innovation and Creativity
- Financial Literacy
- Team Leadership / Collaborative
Once they establish the relevant competencies, questions are set around the same with the generally expected answers. The best way to answer them is always linking the answers to your actual experience.
For instance, if asked about Commercial Awareness in Marketing – You would answer then demonstrate that by giving previous examples of projects worked on.
Keep in mind that it is not the length of your answer, but the content as the Interviewers do have a guide on what to expect for set questions.
This part is very important as is the only way the panel can determine if you really can do the work or not. They will be basing their decision on your ability to demonstrate the competencies from your previous experience.
Third Part would be a Behavioral Component.
Each job usually has a behavioral component and some companies even adopt specific behaviors they want to be exhibited by their employees. E.g Friendliness, Team-spirit etc
Most of this questions would seek to understand how you did react in a certain situation. E.g if they want to check friendliness, they may ask “Tell us a time that you used your friendly nature to calm an irritated customer Or to influence a team member”
If you are well prepared, you will have several examples.
It is advisable to think through your career history and in line with the Job Description, write down examples for each of the competency components of the expected behavior trait that you feel may be asked. This way you will be ready when the questions are asked.
The fourth Part would be where you get to ask questions:
Yes, they do grade this!
So have your questions ready. Otherwise, you will lose points and even a 0.5 mark makes the difference on whether you move to the next stage or not.
They will want to know, were your questions thoughtful? Relevant? Did you do your research about the Company? Are your excited about the Job and more so joining the Team?
The final part is where they ask about your salary expectation, notice period and if you have any benefits you would want to be matched. This is not graded.
This process is repeated for all invited candidates, and each Interviewer does their own grading. They may want to compare notes once done e.g if there is a big disparity and get to discuss why someone gave higher marks and another gave way lower marks for the same question answered by the same candidates. They will then hand over the individual results to the HR department who will tally and prepare a final report. Based on the final report, the highest scoring candidates move to the next stages i.e Reference, security vetting and background checks if that was the interview or to the next interview stages.
Other candidates who did not make it will receive a Regret email or call as a best practice in Recruitment.
In our next articles, we will look into the Common Behavioral Questions and how to answer them.
We at Crystal Recruit do walk with our candidates and make sure they are well prepped for interviews with our clients.
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