Preparing for an interview

It doesn’t matter if you’re a student fresh out of uni, or a seasoned professional – interviews are nerve-wracking. Being prepared for your interview is the best way to alleviate the anxiety that comes along with entering an unfamiliar workplace and selling your skills to someone you don’t know.


In this blog post, Enrol take you through ten different types of interview that you might encounter as a jobseeker. With companies trying their best to stand out, there’s no telling what your interview will be like, so it’s best to prepare as fully as possible in advance.


  1. 1-2-1

This is the most common type of interview, and probably one you’ll have experienced before. In this scenario, you sit on one side of a desk, while your potential future employer (or their Recruitment Manager) fires off questions that you (hopefully) have the answers to.


This can be an intimidating encounter, especially if you’re being interviewed by a particularly brusque member of the company. Look on the bright side, though – companies are using this interview style less and less, as it’s ultimately a biased method that relies on the judgement of one person.


  1. Structured Interviews

These are the interviews (and subsequent lines of questioning) you’ll probably have prepared for either in school or at home. They can appear almost scripted, and quite often are; you’re asked what you could bring to the table, you reply with two transferable skills and an individual quirk, etcetera…


Make sure to ask questions at the end, and to appear both punctual and polite.


  1. Unstructured Interviews

This style of interview is becoming ever more popular, especially with smaller, more creative companies. You may be called in for a “chat,” or sat around a table with coffee, doughnuts, and everyone in the team present.


Often, this type of interview means the company wants to get to know you as a person in a less formal setting. However, though you’ll be prompted to do most of the talking, it’s important to remain professional and not reveal anything you may regret later.


  1. Stress Interviews

These are deliberately designed to cause the interviewee immense stress, and thus are highly controversial. There have even been reports of interviewees being berated, shouted at, and made to solve complex puzzles in far too little time than is necessary.


However, if you ever encounter an interview like this, know that you’re being tested on your ability to function under pressure, not your long division skills or ability to solve a Rubix cube in under a minute!


  1. Behavioural Interviews

In this type of interview, you’re likely to be asked about what you’ve already achieved. Still, this doesn’t mean this style of interview is limited to higher level jobs or career advancement posts. Interviewers delivering this style of questioning will be looking to see how you apply transferable skills to different areas of your life.


We recommend you use the STAR technique, which has been proven to work well when interviewers ask about past achievements.


S-ituation: What was the context of your story?

T-ask: What were you asked to do?

A-ction: What did you actually do?

R-esult: What were the results of your actions?


  1. Group interviews

This style of interview can be especially daunting, as you’re not only being assessed by the interviewer but by the other candidates, too. You’ll be scrutinised on your ability to lead conversations but not dominate the discussion, take on different points of view but stand by your own opinions, and be professional but friendly to your peers.


Sounds complicated? It can be, but your best bet is to be professional and straightforward, whilst being as genuine as possible. It’s obvious to interviewers when someone is trying too hard, so avoid that if you can.


  1. Phone/Skype interviews

These interviews are known for being difficult to approach preparation-wise – after all, if you can’t see your interviewer in real life, it can be difficult to ‘read the room’, as you would in a traditional one-to-one interview environment.


Over the phone, you should be able to get away with having notes in front of you. They’ll help you sound more professional and prepared, and ensure you stay on track over the line.


On Skype, make sure that you present yourself properly, and – if the interview is timed – that you’ve prepared short answers you can expand on if necessary, rather than long ones that end up getting cut off.


  1. Assessment Interviews

Some roles will require an assessment interview, which tends to function a lot like a test. You may need to complete a variety of assessments over a few days, such as a psychometric evaluation, literacy and numeracy exam, and some problem-solving specific to the job role.


For these types of interview, you’ll be made well aware of how you need to prepare prior to the actual date of assessment.


  1. Working Interviews

Some jobs will expect you to demonstrate your capability to adapt to your potential role by asking you to do a “working interview”. This type of interview is most common in retail, hospitality, food service, and sales jobs. They can be extremely daunting, but offer you an opportunity like no other to display your capacity for the role.


Remember to be positive and energetic throughout the interview, and make sure you listen carefully to any direction you are given.  


  1. Panel Interviews

Finally, we come to panel interviews. These are typically very traditional, and you’ll probably experience a different line of questioning from each member of the panel.


Panel interviews are usually pretty nerve-wracking, but think about it like this: with each member of the panel, you’re presented with an additional opportunity to impress. Usually, each panel member will find different things they like about you, which can really benefit your candidacy at a later stage.


Thanks for reading!

We hope this post gave you some insight into the different types of interviews that are out there. If you take away one thing from this, remember to be prepared for whichever interview you walk into. Employers notice it, and it will set you in good stead for securing that job role you’re going for.


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