Interview is one of the most important aspect inyour search for a dream job. If you're lucky to have gotten an interview, you've gotten past the screening stage and you may have beaten out hundreds of other candidates to get to this point. This is your opportunity to show the value you will bring to the organization and land the job. In this article we'll begin with interview preparation where weexplain the various types of interview formats and help you anticipate questions. You will learn techniques that you can use to practice and best prepare for the interview.
We will also guide you how to confidently approach the actual interview; making a good first impression; navigating difficult interviews; and getting your message across using effective body language. Finally, we'll talk about follow-up, where you assess your own performance, send thank you notes, and respond appropriately to the employer's decision. You want to be the final candidate, and having a successful interview is one of the most crucial steps to finding your dream job. At the end of this tutorial you will find the most common interview questions with a guide on how to approach them.


Understanding interview formats

The first place to start in preparing for interviews is to understand the potential formats that employers will use to determine your fit within the organization. There are four common interview formats, and it often depends on the industry and function for which you are applying.

1. Phone Interview

Typically around 30 minutes, typically performed by a Human Resource Manager. This technique is often used to narrow the pool of candidates for in-person interviews. In this interview, they will confirm your qualifications to the position and often check your expected salary to see if you are in their budget range. The phone interview is also one of the more challenging formats because you can't see reactions to your answers, and you can be easily distracted. To be most successful in the phone interview,

you should be sure to follow these five tips:
  1. Use a land-line
  2. Turn off call-waiting
  3. Find a quiet place
  4. Speak clearly (smile)
  5. Clarify questions that you are unsure of the meaning.

You don't have body language to tell you when you are going in the wrong direction. So be sure to ask the interviewer if you've approached the question in the way they were looking for.

2. One to One / Face to face / In-person Interview

The second format is the traditional in person one to one interview. This allows employers to get to know you on an individual level and ask pertinent questions to their area of work. These are most often performed by the decision maker, which is potentially your boss and coworkers. They're going to be concerned with how well you're going to fit in and you're going to support them in their jobs.

To be most successful in the in-person / one to one interview, you need to focus on non-verbal behaviors, like:
  • Make Eye contact,
  • Tone of voice, and
  • Body language.

Body language will vary based on the country that you are interviewing in. For example, in some countries, eye contact is direct and others it is not. Also remember to dress the part, you want them to see you as a potential colleague.

3. Panel or Group Interview

The third format is a panel or group interview. This format allows the employer to save time and also get multiple opinions.That can lead to more valid and fair decisions about candidates. Remember that each individual on the panel will have a different perspective. Try to understand how their position relates to the one you're applying for. This will help you tailor your answers to their particular needs and concerns. To be most successful in panel interviews, body language is still important.

A few points to remember include:
  • Make Eye contact,
  • Use their names
  • Include quieter people in the conversation by asking their opinion
  • Listen and engage where appropriate

Finally, ask for business cards from everyone on the panel for proper follow up.

4. Online video interview

The final type of video is the online video interview. It is similar to the in person interview but it allows the employer to cut down on travel and cost.

You will want to follow the same advice and in addition these 3 steps:
  1. Test-run the equipment
  2. Arrive earlyso you can make any adjustments to lighting or appearance
  3. Make sure your environment looks clean, professional, and there are no immediate distractions in the area