Be Prepared For Any Job Interview Style
By Arthur T. Fellon
It is wise to be prepared for any job interview style. After all the early bird or the bird that is prepared gets the worm.
While employers use several styles of interviews, there are two basic approaches to interviewing – that is structured and unstructured interviewing tactics. Sometimes these approaches are combined within one category. At other times, the interview falls into one of the two categories. It all depends as they say. It may be your lucky day if you are prepared for scenario one and it falls in your lap. However it can just as easily go the other route. Plan ahead and prepare for the eventuality of the second type of interview format. It is destined to come your way at some point in your employment interviewing (or interrogation) career path.
Once you have the job interview scheduled, you will greatly improve your chances of success if you find out what style of interview will be used. Usually the human resources department or receptionist will explain the general interview style, format and process to you. Remember in most cases people are quite conservative and do not stray from the path they are taught by their predecessor. This mentor most likely was taught by his boss. And on it goes. Not a lot of originality in the interview process.
Use this knowledge and understanding or the system to your benefit in the eventual hiring process.
What are the two types of interviews formats? First is the structured interview. Next is the behavioral interview.
The structured interview is often used by professional interviewers who work in human resources departments or are part of a corporate team, panel or other trained group. The interviewer typically uses a planned pattern or questioning, sometimes recording the applicant’s responses and making notes on a checklist or an interview rating form.
It can be well stated that many interviewers were all taught from the same book and lack originality. Use this knowledge to your benefit to anticipate and plan ahead for answers to those standard questions – What are your strong points? What are your weak points? Where do you see yourself in 2, 5 or 10 years? etc. etc. etc.
The approach of the structured interview is formal and focuses on obtaining factual information. Or at least apparently. Because the structured interview is by it’s vary nature structured the approach does not give the interviewer adequate information. Again you can use this to your advantage both in terms of planning ahead for the interview with all of its apparent lack of originality and easily answered questions to lead you onwards o later job employment meeting along the employment interview path.
Second in line of interview formats is the “Behavioral Interview “style. In the behavioral interview style, the interviewer asks questions aimed at getting the applicant to provide specific examples of how he or she has successfully used the skills required for the target job. It is all not unlike the question “Have you stopped beating your wife?” It is all about seeing how you react to questions and situations. Again many of the questions and situations asked can be anticipated and planned for ahead of time.
The interviewee is evaluated based on their responses and behavior. How you react to these questions and situations is supposed to be indicative of how you will respond to these same situations under employment. However this is all very similar to the behavior of actions of a young woman who is desperate for marriage or a young man out on a prowl. It is best to sit back and ponder for a moment what the “correct answer “is to the question. Remember no one will ever criticize you in a job interview for taking the time to be thorough and ask further questions in order to clarify the situation before jumping to action. Such a pattern shows real thought processes, thoroughness and attention to detail. All apparently valued traits in most organizations.
In the end preparation and planning for job interview and job interviews is everything. Remember as well that you are interviewing the organization as to whether it is a good place to work as well as a good career stepping stone for you. The interviewer is your only reflection and source of information for that firm or organization on hand.