The typical image of a job interview, with employers interrogating an applicant, is not what you should expect.
While they do still exist, many interviews today are much less formal, and can take on a number of different forms.
Less formal doesn’t necessarily mean you should let your professional guard down, but it definitely helps with feeling more comfortable.
Here are some of the interviews you could find yourself in:
A real ‘get to know you’, relaxed interview. They could be held in a cafe, maybe even at the cafe you’re interviewing for, or in the office lobby. This is really more about learning who you are as a person and seeing if you are a good fit to the team.
Sometimes there are a number of candidates interviewed at the same time. You might each have the chance to answer the same questions, or you will be given individualised questions. Usually these group interviews end in further shortlisting, where you might then advance to a one-on-one interview.
Sales teams like to see how you can sell something at an interview. Don’t be surprised if you have to pitch a pen to a room full of people.
Employers, particularly in hospitality, might get you in for a trial shift to see how you can handle the practical side of the role. They can vary from an hour, up to one full shift, but you should never be asked to work more than that unpaid.
Another interview popular in sales roles is for a roleplay, to show interviewers how you handle certain situations. It might be dealing with an angry customer, or pitching to a particularly unhelpful client.
A phone interview is a common feature ahead of your in-person interview and often video calls replace these. If you are interviewing jobs so you can relocate, employers will often rely on Skype calls to interview you.
There are some job roles which require you to answer questions to demonstrate your knowledge in something. This is the case for larger companies who recruit for developers or marketers.
One of the more nerve-wracking interview techniques is where you sit in front of a panel of managers or recruiters who fire off questions at you. Each will have different interview styles and personalities, so beware of feeling too comfortable with one only to find the next is more severe.
More formal than a one to one coffee meeting, but less intimidating than a panel. Meeting just one manager or recruiter, who will ask you interview questions, which you might find here.
No matter the job interview style you should be informed ahead of time if you need to be especially prepared.
If they have not described the way the interview will run, feel like you can ask ahead of time so that you can be prepared.
You can also ask about the dress code or if there is anything you should bring: Employers will appreciate you wanting to be prepared.
The best tip is to go in with confidence, no matter what interview you are facing.