The higher you move up in management the more varied the job interview process will be. When you are looking for an entry level job the focus will be on your communication skills, attitude, education, and priorities.
Traditional Job Interview
This type of interview looks at your basic skills. Can you get along with people? What opinions do you have about your own skills? What are your goals? These questions are about you, now.
These types of questions are asked at the management level, but the questions are looking for a few specifics. Do you know the lingo? Can you give details and specifics? Do you talk about opinions and thoughts, or software, systems, and methods? Are you more comfortable working by process and procedure or ‘wing it?’
Behavior Job Interview
This type of interview wants to know what you did in the past. Can you tell an event in your job history and focus on the pertinent skills and tasks that you did, how you did them, and what were the results.
A good way to define the two types of job interviews is to ask yourself, ‘Does the job interview host want to know ‘what’ you did, or ‘how’ you did it?
Screening Job Interview
This is often an initial phone call from a junior person in the human resources department. They will ask a series of questions to help them determine whether they feel it is necessary to schedule a job interview. They will also be assessing your phone skills, diction and vernacular, and ability to communicate well.
The person asking these questions will not be a manager. The questions will be very vague, but do not think they are just ‘testing the waters.’ Be very specific about your skills and abilities.
Be very careful how you answer and remember your answers. You can expect they will pop up again later.
Don’t get too wordy. These interviews are often very brief. The person asking the questions may have an excel sheet of management candidates and just be checking ‘yes’ or ‘no’ in a list of skills.
Don’t guess. Keep a copy of your resume by the phone. Keep notes so that you don’t have to guess. If your notes are handy then you won’t be flustered if the questions are asked too fast.
Don’t forget that this part of the job interview deserves a Thank You note as well.
The Panel Job Interview
If you ever wanted to know whether you can think on your feet, handle stress, and handle answering the same question multiple ways in different ways then you’ll find your answer in the panel job interview.
But there is more to the interview. You don’t know whose input will be most important. In fact, the person who you think is the assistant, or secretary, or someone from another department may be the main hiring manager, or even your future boss.
Address everyone equally, no matter what they look like, or how they act.
Panel interviews help save time. The people hiring will learn how the candidates operates in group or when stressed. Be prepared for fast-paced questions, cross-talk, being ignored or disrespected, follow-up questions, answering the same question with a different focus, and even having the interviewers appear to have conflicting values and definitions of the answers.
If you can think of this more as a conversation, not a Q & A session then you should be okay.
If possible, research each person who will be on the panel. What are their jobs? Try to have a specific question for each person on the panel.
Problem Solving Job Interviews
The Stress Interview and the Case Interview both challenge how you value tasks. These are meant to put you on edge. The main objective is to stay calm. Keep working through the problems. Don’t become frazzled if the interviewer acts perturbed, sighs, and then leaves the room or takes your paperwork and put it at the bottom of a pile and acts like the interview is over.
Lunch Job Interview
This is usually a second level interview that a management candidate will encounter more than one time in their career. You will meet new people at the lunch. The interview isn’t about lunch but there are some mistakes you should already know to avoid. Do not order anything too messy, or expensive. Do not get carried away with alcohol. Do not order anything you need your fingers to eat, or that you need to chew loudly. Do not eat anything you cannot clear quickly. You will be asked at least one question when your mouth is full.
You will probably be tested on your table manners, understanding of etiquette, and even how you enter or leave the restaurant. Do you follow? Do you cut the boss’s off as you move around?
Competency-Based Job Interview
Competency-based questions are open-ended. Be succinct. Unnecessary details cost you the. Unlike a behavioral interview you want to be tactical. Mention the methodologies, systems, software, management styles. Talk about labor laws and industry standards.
You focused on ‘how’ you do things in the behavioral interview. With this type of question you will focus on the results. Remember that you read ‘listen to the question carefully’ before answering? If the question is focusing on competency then you want to make sure that you focus on ‘what would have happened different if you were not there.’