6 types of interview to expect as a graduate

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Following graduation, preparation is your key to interview success – and that includes knowing about the different types of interview to expect as a graduate.

Interviewers will generally use a more holistic approach; taking elements from each type. However, this guide will help you understand the structural differences between every kind of interview.

The recruiter may inform you about the interview structure, otherwise it could be a good idea to send them an email and ask for more information.

Read on to find out more!

What different types of interviews can you expect?

Get the lowdown on 6 different types of interview structure, and how to ace each one.

1. Face-to-face

Despite the increase in virtual interviewing, face-to-face interviews are still a firm favourite among many employers.

What is it? This is a one-on-one discussion between a graduate and an employer, and will usually include a number of open-ended questions. They may be chatty and informal, or require a more professional tone. Remember that every question is asked for a particular reason.

How should I prepare? Remember to research the employer and the role beforehand. The interview may also go through your CV and ask about your experience, so be sure to read it through.

How long will it last? Typically, a face-to-face interview will last anywhere between 30 and 60 minutes.

2. Panel

What is it? This is essentially a face-to-face interview, except there is usually more than one interviewer present.

How should I prepare? Remember to make eye contact with whoever asks a question, while talking to other members of the panel from time to time.

3. Group or Assessment Day

What is it? An interview with more than one candidate, this is a cost-effective way of interviewing multiple people at the same time. As far as different graduate interviews go, group interviews are often used to employ more than one person at a time.

It might include a variety of interview questions, assessments and group activities such as role plays to see how you work as a team. There may also be some one-to-one interviews.

How should I prepare? Practise introducing yourself to others, and get there early to meet your fellow candidates. The best approach is to see them as part of your team, rather than competition for the job. The employer will be listening to the way you interact, so be sure to listen and acknowledge other candidates.

How long will it last? It might take around 1-2 hours, but will depend on how many people are attending.

4. Video interview

What is it? Many employers use video interviewing software to filter applications efficiently. You will be required to book a time slot, in which you’ll answer pre-recorded questions on screen.

You may be asked a couple of motivational questions, alongside competency or strength-based questions. There will usually be time to give any additional information and make the interview your own.

How should I prepare? Do some research into common interview questions for your industry, and record yourself practising them.

How long will it last? This can vary between employers, but you will have a time limit in which you can answer. It will usually be around 2 minutes per question.

5. Sequential

What is it? This is when you’re interviewed by more than one person on the same day. One part of the interview may focus on your skillset, and another maybe with a senior employee who is testing your industry knowledge.

How do I prepare? Questions may change in style, and might become more challenging as the day goes on, so be prepared for that.

6. Telephone or Skype

What is it? A telephone, Skype or Zoom interview is a faster way of screening graduates before inviting them to a face-to-face interview. They will usually contain a series of questions to get to know you, and test your communication skills.

You may be asked questions about what you’ve written on your CV, alongside your achievements, salary expectations and what you already know about the employer.

How do I prepare? If you’re using a digital application, make sure that it’s downloaded and ready to go about 10 minutes before starting. Close down your email inbox to avoid annoying notifications. If you’re using a phone, make sure that your battery is fully charged and a charger is nearby.

How long will it last? Phone interviews usually last around 20-30 minutes, but this could vary.

Feeling comfortable with the different types of interview to expect as a graduate? Save this guide and you’re sure to be prepared for the graduate interview process.

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