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Interview Styles

5 Steps to Interview Success!

Be Prepared: Research the organization to which you are applying. It is important to demonstrate your interest and enthusiasm for the job by your knowledge of the organization and industry. Look at the company's Web site, online reports, and other sources of information so that you will arrive at your interview prepared to answer questions related to the organization and why you want to work there.

Feel Good: Confidence in yourself and your abilities is crucial to a successful interview. It will help to get enough sleep the night before your interview and to eat nourishing food beforehand. Channeling pre-interview "nerves" in a positive way will help you make a good impression. Think positive thoughts and try different relaxation techniques.

Look Good: Dressing for success is always vital to creating a great first impression with your potential employer. Whether you intend it or not, your clothes make a statement about you, and you want to be sure that they are saying what you want them to say. Unless you are instructed to dress otherwise, you should dress in professional clothing for an interview. Some employers may have more relaxed dress codes, but wearing professional clothes at the interview is your best strategy.

Act the Part: During an interview, try to limit any nervous movements, as they will detract from your overall impression. Use positive nonverbal communication such as direct eye contact, correct posture, and a strong voice to display confidence and self-esteem. You also want to be sure to maintain a professional demeanor at all times and to adapt to the style of the interviewer only to a certain degree. If the interviewer is relaxed and unprofessional, it is inappropriate to mimic this behavior. At the same time, it is also important not to appear too rigid or uptight if the interviewer is attempting to create a relaxed interview environment.

Keep Your End Up: You may be faced with many difficult interview questions or scenarios that you are not entirely comfortable with. By practicing sample interview questions and techniques, you will have the confidence to keep up with your interviewers and demonstrate your capabilities for the job. Sometimes, employers will ask difficult questions in order to observe how you will react and handle a stressful or uncertain situation. Be ready for it!

Interview Styles

Approaches to Interviewing: What to expect at an interview!

There are several different interview structures and approaches that can be used. Depending on the type of position you are interviewing for, you may be informed about the structure of the interview in advance and have the opportunity to familiarize yourself with the schedule of events. Interviews can be held over the phone, in person, in groups, over a meal, last for a couple hours, a day, or span over several days. Typically, employers will ask you about your educational background, work experiences, and often ask you to talk about personal characteristics and goals that you have set for yourself. The most common interview styles that you should become familiar with are:

Directive/Structured Interview: You will be presented with a series of structured questions that the interviewer has prepared ahead of time in a predetermined agenda. If a company is interviewing a larger number of candidates and they want to receive consistent information then they will typically use this format.

Non-Directive/Unstructured interview: There is no real set format used in this type of interview, and it will often begin with a broad question such as "Tell me about yourself." The applicant has more control over the pace of the interview, but also has more pressure to predict what information the employer wants to receive. It is up to you to demonstrate how your knowledge, skills, and abilities fit with the organization.

Stress: This type of interview is intended to be confrontational in style and is aimed at unsettling the candidate. The purpose of this style is to put potential employees into stressful and difficult situations to evaluate how they react and work under pressure. By seeing how you will react when placed in a challenging or uncomfortable situation, the interviewers can get a strong sense of your stress and conflict-management style as well as your ability to deal with uncertainty.

Behavioral: This interview style is used to evaluate a candidate's experiences and behaviors to predict the applicant's potential contributions and success within the organization. The interviewer clearly identifies job-related experiences, behaviors, knowledge, skills and abilities that the company has decided are desirable in a particular position, and then the interviewer asks you to provide clear examples of how you demonstrate these skills and abilities. These include self-confidence, teamwork, professionalism, critical thinking, and time management.

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