April 12th, 2010
If you have been able to secure an interview, you should be encouraged that your resume impressed an employer enough that they want to speak with you in person. But it is important that you realize that it is not a guarantee of a job, and understand that interviewing is a process. If a company is interested in you, they will probably want to talk to you more than once. Think of interviewing as rounds; if you don't get eliminated in the first round, you get to progress to the second. If you want to survive the interview process, it's important that you understand it.
Screening interview. Often the first type of interview you will face is the screening interview. In order to save time, hiring managers may conduct these types of interviews by phone to filter out unlikely candidates and move forward with the candidates they think have potential. During a screening interview, you will be asked general questions about your education, qualifications, experience, career goals, and salary expectations. If the interviewer believes you may be a good fit, you will be asked to schedule an in-person interview. This is the perfect time for you to make a good first impression and let the employer know why you deserve to be seen face-to-face. You can decrease your chances of being eliminated in this round by focusing on your qualifications. Also, if you are speaking to the interviewer over the phone, since they cannot see your facial expressions, your tone of voice is going to be more important. Make sure you sound as natural as possible by answering questions calmly and confidently.
Selection interviews. These interviews are usually conducted by someone who actually has the power to hire you, most likely either a manager or supervisor. During the selection process, you may face one or a few different types of interviews, such as the behavioral, case, and stress. A behavioral interview is conducted to see how your past behavior might predict your future behavior, and the purpose of a case interview is to learn about your analytical, quantitative, and problem-solving skills. A stress interview is conducted to purposefully place you in a stressful situation and observe your reaction to it. You can decrease being eliminated this round by keeping your focus on the interviewer, maintaining eye contact, and establishing good rapport. It is important that the interviewer feels a connection with you, especially since the person who gets the job will most likely be working underneath them.