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During the interview

In this article, Heather Jacksic describes what what to keep in mind during the interview.
Two people sitting in comfortable chairs and talking, one of them holding a tablet.

Now that you know how to prepare for your job interview, let’s look at what will happen during the interview itself.

The greeting

The first thing you do when you meet someone is, of course, to greet them. How to best greet someone varies whether it is a physical or digital interview. The thing to keep in mind is to make it professional, but also personal. Look the person you are greeting in the eyes and say your name. Listen to their name and repeat it. An awkward situation you want to avoid is not remembering the name of a person you are currently talking to.

Greeting and introducing yourself properly shows that you have good social skills and care about the people you are going to work for. How to best do this depends on the context and culture you are in, so it is a good idea to spend a little time looking it up and practicing beforehand.

Different types of interviews

There are many different types of interviews and if you are unsure which one you are about to attend, it’s a good idea to ask in advance. The most common types of interviews include:

  • Formal or panel interviews, where one or more people ask you questions
  • Group interviews, where several candidates are asked to come in at once and they are expected to interact with each other and the interviewer(s)
  • Case interviews, where you are given a fictitious situation or problem which you are asked to solve and present to the interviewer(s)
  • Digital interviews or phone interviews, where you aren’t physically present in the same place. This is more common for remote jobs or when you are in the first round of interviews for an office in another location

During the interview process, you may also be given a standardised test. This may be a personality test that determines whether you tend to be more introverted or extroverted and how you handle certain situations. It could also be an aptitude test which may involve testing your language skills, mathematical skills or spatial orientation. Whether or not you will be given a standardised test will vary depending on the company, the role, and the application process the company has chosen.

While it may seem intimidating, these types of tests are another way for the recruiter to check if your skills match up with expected tasks for the job, and all you need to think about is to do your best. If you feel nervous or unsure about what these tests entail, you may find more information on how to prepare for these types of tests online.

To think about during the interview

After you have greeted each other and the interview has begun, what follows is usually a conversation in which you will have a back-and-forth discussion where the focus will lie upon your answers to the questions that the interviewer will ask you.

What it boils down to is, once again, to show how you can contribute to the company with your skills, experience and personal characteristics. But there is more to it than just this, during the interview you should focus on:

  • Showing your value to the recruiter
  • Listening and asking questions
  • Remembering to be your true self

If you focus on these things, and find the right balance between confidence and humility, while clearly demonstrating that you have understood the job, the company and the tasks you are likely to face, you place yourself in a very good position for landing the job.

© Luleå University of Technology
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