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Interview Styles and Formats

Learn more about the different types of interview styles and formats.

Different interview types require different sets of skills and behaviour. The first step in being able to prepare properly for interviewing is to fully understand each type.

Telephone interview

  • One of the shortest forms of interview (usually between 20 – 40 mins).
  • Provides an opportunity for the interviewer to ask a few key questions, for example, availability, current level and responsibilities.
  • Gauges your enthusiasm for the role and the company.
  • Can act as a screening for the hiring manager.

Video interview

  • Conducted via Zoom, Skype, Google Hangouts, FaceTime, etc.
  • The purpose is similar to telephone interviews, but video provides a better chance to build rapport.
  • Your employer may also want to check your personal presentation.
  • Relevant for long distance candidates and remote jobs (also popular during the global pandemic).

Panel interview

  • Multiple people from the company will be present. Not all may ask you questions, for example, HR might join for internal auditing purposes.
  • Often companies will do panel interviews for a few reasons: if there are multiple people who need to meet the candidate before a decision is made, to reduce bias in the process, and if you’re at later stages.
  • Top tip – even if only one person is asking the questions, be sure to engage with all the panel and generate eye contact and rapport with each person.

Assessment day

  • Used to assess large groups of people at the same time, for a range of skills.
  • Common in graduate opportunities but also very common in the fitness industry. There will often be auditions and group assessments for PTs and instructors.
  • Your group and teamwork skills may be tested, so be sure to contribute.

Group interview

  • Group interviews differ from assessment days in the length of the interview and size of the group. Often a bit of a smaller pool and in a boardroom setting.
  • Teamwork again could be top of the agenda as one of the skills being tested in this interview.
  • Top tip – generate rapport with your co-interviewees which will not only make you feel more comfortable but will also showcase your social skills.

One on one, in-person interview

  • The most popular interview.
  • Allows you to build rapport and directly sell yourself.
  • Sometimes, people will ask if you want to ‘grab a coffee’ as your face to face interview. Do not drop your guard on these! Whilst the meeting will feel less formal and structured, they are still interviewing you for a job.

Interview questions can vary depending on the type of interview, company culture, interviewer’s personality, and what level of position you’re applying for. Below we highlight three popular styles and strategies to manage each.

1. Classic biographical questions

Tell me about yourself. What are you passionate about? Where do you see yourself in five years? Tell me about your career. Tell me about you. Tell me about your current situation. Tell me about your last role. Tell me about your personal interests and hobbies.

These types of questions are asked to extract more information about you and your journey. When preparing, it is helpful to use the following structure to answer these types of questions:

  • Beginning of your answer – introduction, set the scene.
  • Middle of your answer – give good examples and insights, showcase your specific experience, where possible, link your answer to the job type and company that you are applying to.
  • End of your answer – finish on a positive. Show your confidence and passion for the role.

2. Competency-based questions

Tell me about a time where you demonstrated excellent teamwork? Can you tell me about a time where you had to deal with conflict in the workplace?

In these types of questions, the interviewer is looking for specific examples. The most effective way to answer these questions is to use the STAR technique.

  • Situation – where were you? Who were you working for? How many in the team? Was it a solo project?
  • Task – what did you need to do? What was the task you chose to complete?
  • Action – provide insight into HOW you demonstrated the task. What action did you take? What skills did you employ to achieve the task?
  • Result – always end on a positive. What was the overall positive result?

3. Task-based or problem-solving questions

How heavy is the Gherkin building in London? What’s a good product for Pepsi to launch next?

Those interviewing for a technical role will often have to complete a test, for example, personal trainers would likely have to carry out an assessment, or marketing candidates might have to put together a brand presentation.

The aim of these questions is to discover how you think. The answer you give is not as important as your approach to getting the answer.

What do you think?

If you’ve already started interviewing for positions in the wellness industry, share in the Comments section what style of interview you had – was there anything that surprised you?

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Job Opportunities in Wellness

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