Interviews play a major role in the process of finding a good job or the best candidates. Regardless of whether you are an interviewer or an interviewee, having a good understanding of interview styles and how they work can help both parties conduct or attend one in a smooth manner. Each role is different and because of that, there can be different interview styles. Companies cannot follow just one interview style to identify the ideal person and it can be difficult to assess their skills. Let’s explore some interview styles that both employers and candidates can use.
Before digging deeper into different styles of interviewing, being able to tell the difference between interview formats and styles is important. An interview format is the setting and the people involved in the interview. The interview style is the method of asking questions. Different interview styles can be used in different interview formats. However, all these different styles have their strengths and weaknesses and help identify the best candidates.
Situational interviewing helps employers get a better understanding of how a candidate would work in a real-life situation. In other words, the interviewer gets the prospective employee to perform a task under the role. Most of the time, the interviewer presents a scenario and asks the candidate to solve the problem and evaluate how they would approach the situation.
Now here’s a tip for candidates: For these types of questions, try to draw from prior experiences if possible. Think back to how you might’ve handled a similar situation, and describe how you would approach the current scenario.
The behavioral interview style focuses on work history. It is essentially an assessment of a candidate’s past professional behavior. It also focuses on evaluating personal and interpersonal skills. Questioning work history and talking about specific work experiences is one of the key methods in predicting future behavior. This interview style can be used to understand the candidate’s leadership, effective communication, teamwork, and interpersonal skills.
Here’s a tip for candidates: Use the STAR method to answer these types of questions. Build your answer by discussing the specific Situation, Task, Action, and Result.
In open-ended interviews, interviewers can ask open-ended questions. Usually, candidates’ strengths, weaknesses, and how they can contribute to achieving the goals of the company are discussed here.
For candidates, it is important to describe how you have identified your weaknesses and what steps you’ve taken to overcome them and turn them into strengths.
These are only a few interview styles. It’s up to the interviewer to decide which style suits each role and how the style and format should be connected. There’s no rule about sticking to one specific style, assessing each situation and adapting accordingly can help you learn a lot about the candidates.
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