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January 22, 2021, by Benedict Watson

How to Master Four Types of Interview

Benedict Watson – Student Blogger

As the new year begins, so does the interview stage of applications for many internships, placement years and graduate jobs. In the Covid-19 world, many more interviews are virtual than in previous years. In this article, I’ll be going through each type of interview you could encounter and my top tips for each one.

Telephone interview

Telephone interviews are rare but are used by some programmes such as the Civil Service Internships. The inability for you and the interviewer to see each other can make it harder to express emotion and make a lasting impression on the interviewer. Therefore, it is important that you vary the tone of your voice to emphasise what your face is showing.

One tip to do this is to smile when you speak, this will change your tone. Ensure you speak slowly and clearly as it can be harder to understand what you are saying without visual aid.

One benefit of telephone interviews is that you can have all your notes in front of you and you don’t need to look up from them to make eye contact with the interviewer – but be careful not to read from your notes too much, as most interviewers are looking for natural responses to questions rather than overly-prepared answers. Make sure you are in a quiet space with plenty of charge on your phone.

Video interview (non-interactive)

Non-interactive video interviews were becoming more common even before the pandemic. There is no interviewer involved, you are simply speaking to a camera and answering pre-set questions. This can seem very unnatural initially, so try to practice filming yourself speaking beforehand to see how you come across on camera.

Graduates First provides a bank of generic practice video interviews, which can be accessed for free using your University of Nottingham email address. Graduates First uses AI to monitor your body language and provide feedback.

For all video interviews, make sure you are dressed appropriately and have a clear background. Most interviews will give you some thinking time between the question appearing on the screen and the answer starting – this time is usually between 30 seconds and two minutes. You will then have an allotted time to answer the question – usually between two and five minutes. There will be no-follow up questions to delve deeper into your answers, so it’s important to answer each question thoroughly.

Video interview (interactive)

This is a much more natural form of video interview, which is a video call with a real interviewer. Be prepared for the interviewer to ask follow-up questions and react to your answers, so make sure you can explain and back up any claims you make.

In-person interview

In person interviews can be the most nerve-racking, so make sure you give yourself plenty of time to travel to the venue to avoid unnecessary stress. Body language is important, so make sure you sit with good posture and use hand gestures to convey your enthusiasm for the role. Why not, watch the video How to overcome interview nerves for some top tips. 

In-person interviews should be the most natural form of interview, so relax and enjoy the conversation! 

Visit our interviews webpage for more on the different types of interviews and how to prepare. We subscribe to interview preparation tools such as Sonru, Graduates First and eCareersGrad for case study interviews. 

Our online interview workshops start next week too. Simply click on the event to sign into MyCareer and book your place.

Posted in Applying For JobsInterviewsStudent Bloggers