It's true: Not only do veterans need to worry about performing well in future job interviews, they also need to know that job interviews don't follow one standard format. As if preparing for a job interview wasn't nerve-wracking enough, the kind of interview for a potential job can vary.
While this fact may seem to make interview preparation more difficult, knowing what kind of job interview it will be can actually help veterans prepare for it. The following interview types are the most common ones that separating veterans are likely to encounter.
1. Screening Interviews
This is the kind of job interview most of us likely think of when we are asked to interview for a job and the first one separating or newly separated veterans will experience. After looking through resumes and pulling out suitable candidates, employers will often conduct screening interviews to ensure a candidate really has the skills, education and experience the job requires.
This kind of interview is often very quick and usually done over the phone or via a video conference, like Zoom. It's a nuts-and-bolts kind of interview, one that ensures those who will be proceeding to the next round meet the minimum basic requirements for the job.
2. Virtual Interviews
To save everyone time and money, businesses and hiring managers have increasingly used remote communication technology like Zoom or Skype to conduct initial interviews with prospective employees. Like a screening interview, it will likely cover your skills and experience, but the interviewer may be interested in learning more about you as a person.
Be prepared to talk about your motivations in your work and why you want to join that company. It's important to remember that remote meetings are becoming more common, and that a virtual interview, as opposed to an in-person interview, doesn't reflect on your chances of getting the job.
3. Behavioral Interviews
A behavioral interview goes beyond the skills, education and experience needed for a job and focuses more on the candidates' personalities, abilities in the workplace and career accomplishments. These interviews are known for some common interview questions, like those that begin with: "Give me an example of ..."
The important thing to remember about behavioral interviews is that there isn't necessarily a right or wrong answer to any of the questions. The company wants to know how you responded to situations in the past to understand how you might react in the future. Try to remember some of your biggest workplace challenges and how you overcame them in preparation for this kind of interview.
4. Panel Interviews
This kind of interview is exactly what it sounds like. Rather than discuss the job and your candidacy with a single interviewer, you will be facing down a number of interviewers, two to three being the most common. Since it's designed to see how well a candidate communicates and handles pressure, it's best to come prepared.
Since your communication skills are likely being examined during a panel interview, you might want to consider running a practice interview with friends or well-wishers to prepare for it.
5. Case Interviews
The case interview is likely the most challenging kind of interview and the most difficult for which to prepare. In a case interview, the interviewer wants to check a candidate's problem-solving ability. Candidates can be asked to provide their potential solutions to a unique business problem, which could be fictitious or a historical scenario that actually happened.
The interviewee will be expected to read a set of criteria describing the problem, then create potential solutions. They will then be asked to explain the reasoning for their solution to the interviewer, based on the criteria provided and their own experience.
Head over to Monster, Military.com's parent company, for tips on preparing for these five types of interviews.
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