Looking for a job that’s made just for you? Learn to network your way into a job you love in our free 1-hour web course with the Classy Career Girl and Brazen’s networking experts on March 8 from 8-9pm EST. Click here to register.
Lots of job candidates are talking lately about slightly unconventional things they had to do at job interviews. Some of these new techniques are geared toward helping the candidate feel comfortable, while others may just totally catch you off guard.
We can also thank the current state of the economy. You see, companies aren’t necessarily looking for the most capable candidates anymore – they’re looking for candidates that best fit their company.
In a boom, companies can try their hand a several different employees, and know employees who don’t work out will likely soon move on. But these days, employees hang on to their jobs for dear life – because they know it will be difficult or even impossible to find a replacement. That makes employee screening more important than ever before.
So for those of you who are on the job hunt or simply looking for a change of scenery, get ready for some new interviewing techniques your mom and dad didn’t have to deal with.
Apparently the days of one-on-one, straight-to-the-point interviews may be somewhat numbered; group interviews are becoming increasingly popular. You may have to do a panel group interview, where you are interviewed by several members of the company, or a candidate group interview where you and other viable candidates are interviewed for the same job.
Companies are doing this to see how you react with a group already in place or how under pressure with complete strangers. Both help your potential employer decide whether you’d make a good fit in the current environment.
If you’re applying for a sales job or any position where you’re dealing with people one-on-one, you may be asked to role play – otherwise known as situational interviewing. This method actually isn’t all that new, but it’s making a serious comeback.
The pretense is simple. The interviewer puts you on the spot to see how you deal with stress. A common example is when an interviewer asks you to “sell me this pen,” where you have to convince them that you can not only handle pressure, you can also sell their products or services.
Interviews in public places
Don’t be surprised if your potential employer asks you to meet them at Starbucks, a Marriott hotel lobby or McDonald’s. Companies want to see how you act in public.
They then take that as an indication of how you will interact with others within the company’s already established culture. They’re particularly likely to schedule a public interview if you’re applying for a field position, B2B or outside sales.
This is one your mom and dad definitely didn’t need to prepare for. Fortunately, young professionals are quick to catch on to technology. This is going to seriously help us as Skype interviews are quickly replacing phone interviews.
Not only are Skype interviews cost effective for the company, they also give interviewers a chance to see you in person. Unfortunately, like with all things technological, you can expect hiccups like fuzzy transmission or slow internet connections. However, there are things you can do to make sure you ace a Skype interview.
Interviews may be getting more intense and creative, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still rock them. With enough research and preparation, you’ll be able to handle almost anything an interviewer throws at you.
Amanda Abella is a personnel administrator for a Miami-based employment agency and a freelance writer. She also runs Grad Meets World, a popular Gen Y blog where she discusses health, career, personal finance, entrepreneurship, and more.