Common Interview Structures
Firstly, let us stress that no two interviews are the same, and you should always be prepared for the unexpected. For example, an interview that was originally planned as “one on one” will often have you meeting multiple team members, and could well have other unannounced members sit in on the interview. Always be prepared for the unexpected.
For the most part, interviews tend to last between 30 to 60 minutes. Don't think negatively if the resume has finished in 20 minutes, as it's amazing just how many people get called back for a second interview after only spending a very brief period in the interview.
No matter how fast or slow the interview is moving, never leave without ensuring that you have enough information to make an informed decision on whether you want the job. You're not there to make up the numbers, this is as much about them and the role, as it is about you.
Common job interview structures are:
- Introduction by them on who they are, their role in the organisation and interview process;
- Preliminary interaction (you and them) and may include the classic “tell me about yourself";
- Background on the company and
description of the job being listed;
- Information Exchange (including
reflective questioning, strengths, weaknesses etc.);
- Wrap up (your chance to ask questions and to express your interest).
Remember, the interviewer is the facilitator so it’s important you listen to them and don’t try to take overtake the conversation; otherwise you’ll disrupt the flow of the interview.
Interviews are time limited so if you find yourself rambling, you may not leave enough time at the end for the Information Exchange or Wrap up. And finally, never look at your watch in an interview, nor feel pressured into trying to fill those areas of silence.