Alternative Interviews

Alternative interviews

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An employer may use various ways to assess you for a job. It is important to be aware of how you can be assessed so you can prepare fully for each type of interview. This will give you the best chance of success.

Competency based interviews
Competency based interviews are designed to allow you to show your skills and experience in the main areas of the job. You may be asked to discuss examples of your previous work and achievements. The examples you give should expand on, or be different from, those on your original application form. Before the interview, you will need to list the skills and experience needed for the job. You should also think about what you have done that you could use as an example for each one.

Group interviews
You may be invited to be assessed as part of a group. This is to test how you might work as part of a team. Be prepared to take an active part in the discussion or task and put forward your ideas. Be confident but not aggressive.

Telephone interviews
Some employers may carry out a first interview over the phone. Be prepared for this when phoning employers by having your CV handy and reading through some sample questions. You can find an example of some questions you might be asked by following the link below.

Skills tests or work sample tests
These tests are designed to measure the level of your knowledge or understanding of the job. This could be a typing test for an office assistant or code review for web developers. Find out what the test will involve and try to practise before the interview.

Personality tests
You could be asked questions about your thoughts, feelings and behaviour in certain situations. There is no such thing as a right or wrong answer, as the overall picture is what is important. The end result is a personality rating used to see if the person fits the job advertised. Analysing these tests is a highly skilled process and larger organisations may use these tests along with other methods.

Aptitude tests
Aptitude tests are designed to predict how well you might do certain tasks. They test abilities such as:

  • reasoning with words, numbers or diagrams
  • problem solving
  • following instructions

These are usually set as a test paper that you have to finish within a set time. You can take practice tests to try to improve your ability – search for them online.


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