Advance preparation for an interview is the key to securing the job you want and it is best to find out as much as you can about the interview you will be attending. Interviews occur for selected candidates after the recruiter has read the application forms, CVs and covering letters sent by all the applicants. Employers will usually confirm details of an interview in writing, including requests for any documents to be brought along on the day.
It is becoming more common for recruiters to carry out an initial screening interview by telephone. This is an advantage for the company if there is a large amount of applicants to process. The interviewer will be able to learn more about their experiences, motivations and weed out those who are unsuitable. In addition, a telephone interview keeps costs down for employers and interviewees as there is no travelling involved.
In-person interviews for selected candidates, after initial screening, may be singular or in a series and may take different forms depending on the job involved. For example, competency interviews are structured so you can give evidence of your skills and abilities, backed up by examples of previous experience. If you have applied for a job that requires technical knowledge, you may be asked to discuss your knowledge in-depth with the interviewing panel.
If the job is one that involves the creative media, such as publishing, you may be asked to bring along your portfolio and discuss your work. In case-study interviews, you could be asked to make a presentation about solving a problematic scenario. The interviewers will be looking at how you identify key concerns and how you react under stress.
If you have a disability you need to inform the interviewers, who should make reasonable adjustments to make sure you are not disadvantaged. You may need to inform them of particular arrangements, for example, a ramp for a wheelchair or the provision of a signing interpreter.
If you have not been selected for interview or chosen for a job, you are entitled to ask for further feedback, including the interview notes. An employer is legally obliged not to reject a candidate on discriminatory grounds. If you think you have been discriminated against during an interview process, you may consider an Employment Tribunal claim. If this is the case, you should take expert advice from an employment solicitor.