No! In short there are many different types of interview technique and each company will have a preference.
Some organisations have a HR department who will interview candidates in the first instance, whereas some applicants will get to meet the person they will be working with straight away.
The process itself varies greatly between companies and whilst some will make a decision quickly, after one interview, with others you will be required to go through as many as 4 stages before a decision is made.
What is important, is that you remain in contact with your agency throughout and don’t become disheartened if the process takes a long time, this is simply a way of doing things which has proved useful to the employer.
Types Of Interview
Informal: This is often used as a first stage interview ‘style’ and is used to get an overall idea of what you’ve done and where you want to go with your career.
Although this is more of a ‘getting to know you’ meeting, it is important that you approach this as you would any other interview in terms of answering questions (see interview prep).
You will only usually meet one person.
Panel Interview: A panel interview is when you meet with 2 or more people who work together to make the decision about a candidate’s suitability. Usually each interviewer will focus on a particular competency (see below) so you will be asked to answer a wide range of questions.
Facing several people at once can feel intimidating, but remember their job is simply to give you the best opportunity to showcase your experience and they are working on the premise that 2 heads are better than one!
Make sure that you start by answering the person who has asked the question, but continue by speaking openly to the group as a whole.
Assessment Centre: This is when lots of candidates are asked to attend for interview at the same time. This usually takes place when a company is recruiting for lots of positions and can involve a variety of tasks.
These can include psychometric testing, competency-based interviews, problem solving tasks, presentations and/or tests. You should be informed of the type of activity taking place beforehand.
This type of process is more common in sales and customer service recruitment.
Competency-based Interviews: This type of interview focuses on what you are actually able to do and asks you to give examples of when you have demonstrated a particular competency (ability).
It is not necessary to know that the interviewer is following this method of questioning, but what is important is that you give specific examples of things you have done rather than speaking generally.
If you are asked for an example, be sure to give one.