Popular Interview Structure Used by Each Industry

In this article, we'll explain how competencies-based interviews are used in different industries and provide tips on how to effectively prepare for them.

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So, you’ve landed an interview, congratulations!

Well, to make sure you're as ready as ever, it pays to understand what type of interview structure is popular within each industry.

In this blog post, we'll explain how competencies-based interviews are used in different industries and provide tips on how to effectively prepare for them so that you can ace any upcoming job conversations.

So, let's dive deeper into these structures and learn how to ace your next interview!

Competencies Based Structured Interviews - Overview

Ready to grow your career by taking the next step on your career path?

But wait, you're told it's a competencies-based interview. What is that exactly?

Well, a competencies-based interview is commonly used across many industries. It is designed to evaluate your qualifications, skills, behaviours, and experiences relevant to the job.

Employers look for specific competencies that are essential for the job, and your performance is evaluated against those needs of the company.

So, how can you prepare for this kind of interview?

First, research the competencies required for the job and think about examples from your past experiences that showcase those professional skills you put on your CV.

Also, review the job description and be ready to provide specific examples of how you've demonstrated those competencies in your past work, volunteer, or academic experiences. Remember, the key is to show rather than tell.

So, breathe, relax and let your experiences do the talking. Good luck!

Structured Interview Format for Different Industries

When it comes to interviews, different industries may require a unique approach. Here's a brief overview of the interview structures commonly used in various industries:

• Engineering & Technology: This industry tends to focus on technical skills and abilities so expect behavioural and competency-based questions during your interview structure.

• Finance & Accounting: You will likely be asked questions related to financial analysis, problem solving and technical abilities.

• Healthcare: Interviews in this area tend to focus on topics such as clinical competencies, patient care, and teamwork.

• Education: The hiring process in this industry generally consists of competency-based interviews, panel discussions, and demonstrations. Job seekers in education should expect competency-based interviews that assess areas such as communication, problem-solving, and critical thinking abilities.

• Government & Public Sector: In this area, you can expect to face behavioural and situational questions designed to evaluate your knowledge and skills related to the job. The interview process may also include group activities in addition to the standard one-on-one interview.

• Retail: Interview structure for retail positions usually include a combination of behavioural questions and competency-based questions related to customer service, sales strategies and operations.

• Marketing & Advertising: Interview structure for positions in this field often include both behavioural and situational questions related to topics such as data analysis, creativity, and customer service.

• PR & Communications: Interviews for these positions may include behavioural questions about written and verbal communication, as well as competency-based questions related to industry knowledge.

• Construction & Building: Expect competency-based and behavioural questions related to problem solving, decision making, and technical skills. Interview structure used by hiring managers may also include simulations and practical tests.

• Energy & Resources: Job seekers in this field should expect both behavioural and competency-based questions related to safety protocols, time management, and industry knowledge.

• Law: Interview structure in the legal field may involve behavioural and competency-based questions about critical thinking, problem solving, and communication.

• Aerospace & Aviation: Interview structure used by hiring managers in this field may include both behavioural and competency-based questions about safety protocols, technical knowledge, and customer service.

• Recruitment & HR: Expect questions related to recruitment strategies, interviewing techniques, and problem-solving abilities. The interviewer also asks for examples of how you have successfully implemented changes to enhance the recruitment process and how you have built effective relationships with other departments.

• Agrifood: A competency-based interview structure will likely include questions that focus on how you have handled specific situations in the past. For example, an interviewer might ask about a time you solved a problem or managed a conflict with colleagues. The interviewer is looking to understand how you approach work and gauge your experience level.

• Real Estate: If you're interviewing for a real estate role, the interviewer is likely to cover several key competencies including customer service skills, sales knowledge and negotiation abilities. They may ask questions about your ability to analyse data, problem solve and comprehend complex legal concepts.

Hopefully this short overview of interview structures gives you an idea of what to expect and how to prepare for your next job interview. No matter the industry, it's important to be prepared with examples that demonstrate your competencies and abilities.

Tips on How to Prepare for an Interview

So, you've landed an interview for your dream job. Congrats! It's time to prepare so you can nail it on the big day.

• First of all, do your research. Learn everything you can about the company, their mission, and what they're currently working on.
• Next, practise your responses to common interview questions. You don't want to be caught off guard with a question you don't know how to answer.
• Understand interview structure. Different industries may have a unique structured interview format so it's important to know what kind of questions you can expect and how the interviewer will evaluate your answers.
• Make sure you dress appropriately and arrive early. You don't want to be late or flustered because you're rushing.
• Finally, don't forget to bring extra copies of your CV and any relevant documents. Take a deep breath, remember that you got this, and go crush that interview!

Remember, if you're struggling with interviews, you can always seek the help of a mentor.

Typical Structured Interview Questions

Most competencies-based interview questions will follow this format: 'Can you give me an example of a time when you____?'

It's important to remember that the interviewer is looking for specific examples from your past. Here are some common competency-based questions and how to answer them:

• Describe a situation where you had to think outside the box.
• Describe a time when you had to juggle multiple projects.   
• Describe a time when you solved an unexpected problem.
• Tell me about a project that didn't go as planned and how you handled it.

To answer these questions, focus on your accomplishments and use the STAR method:

• Situation: Describe the situation you faced.
• Task: Describe the task you completed.
• Action: Explain the actions you took to complete the task.
• Result: Explain the results of your action and achievements that came from it.

Using this approach will ensure that you provide clear and specific examples that demonstrate your skills and abilities.

To Sum Up

Job seekers and career changers have many factors to consider when preparing for a job interview, but by being prepared, you will be setting yourself up for success.

Take a cue from the popular interview structures discussed in this article: no matter what sector or job role you're considering, it’s important to be confident in your prior knowledge of the given subject and make sure you outline your strengths and skills accordingly.

With these tips in mind, any job seeker or career changer can properly prepare themselves for an upcoming interview – and take the first step towards their dream job!

Author Bio

Katharine Gallagher is a qualified and experienced professional career coach and educator with a passion for building and growing businesses. With a Postgraduate Certificate in Careers Guidance Counseling and a Postgraduate Certificate in Education, along with 15 years of experience helping motivated people to skill up and find their right career path. You can find her here.

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