Working interviews can take a variety of forms. For some industries, such as Veterinary Technology, it is common for the interview to consist of a portion in which the candidate will apply skills and experience to the working environment and then be reviewed for performance. Other forms may consist of a company/office tour, when the candidate may meet staff at the company, learn about any expansion that may have happened, and get to know the facility in which they may be working in. Other forms of working interviews may require a presentation on a topic relevant to the position or another demonstration of a required skill set for the position.
Working interviews are commonly used to see how the candidate will fit into the company culture, as well as to “test out” the person before offering the position. For teaching positions or those that require presenting in front of audiences, an employer may request a mock presentation and give information about the content that should be the subject. For positions when they are actually requesting a sample of your work or a demonstration of various tasks, they are quite literally testing your performance in those moments. It is still extremely important to maintain professionalism, ask insightful questions, and demonstrate confidence in your abilities.
Tips for navigating Working Interviews:
- If the presentation will include a presentation, it is perfectly acceptable to ask for the subject and any clarification if you are unsure of what is being asked of you. It is also fine to ask about the number of people will be in your audience to help you mentally prepare and tailor the content or delivery method if necessary.
- If an employer tells you a portion of the interview will be a working portion, make sure you know if there will be a change of shoe or attire requirement based on the requirements of the work environment. If there are particular skills that you can anticipate they will ask you to demonstrate, practice and conduct mock scenarios if and when possible.
- When a tour portion is included, it is important to remember that everyone that you encounter on that tour should be treated with the same level of respect and as professionally as the interviewer(s). If the work environments are rather casual, it can also be easier to let you guard down but you want to be sure that you are keeping in mind that the entire tour is a part of the official interview.
- Also regarding tours, some employers may make the tour or portions of it optional. It is important to demonstrate genuine interest in the company, culture, and position. Accept these opportunities if your schedule allows.