In order to get the best out of any interview, employers will have prepared thoroughly. Once they have shortlisted candidates and decided on the interview date, they should have tried to find a good location (a quiet room free of interruptions & suitable for all candidate’s needs).
For bigger companies, good practice states that two managers (employer/department & team manager) and an HR representative are present at interviews. This is to minimise any bias and provide protection against any discrimination claims that the candidate could make from a one-to-one interview. Obviously the size and the resources of the organisation will have a bearing on who actually interviews e.g. smaller companies/businesses may only have one person who can interview candidates.
Be aware that when employers use two or more interviewers, they may have agreed in advance who should ask which questions. This may mean your head turns from interviewer to interviewer.
When selecting interview questions, the interviewers will have made themselves familiar with the application forms or CVs, job description and person specification. To avoid discrimination and to assist the interviewers in making an informed and fair decision, they will be asking the same questions of each candidate; however, individualised questions may be needed during the interview to follow up on particular answers or circumstances. This is perfectly acceptable as long as the questions relate to your suitability for the job and do not stray into irrelevant personal details.
Most questions used will be based on the Job Description and Person Specification (job role) which they initially based their short list on, so make sure you have a good grasp of the detail contained within each of these documents (if supplied to you) so that you can prepare to tailor your answers appropriately.
In order to encourage individuals to talk, interviewers often use open questions which cannot be answered with ‘yes’ or ‘no’ and often begin with ‘what’, ‘why’, ‘how’ or ‘when’. So be prepared to do the lion’s share of the talking! Incidentally, good interviewing practice has it that candidates do 80 percent of the talking and the interviewer’s only 20 percent. They will be looking for candidates to evidence their response with specific examples to assess their skills, achievements & experiences.