Role-Play Interviews and Exercises: How to Succeed

You may be nervous if you’re invited to attend a role-play interview and wonder what this type of employment selection process entails.

Our experts at Interview Skills Consulting have the following tips to help you ace your first role-play interview and get the job you want.

Role play exercise interview

1.  Research and Preparation

Research and preparation is key to any successful interview, and role-plays are no different. If you’re fairly new to the job market, you will need to research your potential employer and discover exactly what the job will entail.

2.  Types of Role-Play Interviews

When you understand exactly what your job role will be, and where it fits into the organisation structure, you can begin to think about the types of role-plays in which you may be asked to participate. Many role-play interviews are for sales or customer focused jobs, though you may also take part in an e-tray or in-tray exercise to see how you would cope with routine daily tasks in the job.

Alternatively, you may take part in group role-plays where each group member is allocated a different role within a team and has to improvise throughout this mocked up scenario.

Within the sales/marketing/customer service type of role-play interview, your interviewer may take the part of a customer who has issues with certain aspects of customer service or products supplied, and you may play the role of the employee having to deal with any problem. When you’ve prepared thoroughly for your role-play interview you will have developed understanding of the job and some knowledge of the ways in which products are marketed and sold. This knowledge will assist in helping you slip into the sales/marketing/customer service role during your interview.

When you’ve prepared thoroughly for your role-play interview you will have developed understanding of the job and some knowledge of the ways in which products are marketed and sold. This knowledge will assist in helping you slip into the sales/marketing/customer service role during your interview.

E-tray/in-tray role plays will involve your interviewer allocating some work tasks to see how you cope with prioritising and handling the potential workload in this job. Again, thorough preparation and detailed job knowledge acquired before your interview helps you assess typical work priorities and handle the role-play situation.

3. Success at Role-Play Interviews

Confidence and acting naturally is key to successful role-play interviews. Of course, when you are fully prepared for the types of questions likely to be thrown at you in the interview you will be most of the way towards getting that dream job. Follow these simple tips:

  • Put yourself into the role you are playing by acting as natural as possible, even if you have not worked in a job like this in the past. Try to use examples from your life to assist in any competency-based situations with which you are confronted;
  • Make the most of any time before your role-play to think about the ways in which your character would fit into the organisation’s structure and the types of problems they would encounter;
  • During group role-plays do your best to ensure team members remain true to their character and support other members of your team as much as possible.

Our interviews professionals at Interview Skills Consulting can help you achieve success in any type of interview. Contact us to learn all the ways we can support you in your hunt for the perfect job and how our interview coaching can give you the skills you need to shine in any interview situation. 

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