How To Approach Different Types Of Job Interviews

Posted by The Editors on February 5, 2013
How To Approach Different Types Of Job Interviews

You scored the job interview — awesome! But you’ve been asked to come in for an interview format you’re not familiar with. Although the one-on-one job interview is the most common type of interview, there are many other formats to gauge your skill set and fit for the job.

Here are just a few types of job interviews you might run into and how to approach each:

1.  The Informational Interview

An informational interview is conducted solely to learn more about a company, job, industry, or even a person. It’s typically used to generate information, grow your network, and possibly garner a job interview in the future.

How to approach an informational interview: Approach an informational interview as you normally would — do your research on the person you’re meeting and the company they represent. Come prepared with some discussion points and questions ready. But don’t forget: this is only an informational interview, so don’t be too pushy about getting a job.


2.  The Telephone Interview

A telephone interview (or “phone screen”) is typically used as the first round of screening for a job opening. These types of interviews often involve behavioral questions and last 10 to 30 minutes depending on the hiring manager’s needs. Phone interviews are usually pre-scheduled, but not always.


How to approach a telephone interview: Find a quiet spot to conduct your interview — background noise and static can be distracting! But the nice thing about telephone interviews is you can have your notes and resume right in front of you! Don’t forget, though, that the interviewer can’t see you through the phone, so your answers need to be clear and compelling.


3.  The Video Interview

Video interviews are becoming more common for busy employers and are conducted in one of two ways: in real-time via Skype or video conferencing software or recorded and sent to the company using video interview software such as Spark Hire.

How to approach a video interview: Video interviews can seem daunting to job seekers, but prepare for them as usual. Be early, wear professional attire, and research yourself and the company prior to the interview. If you’re having any trouble with software or technology, don’t hesitate to ask for assistance.


4.  The Panel Interview

In a panel interview, the job seeker is interviewed by several people at once — hence the name “panel” interview. The panel will likely be comprised of a variety of employees, such as the hiring manager, your prospective direct manager, and other involved parties. Panel interviews are known to be very intimidating, but relax! If you’re prepared, it should be a piece of cake.

How to approach a panel interview: You’ll have a variety of questions coming at you during a panel interview. Stay cool and collected by taking one question at time and make eye contact when answering each question.


5.  The Group Interview

In a group interview, employers invite several job candidates to partake in the same interviewing session. This style of interviewing allows the interviewer to quickly separate the best candidates from the mediocre.

How to approach a group interview: Like any other interview, you want to prepare and follow up in the same way. But during your group interview, make sure your voice is heard but not overbearing. You want to make sure you can be seen as part of the team and not a complete scene-stealer! Focus on sharing specific details and skills, and avoid being vague.


6.  The Testing Interview

Testing interviews are used to demonstrate a job candidates creative or analytical skills pertaining to the job. Sometimes you’ll be given a writing test or even a word problem to show how you would handle a certain situation.

How to approach a testing interview: Although the interviewer wants to ensure you’re qualified for the job, they also want to see how you work under pressure. So take a deep breathe and give it your best.


7.  The Second Interview

Possibly the most intimidating type of job interview, the second interview is used for the top job candidates. If you’re called in for a second interview, you’re likely in the top running for the job. This means more specific interview questions will be asked and you might meet new people. You might also receive a tour of the building or department.

How to approach a second interview: During a second interview, interviewers want to know exactly how your skills and abilities translate into what the company is seeking in a new hire. Consider the questions asked in your first job interview and how you answered them. Was anything left unanswered? Try to anticipate new questions and practice your answers.

What type of interview have you found to be the most difficult or intimidating?

For this post, WetFeet thanks our friends at Come Recommended.

About the Author:  Kristen Wishon holds an M.S. and B.S. in journalism with a concentration in public relations and a minor in art history from West Virginia University (WVU). Prior to joining Come Recommended, Kristen gained public relations, editorial and promotional writing, and social media experience through several health & pharmacy-focused internships in West Virginia.


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