18 Common Interview Types and How to Ace Each One
By Indeed Editorial Team
Updated October 24, 2022
Published June 21, 2021
The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.
Employers use interviews to learn more about candidates and choose the best people to join their organizations. During an interview, you'll need to answer a series of questions to prove your competency and tell the interviewer more about your experiences related to the role. In this article, we explore 18 common interview types and discuss what you can expect in these environments to prepare you for any situation.
18 common types of interviews
There are several types of interview environments, and you need to know what to expect to succeed. This list prepares you for any type of interview and will give you the confidence to impress your potential employers:
1. Traditional interview
In a traditional interview, you meet with another person to discuss your credentials. This person is usually a manager, a supervisor, or the owner of the business. People typically hold traditional interviews in an office at the company. This interview style is formal, and the interviewer will ask questions about your education, experience, and skills.
Along with persuading the interviewer that you're a good fit for the position, you can show your enthusiasm for the role by asking some intelligent questions. Before your interview, research the company and prepare a couple of questions that show your knowledge of the industry and the organization.
2. Panel interview
In a panel interview, more than one person interviews you. This style is typical for positions that involve working as part of a team. In this case, your potential supervisor or team leader will be a part of the panel. Employers often want to involve their upper management in the hiring process to allow them to express their opinions and choose the right candidate.
When you answer questions in this interview environment, direct your statements to the panel member who asked. However, occasionally making eye contact with the other interviewers throughout your response is polite. Try to learn about each interviewer and their positions before the interview starts, and bring enough business cards and paper copies of your resume for every panel member.
3. Group interview
In this type of interview, the company invites several people to one interview and speaks to every candidate at once. Always be polite and professional when speaking to the other candidates. To stand out among your competition, listen carefully to their responses so you can think of a unique answer when it's your turn.
4. Phone interview
Hiring managers and recruiters often use phone interviews to screen a pool of candidates. During this interview, they may ask you to tell them a little about yourself and why you applied for the job. If they feel that you're a good fit, they'll invite you to come to the business for a traditional interview. However, if you're applying to a remote position, a phone interview could be your only interview before they decide.
During your phone interview, find a quiet place free of distractions so you can focus on giving excellent answers.
5. Video interview
Online interviews using video calls are now easier to take part in than ever before, and many remote employers use them to get a better impression of candidates than they could with just a phone call. You should sit in front of a tidy, neutral backdrop to encourage the interviewer to focus on you and not your home's decor. Dress professionally, the same way you would for an in-person interview. Make sure that the lighting is flattering and that you've chosen a good camera angle.
If possible, take part in a video call with a friend to test the software and equipment you need. That way, you can avoid technical difficulties while speaking to your interviewer.
Read More: How to Succeed in a Virtual Interview
6. Restaurant or off-site interview
An employer could invite you to talk over a meal or coffee at a nearby restaurant. Other managers or colleagues sometimes attend this style of an interview as well. Even though the atmosphere at a restaurant or coffee shop is more casual than in an office, treat the interview professionally. When you order food, choose something easy to eat while having a conversation. It's a good idea to order something similar to what the interviewer orders.
7. Stress interview
Employers sometimes use stress interviews to fill high-stress positions. The interviewer asks unusual questions instead of ones about your relevant background and experience. They may ask you to solve puzzles, react to hypothetical situations, or complete unusual tasks. This kind of interview gives the interviewer a better idea of how you would perform in a stressful situation. To do well in a stressful interview, stay calm and take your time when answering questions.
8. Case interview
During a case interview, the interviewer will ask you to analyze and solve a challenging business situation. They typically base the cases on real-life scenarios that happened at the company in the past. A case interview lets your potential employers see how you would solve common problems that occur at work. To complete a case study, take your time and read the instructions carefully to solve the problem correctly.
9. Job fair interview
Companies send representatives and recruiters to job fairs to talk to attendees about open positions. They also collect resumes to review later. Print many copies of your resume before a job fair so you can pass them out to everyone you speak to. When you talk to a representative at a business's booth, treat the encounter like a miniature interview.
Be ready to tell people about yourself and why you're interested in their company. Also, take advantage of this opportunity to ask questions and learn more about the organization. Ask for business cards from the people you speak with and follow up with a thank you email after the job fair. In the email, ask them about the next steps in the hiring process.
Read More: Job Interview Thank-You Letters
10. On-the-job interview
At an on-the-job or working interview, you'll need to complete tasks that are a routine part of the job. The interviewer may ask you to work for an hour or two to get an accurate idea of your work ethic and skill set. For this type of interview, do some research and prepare to perform tasks related to the role.
11. Behavioural interview
Behavioural interview questions assess how you would act in a certain situation by asking for examples of similar experiences. To tell a story that's entertaining and easy to follow, use the STAR interview response method. STAR stands for Situation, Task, Action, and Result. The Situation is the background or context of the story, and the Task is your responsibility at the time. The Action is the way you handled the situation, and the Result is how you resolved the problem and the benefit of your actions.
12. Competency-based interview
During a competency-based interview, the interviewer asks questions about your skills and experiences related to the role. Before this type of interview, read the job description carefully and emphasize your skills that match the description.
13. Final interview
A final interview is the last step of the interview process before a company hires you. It happens after one or more preliminary interviews, and you'll be likely to speak with the owner, CEO, or another high-level executive. Before this interview, consider what you discussed in your previous interviews, and provide additional insight or clarification if needed. Do your best to remind interviewers about your skills and experience.
14. Informational interview
In an informational interview, you'll meet with someone at a company to learn more about the organization's job opportunities, the work culture, and the industry. Many people starting their careers use informational interviews to learn more about their options. Before an informational interview, prepare a list of questions for the interviewer and do some research about the company.
15. Mock interview
A mock interview is a practice interview that can help you improve your interviewing skills and get useful feedback. To prepare for a real interview, do mock interviews with friends, family members, counsellors, or mentors and apply the feedback you receive from each one.
16. On-the-spot interview
Sometimes, an employer wants to interview you right away after you turn in an application. An on-the-spot interview lets employers decide whether you're a suitable candidate for a role quickly. To prepare for this kind of interview, read the job description carefully before applying and think about ways to describe your qualifications. Be prepared for this possibility if you're handing out resumes in person.
17. Unstructured interview
In an unstructured interview, the interviewer asks a series of unrelated questions. They may have a few questions prepared, but most of them are thought of on the spot and are different for each person. This kind of interview is relatively casual, but it's still important to act professionally, just as you would in any other formal interview.
18. Structured interview
In a structured interview, interviewers ask each candidate the same list of questions. This makes comparing responses easier for interviewers. You can get ready for a structured interview by thinking about the most relevant skills for the role and preparing answers to common interview questions.
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