There are 6 main types of job interviews employers use.
And there are some different tactics and preparation steps you should be using for each!
So in this article, we’re going to look at all 6 types of job interviews and tips for how to succeed!
Let’s get started
For most employers, this is the first type of job interview they’ll conduct in their process.
The goal of the phone screen is to determine if you can speak to the resume they have in front of them, particularly in terms of background, experience and qualifications for the role at hand.
While it’s always important to remain friendly, facts are key in this initial screen. Remember to answer the call from a quiet place, and be ready with areas of your resume that are perfectly aligned with the needs of the role and the company.
Along with questions about your qualifications and experience, you should also expect questions about your job search, what you’re looking for, reasons for wanting a new job, etc.
Overall, expect questions about why you’re job hunting and what you want in your next job.
Many employers also ask about your desired salary, too, so be ready for that!
Make sure to look on LinkedIn to see who your phone interview is with, also. If it’s an HR person or recruiter, expect more general questions (about your job search, motivation, etc.)
If it’s a hiring manager or more technical person, prepare for that type of question heavily as well!
Finally, prepare some good questions to ask the interviewer.
If your phone interview is with a recruiter, here’s an article on questions I recommend asking.
The face-to-face interview typically comes after the phone screen.
This is where the employer gauges if you are a cultural fit for the company, while also asking questions to confirm the phone screen findings. (Whether your skills and experience are a match, etc.)
Your end goal? Build rapport, show them you are a great culture fit and that you understand their pain loud and clear. Your best chance at success lies in remaining focused, responding to their questions, and not getting sidetracked.
This next type of job interview is sometimes conducted instead of a phone interview.
It’s also sometimes done after you pass your phone interview… instead of a face-to-face interview if you’re looking for a job in a new city or state.
They’ll still want to meet you face-to-face eventually in most cases, but they might do a phone interview followed by a video interview before deciding whether to fly you out for the final round.
In this type of job interview, the interviewer wants to evaluate if you are a good fit, and double check that you have the skills, experience and qualifications to perform well in the role.
From a content perspective, treat this like a face-to-face interview. Aim for a setting with good lighting (make sure your face isn’t drowned out) and a clean background (no clutter) and make sure the volume is working and is not too loud or too soft.
Practice looking at the camera (not the screen) so that it looks as if you are making eye contact, and be sure to close any applications and put your bells and whistles on mute so they don’t inadvertently go off during the conversation.
Practice your overall body language, too, just like you would for an in-person interview.
Lastly, prepare for worst case scenario (technical difficulties) by keeping your phone on hand in case you need to call should the video connection fail.
Group or panel interviews can be stressful because you are often interviewed simultaneously by several members of the company.
It’s not easy, but try to maintain eye contact with whichever person is firing the question. However, when it comes to responding or returning with a question of your own, make eye contact with everyone, just like you might do while giving a presentation to a crowd.
Overall, treat this like any face-to-face interview but prepare more questions to ask, since you’ll be meeting with multiple people at the same time.
Panel interviews are a great time-saver and can allow a company to conduct more interview and less time. They’re becoming more and more common, so make sure you’re ready for this interview format.
As a final tip – before you leave the panel interview, ask for business cards from ALL so you can draft those thank you letters. Having business cards will also come in handy if you don’t hear feedback for a week or two and need to follow-up with the employer.
This is relatively new compared with other types of job interviews.
Digital interviewing allows a company to select questions and have voice-recognition software read them to the candidate, who sits in front of a camera recording the whole thing. A very high-tech format — data and cognitive fit analytics are also brought into the mix and are used to score the candidate.
In addition to freeing up recruiter and hiring manager time, digital interviewing is heralded by many as a tool that levels the playing field and eliminates human bias when it comes to diversity, inclusiveness and fairness.
To prepare for this type of interview, make sure to place the camera slightly above your face so you are looking up to avoid the appearance of having 2 chins. Just like the online interview, pick an area that is free of distractions and clutter. Stick with short answers, and be sure to appear enthusiastic – not flat – by fluctuating your tone, and by smiling.
Different interview types call for different game plans – from the types and length of your responses to your level of preparation. Understanding the reasoning or end goal behind each format, and preparing accordingly, will give you your best chance at interview success.
Coffee pullups in many instances have taken the place of the first formal, in-office meeting.
Chatting over coffee is not uncommon with recruiters juggling many open roles, or hiring managers what no they have a gap to fill but haven’t gotten around to an official job description or posting just yet.
So how should you prepare for this interview type? Even though the venue is casual, be sure to do your due diligence and research the company and the industry.
Be prepared with an elevator speech that spells out how you are perfect for any potential role.
Dress in business casual, (Here’s an article on what to wear to an interview) and bring several copies of a printed resume. You never know when you’ll need an extra copy or two and it’s better to be over-prepared for this type of interview.
Finally, bring a pen and paper for taking notes. You never want to stare down at the page during your interview, but it’s okay to spend 5-10% of your time jotting notes. Just ask the interviewer beforehand if it’s okay to bring it in. (I like to ask right after shaking their hand. You can say, “I brought a pen and paper to take notes. Is it alright if I bring this in with us?”)
They’ll say yes 99% of the time.
If you want more interview tips like this, read this article.
And if you have a question on any of the 6 types of interviews we covered above, feel free to leave a question in the comments below!
About this guest author:
In need of some career advice, a refreshed resume or rebranded LinkedIn? As the founder and chief writer at Virginia Franco Resumes, I offer customized executive resume and LinkedIn profile writing services for the 21st century job seeker. I would be happy to chat!