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8 Interview Types

There are 8 common types of interviews, each of which may be conducted in different ways. You may even find that employers combine several types for one interview, which is why it is it helpful to be familiar with each type.

If you have an upcoming job interview, or frequently feel nervous before or during a job interview, a one to one appointment for 'Mock Interviews and Interview Tips' is available with a Career Consultant at the Career Centre.

Behavioral Interview

The behavioral interview focuses on who you are and your personality, not your technical ability. It uses a variety of behavioral questions, situational questions and role play in order to explore your personality and decision making abilities.

Formal Interview

This is the standard interview that most candidates expect. Each formal interview is different; however there is usually a pre-designed structure that is followed. Some employers will use a score sheet, while others will keep a record of you in other ways, ranging from their own informal notes to just using their memory.

Group Interview

The group interview is when you and other candidates are interviewed at the same time. Employers may have you sit together and answer the questions one at a time, or you may be asked to interact with the other candidates by doing some form of activity. If this is the case, make sure you fully participate as your teamwork skills may be evaluated.

Informal Interview

The informal interview may seem to lack a structure. Being taken out to a restaurant or served food at the employer’s office is common. It is designed to really assess your social skills and allow the employer see if they would like to work closely with you on a daily basis.

Multiple Mini and Distance Interviews

A multiple mini interview is a growing trend in which employers will have you log onto their website and be recorded over a webcam answering questions. In some cases, you will have very little time to respond to the questions as you are recorded, and will only have one chance to answer. There is no employer interaction in this interview, just your recorded answers.

The distance interview is usually done over a webcam, saving the employer money by not having to bring you to their location. It is conducted like a formal interview, except that it is online. Make sure to dress appropriately and eliminate all forms of distraction from where you are conducting the interview.

Panel Interview

The panel interview is designed to gain multiple perspectives on you at once by using more than one interviewer (generally 3 or more interviewers). The structure is is usually similar to the formal interview, just with more interviewers. Make sure you acknowledge and address all members of the panel.

Stress Interview

This interview may “put you on the spot”. This is usually done through some form of testing such as a literal question-and-answer test, role play, on-the-spot presentation or other activity.

Telephone Screening Interview

This type of interview is usually a pre-screening before the face to face meeting. Typically there is no warning for this type of interview, however employers will sometimes schedule the phone call in advance. An unscheduled interview is usually brief, ranging from 5–15 minutes, whereas a pre-scheduled interview can last much longer.

Employers will usually choose to conduct telephone interviews as a cost saving measure, and the interview may be conducted by Human Resources, a hiring manager or a third party recruiter. You can expect to be asked typical interview questions. Ensure you keep a record of all job applications so that you can refer back to the original job posting information when you are contacted.

Additionally, be careful of using a cell phone for these interviews as the signal can be unreliable. If possible, use a landline.

For more tips, read: 'Interviewing & the Job Offer' on pages 48 - 60 in CAREER COMPASS

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