5 Types of Job Interviews

Published on 25 February 2010 by Jamie Mack in Interviewing


The Basics

A job interview is a chance for you and your potential employer to become acquainted.  Both the employer and the interviewee are trying to determine if the other is going to be a good fit.  It goes without saying that the interview process can be stressful, and you should do your homework on the industry and the potential employer well ahead of time, but it can also help to be aware of the types of interviews you might encounter.

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The Interview

There are aspects common to all types of interviews, however, and a smart job hunter will be prepared ahead of time.  Do you’re research on the position you’re applying for and find out as much as you can on the potential employer prior to the interview.  You may be asked about the company and it’s mission and you will likely win some points if you can show that you have some knowledge on what the company is all about. Not only does it show initiative, it proves that you know where to find information.

There are several standard questions that tend to show up in interviews across the board, and plenty of books on the market that help interviewees prepare for them, you might want to check one out.  Try to be ready for those questions, do practice interviews at home with a spouse or a friend.  Ask questions yourself.   Don’t let your interview turn into a one way conversation, you’ll find that most interviews go smoother when you have several well placed questions for the interviewer.

And as discussed in this post, be sure to follow up with the potential employer by writing thank you letters.  Not only does it show that you are courteous, it proves that you can follow through.

Some Job Interview Types

  1. The Traditional Interview – this is probably what everyone first thinks of when they are going for a job interview.  Generally the interviewee meets with one individual and the interview is conducted one-on-one.  Generally a broad range of questions will be asked, and success or failure will depend on one’s ability to communicate, and an impression of how they would fit into the work environment.
  2. Panel or Committee Interviews – these are also relatively common.  The candidate meets with several individuals associated with the potential position either in series, or all at once. Probably slightly more difficult than a one-one-one interview in that one will encounter several different personalities during the course of the interview.
  3. Behavioral Interviews – during a behavioral interview a candidate will likely be asked to demonstrate their knowledge and abilities using specific examples and/or stories from their past in order to gauge how the candidate responds to certain situations and how they handle themselves in general.
  4. Stress Interviewsare aggressive and confrontational.  Perhaps designed to see how applicants perform under pressure and to gauge character.   One should tread carefully if they are subjected to an interview of this type and ask themselves if this type of company would be an environment in which they could work.
  5. Screening Interview – an initial meeting or possibly the first segment in a traditional interview is usually quicker and can be used by the employer to eliminate as many candidates as possible.

Further Reading

This is just a handful of the several types of job interviews you might come across.   Read more here and here.   If you have an interesting interview story to relate, share it with us in the comments section!

4 Responses to “5 Types of Job Interviews”

  1. [...] little or no knowledge of the potential employer:  Mentioned in ourprevious post , you should always do some research on the company to which you are applying.  Learn about what [...]

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    RT @MSUAAJohn: This isn’t spelled out often…good info…5 types of job interviews [link to post]

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