Types of Job Interviews

Recruiters use many types of job interviews. Knowing the various types of job interviews used in the hiring process improves a job seeker’s interview success for two reasons. First, interviewees can prepare for the various interview types and second, interviewees could know the likelihood of having a certain style of interviewing given the vacancy. Because of the Coronavirus pandemic, more organizations are using meeting technologies such as Zoom to conduct interviews. This technology allows any of these types of job interviews to happen virtually.

Assessment Center Interviews

Recruiters use Assessment Center interviews to evaluate work behaviors and job skills of potential employees. Here, interviewers simulate work scenarios to observe interviewee actions. In an example work scenario, a Graphic Artist uses a design prompt to draft a brochure in thirty minutes. When that is complete, the interviewer questions the candidate about their design choices. These responses and the draft are then used in the final assessment of interview performance.

Behavioral Style Interviews

Behavioral Style Interviews are popular in structured corporate work environments. Users of behavioral interviews believe that past behaviors are the best indicators of future behavior. Using the behavioral format for questions, recruiters focus on the past actions of interviewee’s. Then recruiters listen for answers that show desired behaviors, prior knowledge, relevant skills and work abilities. The questions asked require answers with very specific examples of real behavior.

The interviewer uses these answers about past behaviors to make assumptions about future behavior of the interviewee. This type of interview requires detailed responses. This is a sample behavioral question: Tell me about a time you disagreed with your supervisor? Whether or not interviewers use behavioral questions, interviewees should focus answers on specific experiences.

Chat (Ro)Bot Interviews

These types of job interviews are new and has interviewees interfacing with robots. These robots are called Chatbots.  You could be communicating via email with a Chatbot to schedule your interview. The scheduled interview could be with a person or with another Chatbot. These Chatbots are similar to artificial intelligence tools like Siri, Alexa and Cortana. Because this is new, the rules are not yet clear for these types of interviews.  Our advice is to be authentic and respond fully. Read more on this new trend here – Just How Friendly and Unbiased can an Interview Bot Really Be?

Case Interviews

Case interviews are used a lot in business and science disciplines. Here, job applicants are given a challenge or  business problems to solve. Consulting firms are knows to use this interview approach. In the meeting, interviewees get data and information. The data could include fiscal or operations information and a narrative about a sequence of events. Some or all of the information could be pertinent to decisions needed made by the company. The case interview is a good way to see skills like data analysis, strategic planning or decision making.

Competency Based Interviews

These types of interviews require answers that show how a specific competency (skills) has been used. An example of a competency based question is: Tell me about how you handled an irate customer who asked to speak with your supervisor? The specific competency being evaluated would be customer service. Therefore the answer should demonstrate a certain level of mastery of that competency. These are similar to behavioral based interviews.

Group Interviews

Many people participate in group interviews. These interviews could include one candidate and multiple interviewers or multiple interviewers with groups of applicants. Retail and the airline industry have used this interview type successfully. One challenge for candidates is  how to stand out among applicants and how to be memorable with many people interviewing you. Here, interviewees worry about hogging the attention in a conceited way. From the group interview, the recruiter will select a smaller pool of applicants for further interviews.

Illegal Interviews

Many times interviewees do not know which questions are illegal and give answers anyway. Interview questions should be related to the job and should not be about an interviewee’s personal life.

Informational Interviews

These interviews are not screening interviews by a recruiter for a company to fill a vacancy. These types of interviews are used by job seekers or anyone who is curious about a day-in-the-life of a certain career professional.  Informational interviews are a great career planning research technique to use in a job search to get insight into a profession or industry.

Job Interviews

This is a formal or informal meeting for job seekers and recruiters to discuss qualifications.

Panel Interviews

The panel interview is a specific type of group interview. Tag-team interview or team interview are other names for panel interviews. In this approach one interviewee meets with a panel or a group of interviewers. The panel of interviewers could include a potential hiring manager and a HR staff member.

Video Interviews

SKYPE or FaceTime are just two examples of free voice over internet services that have revolutionized the video interview process. Zoom and Microsoft Teams are two other types of technology that allow for video interviews. These technologies allow interviewers to add new dimensions to the telephone interview. Companies use this method to reduce time and travel costs for potential job applicants.

Stress Interview

Interviewees undergo psychological stress in this type of interview. The purpose of this type of interview is to see how candidates behave in stressful situations. Air Traffic Controllers are one group of employees who would have to participate in stress interviews.


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