Different Types of Job Interviews and How to Prepare for Them

You passed the employment exam. You are shortlisted. Then now what?

It’s time for the next step where the employer will ask you for an interview. But before you go there, you should know that there are several types of job interviews. It is best to ask the recruiter what kind of interview you are having but most likely, they will inform you ahead of time. However, it’s still best to come prepared on unexpected cases.

Here, we have rounded up a list of type of job interviews and what you should know about them. Let this guide help you ace the interview.

The traditional interview

This is the most common type of interview. In this scenario, you will be interviewed by one person only—either the human resource personnel or the head of the position you are applying for. This is where the interviewer asks you a series of questions to help him figure out if you are a great candidate for the job.

You may be asked questions about your resume, what you can offer to the company or position. Expect questions such as “What makes you qualified for the job?” or “Tell me about yourself.”

Phone interview

Usually, phone interviews are the first part of the interview process and most people consider this as the toughest type of interview. Since there’s no appearance required, your only chance to impress the interviewer is with your answers. It doesn’t have to be daunting; in fact, you can use the invisibility to your advantage, say, by taking down notes and doing gestures to express your answers well.

Before the phone interview, make sure your phone is full-charged or have a charger beside you just in case the interview goes well that your battery starts to run down. Also, don’t answer immediately especially if the interviewer isn’t done talking, yet. Wait at least a second before answering.

Lastly, speak clearly. When an applicant gets nervous, the tendency is that he talks fast like he’s in a race. You don’t have to rush, take it slow. It’s okay talk fast but make sure that it is clear and the other end understands you.

Skype interview

It’s like a phone interview but is taken to the next level. Skype interview is becoming a regular part of the hiring process for many companies. To ace the video screening, you must come in prepared just like in a traditional interview.

Dress professionally like you’re going to a business meeting. Give the right amount of gestures and body language, enough to show you’re engaged and interested at the conversation. If possible, invest on HD camera and high-quality mic. Lastly, make sure that you are in a safe corner. Meaning, no open doors that will allow anything or anyone enters the room that could lead to distractions.

Panel interview

Here, you will be interviewed by a panel which mostly consists of the representatives from the human resources, management and the team of the position you are applying for. Panel interviews are done to save time and/or get a collective opinion of the group about the applicant.

Before going to a panel interview, make sure you know the panel members and their respective positions. That way, you can prepare for the possible questions. Anticipate questions that are relevant to the members’ positions.

Group interview

This interview is conducted to immediately prescreen candidates. A group interview usually begins with a short briefing about the company. After that, the recruiter may speak to each candidate individually and ask them a few questions.

One of the most important things the employer is observing during a group interview is how you interact with the other candidates.

They will evaluate your work personality—are you more of a leader or are you more likely to complete tasks that are asked of you? Neither is necessarily better than the other, it just depends on what type of personality works best for the position that needs to be filled.

Lunch interview

Bagged an interview over a meal? You’re in good luck because that means, the employer wants to learn more about you and how you act outside the office. There are cases that several members of the team will be with you during a lunch interview. This is their way to know if you can fit in with the group.

Although you are being treated to a meal, don’t ever take advantage of the free meal. Don’t order something that is too expensive or messy to eat. Safe move you can do is to take the lead from your interviewers. Casually ask their recommendations because it will give you a sense of an appropriate price range. If not, try to have your interviewer order first and choose something at that price point or less. Also, keep in mind the table manners at all times.

An interview spent sharing a meal with your potential employers is typically more of a conversation than a Q and A format. This is also a great time to ask any questions you may have about the company and the position as well, so make sure you prepare your questions in advance.

Now, you have an idea of the different types of job interviews. No matter what type you land in, make sure to always come prepared, be confident and show the best of who you are.

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