Types of Interviews

Informational Interview

The object of this type of interview is to talk to experts in a particular field, employers or job contacts in order to become more knowledgeable and informed. In addition, you will also be making networking contacts.

Traditional Face-to-Face Interview

This is the most common type of interview that includes a face-to-face exchange at an organization’s office. Focus on the person asking questions. Maintain eye contact, listen and respond once the question is asked. Your goal is to establish a rapport with the interviewer and show them how your qualifications will benefit their organization.

Skype/Webcam Interviews

Virtual interviews are becoming more common as the cost of travel rises and technology becomes easier and more efficient to use. Skype is the most popular medium for video calling, and can be downloaded for free from skype.com. You must have web cam and microphone capabilities (sometimes built into certain computers) in order to communicate with your interviewer. While meeting in person is still preferable, virtual interviews should be taken just as seriously, and can often lead to subsequent interviews with an employer. See tips on how to prepare for a Skype interview.

Group Interviews

In this situation, you may meet with several people at once. Find a way to connect with each individual. Establish a rapport by making eye contact with each individual, no matter who asks the question. Be sure to find out the names and job titles of each member of the team. This type of interview can be intimidating if you are not prepared. Check our interview training workshop schedule to gain more practice and confidence.

Behavioral Interview

The theory behind behavioral interviewing is that past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior. With a behavioral question, the interviewer is looking for results, not just an activity list. Tell a story that includes the situation, the task, what action you took, and what was the result or outcome. Use fairly recent examples that can come from work experience, community service, school activities or something else that is right on point. Keep in mind that many behavioral questions address negative situations. If possible, think of situations that started out negatively but that ended positively. This type of question usually begins with “Give me an example when . . . ” or “Tell me about a time when . . . ”

Lunch/Dinner Interview

The setting may be more casual but remember it is still a professional interview and you are being watched carefully. Follow the lead of your interviewer with regard to the selection of food and beverages. Avoid having an alcoholic beverage especially if it is a lunch interview. Do not order food that is difficult to eat or messy. Attend our business etiquette dining workshop for additional tips.

Telephone Interview

Interviews over the telephone are typically done as the first phase of the interview process before bringing a candidate in for an in-person interview. Prepare for a phone interview just as you would for a regular interview. Compile a list of your strengths and weaknesses, as well as a list of answers to typical phone-interview questions. In addition, plan on being prepared for a conversation about your background and skills.

Before the Phone Interview:

  • Place your résumé nearby, so that it is at your fingertips when you need to answer questions.
  • Have a short list of your accomplishments available for review.
  • Have a pen and paper available for note taking.
  • Turn off call-waiting so your call isn’t interrupted.
  • If the time is not convenient for you to talk, suggest another time.
  • Clear the room of siblings, roommates, pets, etc. Turn off the TV and stereo. Close the door.
  • Consider using a landline rather than your cell phone to avoid dropped calls or static on the line.
  • Have a list of questions ready to ask the interviewer.

During the Interview:

  • Don’t smoke, chew gum, eat or drink.
  • Keep a glass of water handy, in case your throat gets dry.
  • Smile. Smiling will project a positive feeling to the listener and will change the tone of your voice.
  • Speak slowly and pronounce your words clearly.
  • Use the person’s title (Mr. or Ms. and their last name). Only use their first name if you are asked to do so.
  • Don’t interrupt the interviewer.
  • Take your time — it’s perfectly acceptable to take a moment to think of your response.
  • Give short answers.
  • Remember your goal is to set up a face-to-face interview. After you thank the interviewer, ask if it is possible to meet in person.

After the Interview:

Remember to say “thank you.” Follow with a thank you note that reiterates your interest in the position. Use your thank you note to also mention qualifications that perhaps you did not get a chance to talk about during the phone interview.



Videos on Interviewing

Before the Interview

During the Interview

After the Interview

Dressing the Part