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Table of Contents
1.4 Job Interview Basics
1.4.2 Different Types Of Job Interviews

Looking to be hired you may experience different types of interviews. Understanding what could happen in each type and being prepared, will help you successfully navigate any interview situation.

Phone Interview : the phone interview is usually used to narrow the pool candidates for the next stage interview. If you are asked for a phone interview it is useful to have notes nearby. You will sound more prepared if you don't have to search for information. Make sure you also have paper and a pen so that you can take notes and write down any questions you might have.

One-to-One Interview:  In a one-to-one interview session, one interviewer is speaking with one candidate. This is the most common type of interview. It has already been established that you have the skills and education necessary for the position. The interviewer wants to see if you will fit in with the company and how your skills will complement the rest of the department or unit. Your goal in a one-to-one interview to is to establish good contact with the interviewer and show how your qualifications will benefit the company.

Behavioral Interview:  It is based on the premise that your past behavior predicts future performance. You will be asked to “Tell me about a time when…” or to “Discuss a project you worked on where (a specific  skill was used). Here, employers are asking for specific examples of how you did things, or handled certain situations.

Committee Interview: in a committee interview you will meet with several members of the organization who will be actively involved in the hiring decision. When answering questions from several people, speak directly to the person asking the question. It is not always necessary to answer to the entire group. In some committee interviews, you may be asked to demonstrate your problem-solving skills. The committee might outline a situation and ask you to formulate a plan that deals with the problem.

Group Interview: the group interview is usually designed to illustrate the leadership potential of prospective managers and employees, who will be dealing with the public. Final candidates are gathered together in an informal, discussion-type interview. A subject is introduced and the interviewer will start a discussion. The goal of the group interview is to see how you interact with others and how you use your knowledge and reasoning skills to win over others. If you perform well in the group interview, it is usually followed later by a more extensive interview.

Meal Interview: This type of interview may appear to be more casual, but remember it is a business meal and you are being evaluated carefully. Eating in front of a stranger who could potentially be your boss can be unnerving. Order a moderately priced item on the menu, never order alcohol and don’t talk with your mouth full. Research professional dining etiquette before you go and if a dining interview is a surprise, follow what the interviewer does with their cutlery, cutting their food, napkin placement, etc. Stay away from soup if you are a slurper, and avoid spaghetti. Smaller, bite-sized pasta is fine, but trying to eat long spaghetti while carrying on a serious conversation can be a recipe for disaster.Use this type of interview to develop common ground with the interviewer. Follow the interviewer's lead in both selection of food and in etiquette. It is best not to order alcoholic drinks or smoke, even if offered by the interviewer.

Structured Interview: in a structured interview, all candidates are asked the same questions for the interviewer's ease in evaluating applicants. If there is important information that you have not conveyed by the end of the interview, present your additional qualifications when asked if you have any questions or anything to add.


Online Resource

Article on different types of interviews and how to behave at each one of them.

A book to help you thoroughly prepare for a job interview. 

This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This web site reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

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