How to Prep for the Interview (Part 2): Different Types of Interviews

With the competition so steep in the job market and the fact that the Internet is practically a necessity, there are all sorts of job interviews that hiring managers use that are not your typical one-on-ones anymore – sometimes one of the interviews might even be on the other side of the world.

1) One-on-one Interview:
The most generic kind of interview. This probably doesn’t need much explaining since it’s pretty self-explanatory. We’ve all been through the process where you sit in front of the hiring manager in their office or a room and it’s just you two chatting away. This is the most common kind of job interview but it gets more complicated as more people get involved…



2) Group interview: 
This type of interview is usually with two or more candidates fighting for the same position. It really tests your social skills and in a way, it can be a situational interview because the it shows how you react, speak and compose yourself under pressure.

You need to have a balance:
A group interview is all about thinking on your feet, standing out from all the other candidates, being well-spoken and making sure you don’t interrupt or use the same answer as someone else – all at the same time. If all that freaks you out, you have some things to work on.

How to prep for a group interview:
Feeling nervous? A great tip to shake off the nerves is to pretend it’s only you and the hiring manager(s) in the room. When they ask everyone a question, pretend they are directing it to you and no one else. Don’t be afraid to be the first one to answer the question. This shows leadership. Also, if you aren’t the first person to answer the question, patiently wait for the other candidate to finish and then speak up.

Tip: Try being the first to answer the questions so your answer seems original and it won’t look like you took it from the person before you!

Speak up!
It is so important to speak during this type of interview because if you remain silent the whole time, chances are that you will not be noticed and won’t get the offer.

3) Panel interview:

This is when you are sitting in front of two or more people in the company while they grill you with questions (just kidding, it’s not really that bad unless you’re unprepared).

Who’s on the panel and why?
Depending on the position you’ve applied for, a panel interview can happen in the first or second interview – but usually in the second. This happens because when they bring you back for a second round, they want different perspectives from different people in the company. For example, there may be one HR person, the boss of the company and one or two others from the department you will be working in.

How to Prep for a panel interview:
Have you ever said to your friend after an interview: “O-M-G there were five people interviewing me at once! I was so not prepared!” Well, to avoid being overwhelmed, see if you can find out how many will be interviewing you and their names from the recruiter or administrator in the company. Then, you can research them and get to know them beforehand.

4) Phone interview/screening:

This is usually the qualifying phase where the recruiter weeds out certain candidates based on the company’s requirements before bringing them in for an in-person interview. You may be asked why you are interested in the position, where you are located, how you will travel to work and what you can bring to the company – all the generic questions.


How to Prep for a phone interview/screening:
Don’t just give one-worded answers like yes or no. Answer the question and take the conversation to the next level. For example, if they ask you how you will get there, don’t just say “I can drive”. Say, “I have a car and can drive to your location everyday. I live in the central part of downtown so it will take me about 20 to 30 minutes.” Add relevant information so the person on the other line will be engaged.

Talk about your goals and the company:
Use every chance you get to talk about the company and your goals if they are relevant to the questions you are being asked. You want to have a conversation with the person on the other line for them to be interested enough to bring you in for the in-person interview. Don’t make it sound like an interrogation. Engagement is KEY!

5) On-site interview:
Hiring managers can bring in candidates and interview them on the job. For example, if you were going in for a retail position at a store, the manager(s) may interview you on the floor while stocking products and speaking with customers – basically when the hiring manager(s) are working. This tests the candidates’ composure, interest in the job and social skills – similar to the group interview above.

How to prep for an on-site interview:
Whether the company tells you that it will be on-site or not, always keep a smile on your face because you will most likely be bumping into other employees on the job. Shake everyone’s hand, introduce yourself and say “Hi, nice to meet you”. Be observant of your surroundings and ask questions during the interview to seem engaged. The hiring manager(s) will notice this and appreciate the fact that you are paying attention while there are other distractions around you.

All in all, look confident. Talk to the hiring manager like you’ve known them for years, but keep it in a professional tone. Confidence will give you a huge advantage over other candidates.

Good luck!


2 thoughts on “How to Prep for the Interview (Part 2): Different Types of Interviews

  1. Thanks for posting this – I like the overview.

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