Types of job interview

You may have been asked to attend a single interview or a series of interviews. Your interview may be face-to-face, by telephone, or via a webcam (through Skype, Google Hangouts, etc) or you may be asked to create and upload a video using a computer or smartphone. Telephone interviews are often used as an initial screening tool to narrow down the list of applicants.

Interview format

The interview can take various forms:

  • one-on-one: these interviews are generally used at or near the end of the process
  • panel: these include more than one interviewer, for example, an HR representative, line manager and team member
  • group: some employers interview applicants together in groups. This enables them to see a large number of people and to create a short list of candidates. Group sizes vary, and employers will not always tell you how the group interview will work or what they are looking for.

Interviews may include various activities:

  • group activities (assessment centres)
  • questions to the group that require individual responses. This allows the employer to see who performs best in a competitive environment
  • an invitation to a meal with several applicants and the employer – this informal situation is still an interview.

Structured and unstructured interviews

Structured interviews are used widely to select graduates for a position. For example:

  • applicants may be asked to provide examples to show how they have dealt with different situations in the past (behavioural interviews)
  • applicants may be asked to solve a business problem that is presented as a question, situation or challenge (case interviews).

Resources

How to interview well workshops and information