Interview Types
Photo of candidates waiting for a job interview

Interview Types: What you Need to Know

The interview is a conversation between interviewer and interviewee based on which interviewer hires for the job role. Well, that is a simple definition and most of us know it. However, have you ever thought that an interview is also an opportunity to experience new situations, handle interesting questions, learn about businesses, improve your communication and story-telling skills, learn from your failures and understand current market demands. Well, there are so many things that an interview can offer in addition to that coveted “Dream Job” we aspire for.

It all sounds good from an interviewee’s perspective but are the interviewer also thinking the same way or do they have some unrealistic expectations? Basically, there are three core areas based on which the interviewer assesses the candidate; technical/domain expertise, communication skills and last but not least your confidence level and behavior. We all prepare and work hard to excel in these areas but there are some simple yet important factors that we usually forget about. One of them is preparation based on the type of interview.

Yes, interviews also have types – screening round, video conferencing, face-to-face, group interviews, exit interviews, stress interviews and the list goes on. Remember, every interview type requires you to demonstrate and utilize different skill sets and thus demands specific preparation. Let’s jump to understand the five most common types of interviews and what you need to do to ace it.

  1. Initial Screening/Telephonic Interview
  • This is a process that companies follow to get to know you quickly. It is often conducted by the HR via telephone or sometimes a video call. The outcome of this interview determines if you are a promising applicant and have the skills to fit the role requirement.
  • The initial screening interview usually lasts anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes. 

Also Read: Top 10 telephone interview questions you need to know

What should I expect?

  • A screening interview is an interview to ensure that you meet the basic requirements of the role/job description. You can expect general questions in this type of interview.
  • One may expect questions like “Give a brief Introduction of yourself”, “What are your salary expectations?”, “What interests you to join our company?”, “What kind of role are you looking for?” or “Explain in short the project/task on your resume?”

How to prepare well and standout?

  • Ensure you are in a place where there are no background noises during the interview
  • Put your phone on DO NOT DISTURB MODE to avoid call disruptions
  • Keep a hardcopy/softcopy of your CV near you
  • Research about the company and get familiarized with its mission and vision
  • Know the Job Description well and try to pick keywords from there while speaking on your skills
  • Practice your response to frequently asked questions so that you sound more confident
  • Prepare the questions you are going to ask at the end of the interview. For e.g., “Is this requirement for a permanent or a temporary role?”, “By when can I expect the feedback?”
  1. Face-to-Face/ One-to-One Interview
  • This is a traditional and most effective way to evaluate a candidate as it is a more personalized form of interview. A face-to-face(F2F) interview can be for assessing your technical, managerial or behavioral competencies based on the requirement of the role.
  • Such interviews can go anywhere from 30 minutes to a couple of hours.

What should I expect?

  • Ensure that you know everything written on your CV for this interview. Though the structures of such interviews are not fixed, expected questions are – “Quickly introduce yourself?”, “Questions related to the projects and tasks you have performed either in your previous role or study curriculum (expect a more in-depth discussion)”, “What are your strengths and weaknesses?”

How to prepare well and standout?

  • Get details on the location of the Interview in advance to avoid any discrepancies
  • Reach at least 30 minutes before the scheduled interview time. This will give you time to complete formalities (if any) such as filling any forms or registering yourself on a desk etc.
  • Dress up according to the company’s dress code (Formals are mostly preferred) 
  • Make eye contact while speaking, it shows your confidence while speaking 
  • Use real world examples and your personal experiences at the job while answering questions
  • Prepare relevant questions to ask – “What are your expectations from the candidate for this role?” or “Can you please explain the team structure?”. Asking questions shows your interest in the organization and the position
  1. Video Conferencing Interview
  • During the covid times, this interview type has really gained popularity specially for remote hiring and also by HRs for preliminary screening and could be considered as a replacement to traditional face-to-face Interview. Most popular video conferencing platforms includes Zoom, Microsoft Teams and Google Meet. 
  • Since scheduled call details are shared with the interviewee, so you know in advance the tenure of the interview. In some cases, it might end early too. Such interviews vary in length and usually last from 30 to 60 minutes.

What should I expect?

  • Video call interviews can be:
    • Either pre-recorded where the interviewer shares with you some pre-framed questions and within a stipulated time period (ranging from minutes to days) you have to record your answers on their platform 
    • or it may be conducted live with interviewers on other side 
  • It could be a one-to-one interview or with multiple interviewers and can also be recorded by the interviewer for future reference.
  • One may also expect performing online tasks such as answering a quiz or problem solving

How to prepare well and standout?

  • Check your background. A clean and light-colored background is preferred so that your image on video is more distinct and get yourself to a no-interruption zone
  • Dress up formally. Even if the company doesn’t follow a dress code keep it as simple as possible
  • Test your webcam, headphones and internet connectivity in advance
  • Login to the portal 5 minutes before the scheduled call. You can use this time to mitigate any equipment issue
  • Though this is a virtual interview don’t forget to greet and make eye contact with the interviewer(s) to build connection
  • Practice speaking in front of camera or record videos to understand and improve on your facial gestures and expressions
  1. Group Interview
  • Group interviews are not very popular these days but is still practiced in universities/colleges where organizations perform bulk hiring of freshers, it is also used for hiring professionals when there are multiple positions that has to be filled or for better comparison of candidate’s proficiency and knowledge.
  • Group Interviews roughly last about an hour but may extend based on the activities planned, so better be mentally prepared.

Also Read: Group Interview Tips Dos and Dont’s

What should I expect?

  • These interviews are meant to evaluate your competency within the group by providing the same task to each member of the group or providing a single task to a group to assess other skills such as Team work, Strategic thinking, Creativity, Leadership, Synergy etc.

How to prepare well and standout?

  • Group interview requires you to work upon some special skill sets that may not be required for other interview types such as – watch your tone, stay humble and yet put forth your point clearly, appreciate others, check your body language, take initiative to answer first and also give others a chance to speak, stay attentive, include others in the discussion etc.
  • Reach early to the interview location and network with other candidates
  • Prepare a self-introduction that outlines your previous experience and distinguishes you from other candidates
  • Prepare and ask interviewers good relevant questions
  1. Panel Interview
  • Unlike group interviews where there are multiple interviewees a panel interview consists of multiple interviewers. The concept of panel interview can be overlapping with video interviews or group interviews (with two or more interviewers). 
  • Group interviews are also conducted for senior roles such as CXOs where involvement of multiple decision makers is important.
  • Panel Interviews are conducted for roughly 60 to 90 minutes

What should I expect?

  • Each interviewer in the panel may pick up on different characteristics, strengths and weaknesses of yours and are more likely to make a fairer judgement
  • Panel interviews are also meant to test your stress taking capabilities at work
  • Though the questions asked can be very varied, few behavioral questions could be “How can you contribute towards the growth of the company?”, “Share your stories of failures and successes?”, “Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?”.

How to prepare well and standout?

  • Preparation for a panel interview is no different from preparing for a face-to-face interview like researching about the company, understanding the expectation from the role etc.
  • Maintain eye contact with every member of the panel while speaking
  • Carry extra copies of your resume for all panel members
  • Practice to stay calm and focused to handle rapid fire questioning
  • Prepare at least 3-4 follow up questions in advance

Also Read: Types of Interview Questions

Summary: 

For different interview types, apply and experiment with different techniques and approaches. One should aim towards personalizing their interview techniques and structure based on the job requirement, domain and end goal.

Great Learning offers several free courses on interview preparations that can help you achieve your career goals.

“Don’t be afraid to go out on a limb. That’s where the fruit is.”  By H. Jackson Brown, a famous inspirational author 

Good luck with your Interview!

0

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

16 + 20 =