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8 Types of Job Interviews Every Candidate Must Know

8 Types of Job Interviews Every Candidate Must Know

To get ahead of the competition, all job candidates must be prepared every step of the way. From learning how to make a resume that catches hirers’ eyes to studying common interview questions and answers, no stone should be left unturned if one wants to come out on top. To add into your job hunting arsenal, here are the different types of job interviews that you may encounter during your search. Study them well and arm yourself with the knowledge that will give you an edge over all other job seekers.

1. The Traditional One-on-One Interview

This is the most common type of job interview out there and the one you are probably most familiar with. A representative of the company, most likely an HR officer or the manager you’ll be working with, will engage in a question and answer session with you to determine your fitness for the job.

Possible Interview Questions:

“Tell me about yourself.”

“Why do you want this job?”

Interview Tip:

Do mock interview exercises with a trusted friend to help you get used to the experience. Ask your friend’s honest opinion on how you come across during this exercise and work on fixing things together. Practice answering the common interview questions and answers to get you ready for the big day.

2. The Group Interview

Unlike the first type, you are expected to meet with the interviewer but you’ll be amongst fellow candidates who are all vying for the same job. This is a tactic used by hirers when they plan to hire several individuals at the same time, such as when a company is trying to fill in slots for a new team or department. This gives them a chance to see how well you’ll work with this group of people who are all in the running to become your future colleagues.

Possible Interview Questions:

“How would you describe yourself to stand out from this group of applicants?”

“What role do you see yourself filling if we put you all in a team?”

Interview Tip:

Show that you’re a team player and be an active participant to whatever the interviewer gives to the group as a test. You’re most likely to be placed in a group exercise to see how you’ll solve a problem while working alongside your future teammates, so don’t hold back and show them what you’ve got! Succeed here and you’ll walk away from this activity like a pre-schooler who just received a “Plays well with others,” remark from the teacher.

3. The Phone Interview

The phone interview is an efficient way for hirers to get to know their candidates when distance and time may serve as a hindrance for an in-person interview. This is advantageous for HR as it allows them a wider-reach in the candidate pool since job seekers from out of town can still apply for the position. The phone interview may also be conducted as a way to pre-screen applicants before they’re formally invited to come to the office for more interviews and tests. Typical questions for this interview type may not differ much from the face-to-face interview.

Possible Interview Questions:

“What would you consider as your greatest weakness?”

“Where do you see yourself in five years?”

Interview Tip:

Interference from outside sources and a choppy signal may cause problems so choose a place where there’s minimal noise and good reception. You also need to create a good rapport with the interviewer so convey your interest by speaking clearly and enthusiastically to every question thrown your way. A good way to do this is by trying to respond to questions with a smile. It’s a nifty trick that phone operators and sales people do to sound friendly while on call.

4. The Video Interview

For out-of-town candidates who have the means and technology to make it work, the video or Skype interview is another interview option that’s been gaining popularity in recent years. Now you have the convenience of a phone interview, mixed in with the personal touch of a face-to-face interview. The interview is conducted just like a traditional one, only it’s done via PC or laptop screens so the preparation for both is similar.

Possible Interview Questions:

“How would you describe your working style?”

“How do you deal with pressure?”

Interview Tip:

Be mindful of the place where the interview would be conducted. Make sure you’re in a place that won’t cause much distraction so avoid setting the interview at an Internet café or a crowded restaurant. It won’t hurt to dress up for the interview also. Treat the meeting like a face-to-face interview so dress up professionally, and yes this includes choosing the right bottoms to complete your outfit. It’s better to be safe than sorry so ditch the short shorts and drawstring pajamas while you’re being interviewed by Skype. Trust us when we say it’ll help you get in a more professional mood when you do.

5. The Career Fair Interview

Interviews conducted during career fairs may serve two purposes. First, as a pre-screening process before a candidate is sent off to a second interview that may or may not be held at the interested company’s office. Secondly, it serves the need of companies who does one-day processing of job applications. It’s not unheard of these days for job fair attendees to walk away with an offer, and for this reason on-site interviews are normally held.

Possible Interview Questions:

“What brings you here to the job fair?”

“What makes you different from all the attendees here?”

Interview Tip:

You’re only allowed a short amount of time to make a good impression so make each moment count. Be ready to succinctly explain why you’re the right person for the job. The key here is knowing your strengths and matching them to the needs of the company, so study your spiel beforehand. Likewise, you must do your research on the participating companies that you’re planning to apply for.

6. The Case Interview

This is a specialized type of interview where you are presented with a problem or issue which you are expected to solve. Here, the interviewer wants to see your analytical and problem solving skills, as well as your ability to think quickly under pressure. It is often employed when hiring for banking and management consulting jobs.

Possible Interview Questions:

“Create a plan that would make Company X’s double its earnings from the previous year.”

“The launch of New Coke in 1985 was a massive failure on the part of the soft drinks giant. Show how this could’ve been avoided today by describing how you’re going to market the soda’s new formulation to the public.”

Interview Tip:

For this type of interview, keep in mind that the process is just as important as the result. Take your time to get to your conclusion by studying carefully the case at hand to come up with a viable solution. Your best bet here is to establish a logical framework to base your conclusions on, and be ready to explain it to the interviewer. There’s no single “right” answer here—what is important is the thought process that went into solving the case.

7. The Brainteaser Interview

Ever been through an interview where the HR rep asked you a question so outrageous that you found yourself scratching your head in the process? You might have just gone through a brainteaser interview. It was originally used by Microsoft to screen applicants. Its use then started to spread around tech companies but now industries like banking, marketing and finance have adapted their own take on this interview type. Similar to a case interview, your problem solving skills are put on the spotlight here. Hirers usually pose brainteasers to see how a candidate’s mind works, specifically how quick they think on their feet.

Possible Interview Questions:

“How would you move Mount Fuji?”

“Describe the color red to a blind person.”

Interview Tip:

The secret here is to not get flustered by the seemingly bizarre questions thrown at you. Take the time to answer the question and prepare to explain how you came about with the solution. A combination of critical thinking skills, stock knowledge and an out-of-the-box way of thinking would serve you well to succeed at this type of an interview.

8. The Stress Interview

Imagine an interrogation scene from a police drama and you’re faced with an intimidating detective—the “bad cop” character to be more precise—who mocks you and screams at your face to get your attention. Okay, that might have been an exaggeration but a stress interview may deliberately put you in an uncomfortable situation to see how you’d react or manage to stay calm in such type of setting. It’s not unheard of to have an interviewer bark questions at you and storm out when you couldn’t come up with a satisfying response.

Possible Interview Questions:

“What makes you think you can survive here?”

“I’m not exactly impressed with your resume. What makes you think you’re the right person for the job?”

Interview Tip:

Just like how you should handle a brainteaser interview—or all types of job interviews for that matter—it’s best to remain cool, calm and collected through the process. Remember that the interviewer is just putting on an act to see how you would react in a stressful situation so it’s best to take what could be perceived as rude behavior as a mere test. In short, don’t take things personally!

It’s important to remember that one can never be too prepared when job hunting. You may not encounter all of these interviews during your search but having a thorough knowledge of the recruitment process enables you to be a step ahead of the competition at all times.

Which of these interviews have you been on? Did we miss out on anything? Share your unforgettable job interview stories below.

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