Different Types of Job Interviews

Good job! Your resume has worked its way to the next stage of the job interview process.

There are several different types of interviews that all serve the purpose of evaluating your skills, knowledge, experience, education and personality to determine if you're a fit for the company.

Standard One-on-One

This traditional job interview approach is still the most popular to this day. The interviewer is usually a hiring officer, a department supervisor or another executive who may be in a recommendatory position to the person with the final say in the hiring process.

If the interviewer is a member of the HR department, you may also expect to be evaluated for other possible openings in the organization --- as finding the best fit within an organization is a usual HR function.

If we're speaking smaller companies, you may expect a quicker response time from the period you've sent in your resume to the time you get an invitation for a job interview.

These one-on-one sessions last anywhere between 30 minutes to an hour and may even be followed up by a second interview, in some cases coming immediately after the first one.

A "final" one-on-one interview with an HR (especially after a series of interviews with other members of the organization), usually augurs well for candidates, as it signals the last step and usually includes receiving an offer. You may expect the interview to include being formally extend you an offer. If this is the case, then it is highly recommended you come with a list of your questions so you cover all your concerns about salary, benefits, vacation and other company policies, etc.

Read our Basic Job Interview Guide here.

Multiple Interviews

With some companies, you may go through several levels of interviews, with 3 people coming one after another on same day or over a span of several weeks. The larger the company the more interviews you can expect and it can be a combination of one-on-one and panel interviews. Small and private companies might only take as little as one interview.

Panel Interview

A panel interview involves being interviewed by several people at one time whether live, via Skype or via a conference call.

This is a popular option when there is a need to fast track the hiring process or when there are various levels of management involved in determining whether a candidate is a fit for a job opening. In these cases, a company wants to get as much of the decision makers to weigh in before selecting a new member of their team.

Sometimes, the process is used to speed up the hiring process, rather than doing subsequent interviews with. Another reason is that the company values team work in all areas, including the hiring process.

In some cases, panel interviews are considered to be an effective way to determine how well the candidate can take on stressful situations and how the candidate interacts with a diverse range of individuals.

Read more on Panel Interview Tips here.

Case Interview

Case interviews are similar to entrance exams, with the interviewer presenting possible problem or dilemma a company may face in order to assess the skills and abilities of a candidate. The case can be presented orally or on paper and the cases you are to work on may be real examples or created for purposes of your assessment.

Here are ways through which a case interview may be presented to you:

  • Open-ended case – a less formal approach wherein the interviewer gives you a brief background of a case. On the basis on the information provided, you will be asked to form your own assumptions to solve the case presented.
  • Structured case - the interviewer gives you information, and then proceeds to guide you through the problem-solving process. You may be given time to prepare a brief analysis, presenting it at an appointed time given by your interviewer.

Phone Interview

You and the interviewer set up a mutually agreeable time. If the employer is calling you, you'll need to select a location and give the interviewer the phone number. If at all possible, use a landline for the phone interview instead of a cell phone.
You might find yourself on a conference call or on a speaker phone, if more than one interviewer is involved.

Video/Skype Interview

The weight given a video or Skype interview is the same as an in-person interview. Your answers will be considered and selection decisions made in the same fashion. In fact, given that the interview can be reviewed, it can be even more important than a typical first-round phone or screening interview.

Skype and video interviews are similar to phone interviews but always remember that your face, and whatever is behind you, will be visible. Some companies may arrange a video conference through a recruiter's office or an organization that provides such services. So, plan your interview as you would any other job interview.