Types of Interviews
Case Study/Audition Interview
For some positions, such as computer programmers or trainers, companies want to see you in action before they make their decision. For this reason, they might take you through a simulation or brief exercise in order to evaluate your skills.
Many companies increasingly rely on behavior interviews or interview questions to determine a candidates’ qualifications because behavioral-based questions use your previous behavior to indicate your future performance. In these interviews, employers use standardized methods to mine information relevant to your competency in a particular area or position. You might be asked to describe a time that required problem-solving skills, adaptability, leadership, conflict resolution, etc. You will be asked how you dealt with the situations.
Career Fair Interview
A conversation during a career fair can be considered a screening interview. It is generally 2-10 minutes in length with a human resources representative or a technical manager in your field. If mutual interest is established, you may be invited for further interviews. Because your meeting is brief, research the employer and be prepared to match your background and interests to their needs.
Directive Style Interview
In this style of interview, the interviewer has very structured agenda that he or she follows closely. Sometimes companies use this rigid format to ensure parity between interviews; when interviewers ask each candidate the same series of questions, they can more readily compare the results. Directive interviewers rely upon their own questions and methods to tease from you what they wish to know.
Companies bring candidates back for second and sometimes more interviews for a number of reasons. Sometimes they just want to confirm that you are the amazing worker they first thought you to be. Sometimes they are having difficulty deciding between a short list of candidates. Other times, the interviewer's supervisor or other decision makers in the company want to gain a sense of you before signing a hiring decision.
Group Interview - Multiple Applicants
A group interview is usually designed to uncover the
leadership potential of prospective managers and employees who will be dealing with the public. The front-runner candidates are gathered together in an informal, discussion-type interview. The goal is to see how the jobseeker interacts with others and uses his/her knowledge and reasoning powers to win others over.
Group Interview - Multiple Interviewers
Consists of three or more people, all asking you questions.
For each question, direct your answer to the individual asking the question, but strive to maintain some eye contact with the other members of the group.
Typically this is an interview set up at the jobseeker's request with a Human Resources Manager or a departmental supervisor in the career field he/she is interested in. The purpose of this interview is to help the jobseeker find out more about a particular career, position or company. He/she is seeking information from these people in hopes they might refer him/her to someone else in their company or to somebody they may know outside their company who could use their skills.
Employers sometimes use a meal interview to see how well you can handle yourself in a social situation. Company representatives attending may include the hiring manager, a human resources department member, and one or more peer employees.
The mock interview allows prospective job candidates to practice their interviewing skills in a simulated interview environment. Interviewers provide constructive feedback to the participants to increase job prospects by improving interview skills.
In a one-on-one interview, it has been established that the jobseeker has the skills and education necessary for the position. The recruiter wants to see if the jobseeker will fit in with the company, and how his/her skills complement the rest of the department. The jobseeker's goal is to establish rapport with the interviewer and to show that their qualifications will benefit the company.
This interview takes place at the organization office or work place. Often the second or third round of interviews is held at the company offices, after a campus or phone interview.
Companies use screening tools to ensure that candidates meet minimum qualification requirements. Sometimes
human professionals are the gatekeepers. Screening interviewers often have honed skills to determine whether there is anything that might disqualify you for the position.
This final interview is oftentimes conducted by a decision maker. Usually, this is the manager who will supervise the employee. He or she meets with you to learn more about your qualifications and assess whether you are a good fit for the job. You might be asked to come back a second time, to speak with the same person and/or with other managers or members of the work group.
A stress interview involves being asked difficult or even questions that are designed to deliberately make you uncomfortable. Keep your cool, take your time in responding to the questions, and when it's all over, reward yourself.
Video Conference Interview
Using video-conference technology such as Skype or other software to allow people from different locations to interview a candidate without traveling is becoming more popular. Practice in front of a mirror or have a friend videotape you to help ensure that you can effectively communicate via camera.
Work Sample Interview
A work sample interview gives you a chance to show
samples of work you've done or demonstrate your skills. For example, if you are a graphic artist, you show the pieces of work in your portfolio. If you're a salesperson, you make a sales presentation.
Common Sense Side of Interviewing
An interview is an opportunity to communicate your suitability for a particular position as well as an opportunity for an employer to recruit a new employee for the organization. Your role is to present your qualifications thoroughly and in the most positive and accurate light possible. Go into an interview knowing that both parties are gathering information.
1. Be on time; plan to arrive 10-15 minutes early.
2. Know the interviewer's name and how to pronounce it. If you don't know, ask the receptionist.
3. Bring extra copies of your resume. Also bring a copy of your transcripts, a list of references, and pen and paper for jotting down information after the interview.
4. Pay attention to your posture, eye contact, and other non-verbal communication elements. Think “inward” not “outward”. As you think “inward” you concentrate on your qualifications, what you can offer the company, and what makes you qualified. If you think “outward” you are concentrating more on how you look, how nervous you are, or how your hair looks.
5. Dress appropriately and professionally; a business suit is appropriate for most interviews. Make sure your hair and nails are neat and clean. Polish your shoes and wear little or no perfume/cologne. Jewelry should be conservative.
6. Be prepared for some personal questions and be able to talk about the experiences and knowledge you have. Look over typical interviewing questions and think about how you will answer them. Think about doing a mock interview in the Pomerantz Career Center.
7. Carefully to listen to everything that is said without interrupting.
8. Be sure you understand the question before answering. If you don’t, ask for clarification.
9. Emphasize the positive and use examples to back up your statements.
10. Research the company ahead of time. Know what their product/service is, who they serve, and who their competitors are.
11. Let the interviewer bring up the subject of salary. This may not occur until after an offer is made. However, be prepared for the question, “What salary are you expecting?” Do research and be prepared to give a general range at a geographical level.
12. Emphasize how you will be able to contribute to the success of the organization.
13. Never slight a former employer, teacher, or institution. If there were problems with previous experiences, try to frame this positively and emphasize what you learned from the experience.
14. If you realize that you have stated something inaccurately, do not hesitate to go back to the topic and correct and clarify what you meant to say. Don't try to cover up.
15. Don't expect an offer on the spot. Job searching takes time. Finding a job has multiple steps.