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Andrew Arkley|October 10, 2022

What Are The Different Types Of Interview?

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Do you have an interview coming up soon? Wondering what the different interview types are? Then you’re in the right place. 

Nowadays, there are interview types of all kinds – from one-on-one interviews to online interviews to group interviews to behavioural-based interviews. 

On some occasions, the interviewer may simply want to ask you about your CV and employment history. On others, you may be asked to complete a task or figure out a solution to a problem.

Whatever the case, read on to learn about the different types of interview you may encounter.

Different types of interview

There are numerous interview types, all of which serve distinct purposes and should be approaching in slightly different ways.

If you fully understand the different types of job interview, you have a better chance of succeeding and landing your dream role.

Phone interview

Proven to be a more economical way to assess applicants, phone interviews can last anywhere from 10 minutes to half an hour. 

Because most of the communication in a phone interview isn’t visual and the interviewer can’t see your body language, we recommend doing the following: 

  • Have your CV, job spec, references and any pre-prepared answers to hand
  • Deliver your responses concisely, positively and enthusiastically
  • Ask what the next stage of the interview will involve

Read our blog for more advice on how to ace a phone interview.

Informational interview

Informational interviews give you the opportunity to learn more about the company, industry, or position, while the employer also gets to learn about you.

You should use this type of interview as a chance to find out more about the role, but it’s important that you still prepare. As such, we recommend:

  • Doing plenty of research on the employer
  • Finding out who the key industry players are
  • Rehearsing talking about the key trends
  • Familiarising yourself with industry-specific terminology

Committee or small group interview

During this type of interview, you’ll meet a panel of interviewers simultaneously. 

If you haven’t prepared ahead of time, you’ll likely feel incredibly anxious and overwhelmed. That said, committee or small group interviews are usually used to get more information about an applicant from several perspectives.

During a group interview, we suggest:

  • Creating a connection with each decision-maker from the panel
  • Looking each interviewer in the eye, not just the person asking the questions
  • Learning the job roles and names of each panel member

A typical question you may face in a small group interview is ‘why do believe you’re the right fit for this role?’

Hiring managers typically ask this to ascertain your self-esteem and determine why you stand out from other applicants. It’s a great chance to talk about any “wow” talents other candidates haven’t revealed.

Example answer: “I feel I’m the right candidate for this marketing manager role because I have over three years of experience as a digital marketing executive and five years of experience using social media marketing and advertising tools to help target a larger audience. In my previous role, I also learned how to gather and translate marketing analytics information to monitor our marketing campaign’s results and make adjustments when required.”

Behavioural interview

These types of interviews concentrate on questions that enable you to share and reflect on your previous professional behaviour. 

Hiring managers want to find out your personality, professional skills and abilities. Interviewers will ask you to impart your opinions on how you’d handle a particular situation. 

You can prepare for a behavioural interview by doing the following:

  • Showing particular examples that emphasise your key skills
  • Practising detailed, specific answers
  • Explaining each situation clearly: the assignment, the action you took, and the results accomplished

Personal interview

Otherwise known as an “individual interview”, this is the most standard interview type, generally held in person at the hiring manager’s offices or through a video chat.

A personal interview can vary between 30 to 90 minutes, so it’s essential to gauge how long the interview will last. If it’s going to be lengthier, you can give more in-depth answers that you support with examples.

For an individual or personal interview, we advise preparing by:

  • Memorising your CV so you can refer to it during the interview
  • Preparing answers to the questions you know will be asked
  • Practising speaking in front of friends and family

Task-based or problem-solving interview

Task-oriented interviews are formulated in a way that enables you to show your problem-solving capabilities through an array of exercises or tasks.

Sometimes, the interviewer will ask you to complete a brief test to assess your technical skills. 

You’ll need a specific thinking process for task-based interview questions so you can tackle the situation from beginning to end. 

We recommend structuring your answers using the STAR technique:

  • Situation: Evaluate the issue and what’s being dealt with
  • Task: Pinpoint what’s required to unravel the puzzle
  • Action: Summarise the steps you’ll take
  • Result: Explain what you anticipate the result to be, and tell the interviewer why this is the right option

You may also be asked to present to a panel to assess your communication skills. To find out more about how to prepare for an interview presentation, read our blog.

Second interviews

So, you’ve made it to the second-interview stage – congratulations! 

Usually, this is the final stage before receiving a job offer

In this stage, the interviewer wants to know more about you, and, as such, second interviews are normally a little longer, with some lasting half a day or even one entire day. 

These often happen on-site and you’ll meet a few more employees –  sometimes this includes HR, office staff, line managers and the head of a department. 

To prepare:

  • Be enthusiastic
  • Be attentive
  • Investigate more about the schedule for the day (this will help alleviate any anxiety about the process)

Stress interview questions

Stress interviewing methods differ somewhat from any mentioned above and can include a series of unnerving – or even awkward – questions, namely:

  • How do you think this interview is going?
  • What made you apply for this position even though you lack the experience?
  • Why are you leaving your current position? 
  • Am I a good interviewer? 
  • Which other firms have you been interviewing at?

The main aim of this interview type is to identify any weak spots and establish how you perform under pressure. You can keep your cool by:

  • Doing your homework on the company
  • Practising your answers and asking for feedback
  • Taking your time and not rushing your answers

Stress interview questions can be understandably daunting, so make sure to read our blog about how to calm interview nerves if you’re nervous about them.

The takeaway: different types of interview

Job interviews come in all shapes and sizes, but each one is your opportunity to showcase your best skills and impress the employer.

The interview process can be extremely daunting, so the most important thing to do is to stay calm and take the time to prepare. 

For more advice on how to make an impact in an interview, make sure to read our blog, and check out our entry on how to know if an interview went well.

Need help taking the next step in your career? PurpleCV can craft a unique, professional CV that’s tailored to your experience and skills. Check out our CV writing services or get in touch with us today.

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