Different Types of Interviews and How to Prepare for Them

January 2, 2024
types of interview

Table of Contents

In today’s competitive job market, possessing exceptional interview skills is crucial for landing your dream role.

This comprehensive guide aims to equip you with the knowledge and techniques necessary to excel in all types of interview stages or scenario.

We will explore the concept of interviews, and different types of interview methods, including online interviews, and provide valuable insights on how to face interviews and interviewers confidently. Whether you are a seasoned professional or a job seeker preparing for your first interview, this handbook will empower you to navigate the interview process with poise and maximize your chances of securing career-defining opportunities.

So, let’s dive in and unlock the secrets to mastering the art of interviews.

What is Interview?

To understand what is Interview is tricky, since there are many types and variations of an Interview. To describe it formally and precisely, an interview is a formal process in which an interviewer assesses the qualifications, skills, and suitability of a candidate for a particular job or role. It serves as a crucial stage in the selection process for employers to evaluate candidates’ capabilities, experience, and cultural fit within the organization.

The interview involves two key roles: the interviewer and the interviewee. The interviewer, typically a representative of the hiring company, is responsible for conducting the interview, asking relevant questions, and evaluating the responses. Their goal is to gain insights into the interviewee’s qualifications and determine if they are the right fit for the position.

On the other hand, the interviewee, the job seeker or candidate, participates in the interview to showcase their skills, experience, and suitability for the role. They must effectively communicate their abilities and convince the interviewer of their potential value to the organization.

For candidates, interviews offer several benefits, including:

  1. Showcasing skills and qualifications: Interviews provide an opportunity for candidates to highlight their expertise, accomplishments, and relevant experiences. They can articulate their abilities, demonstrate problem-solving skills, and convey their potential value to the organization.
  2. Building rapport and connection: Interviews enable candidates to establish a personal connection with the interviewer. Building rapport can leave a lasting impression and increase the chances of being remembered positively.
  3. Gathering information: Interviews also offer candidates a chance to gather more information about the company, its culture, and the specific role they are applying for. It allows them to assess if the organization aligns with their career goals and aspirations.
types of interviews

Types of Interview Methods: Exploring Different Approaches

Traditional Face-to-Face Interviews

Traditional face-to-face interviews have long been considered the cornerstone of the interview process. In this method, candidates meet the interviewer in person, allowing for direct interaction and assessment. Face-to-face interviews provide an opportunity to showcase interview skills, effectively communicate qualifications, and establish rapport. Candidates should prepare by researching the company, anticipating interview questions, and presenting themselves professionally.

Phone Interviews: Navigating Interviews from a Distance

Phone interviews are one of the traditional types of interviews. Every time you apply for a job, the first round of interview is always a telephonic round, where the candidate’s history and experience are discussed via telephonic interview questions, and it is calculated whether the candidate is an appropriate match or not.

It offers a convenient way for employers to conduct preliminary assessments, especially for candidates located remotely. These interviews focus on evaluating basic qualifications, communication skills, and initial compatibility.

To excel in phone interviews, candidates should find a quiet environment, speak clearly, and convey confidence and engagement through their voice. Preparation is key, with candidates anticipating questions and delivering concise and impactful responses.

Online Interviews: Mastering the Virtual Interview Setting

One of the most important types of interviews, which has gained popularity in recent times, are Online interviews. They have gained prominence with the rise of technology and remote work. Conducted through video conferencing platforms, they enable face-to-face interaction despite geographical constraints. Mastering online interviews requires adapting to the virtual environment. Candidates should create a professional backdrop, dress appropriately, and maintain eye contact with the camera to establish a connection. Testing audio and video settings beforehand is crucial for clear communication. Engaging actively, displaying confident body language, and articulating responses clearly contribute to a positive impression.

By exploring and understanding these different types of interview methods – traditional face-to-face interviews, phone interviews, and online interviews – candidates can better prepare, adapt to various scenarios, and maximize their chances of interview success. Effectively utilizing interview skills specific to each method is essential in showcasing qualifications, communicating effectively, and leaving a lasting positive impression on the interviewer.

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How to Face an Interview: Essential Tips and Strategies

Preparing for Success: Researching the Company and Role

Before attending an interview, thorough preparation is crucial. Begin by researching the company, its mission, values, and recent achievements. Familiarize yourself with the role you are applying for and understand its requirements. This knowledge will enable you to align your skills and experiences with the company’s needs and demonstrate a genuine interest during the interview.

Crafting an Impressive Resume and Cover Letter

Your resume and cover letter serve as your initial introduction to the employer. Ensure they are well-crafted, highlighting your relevant skills, experiences, and achievements. Tailor your documents to match the job description, showcasing how your qualifications make you an ideal candidate. Use concise language, clear formatting, and professional design to make a strong impression.

Sharpening Your Communication and Body Language Skills

Effective communication is paramount during an interview. Practice articulating your thoughts clearly and concisely, using appropriate vocabulary and tone. Pay attention to your body language, maintaining good posture, making eye contact, and displaying confidence. Active listening is equally important, as it shows respect and allows you to respond thoughtfully to the interviewer’s questions.  A report by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) reveals that employers look for candidates with strong communication skills, adaptability, teamwork, problem-solving abilities, and leadership potential.

Handling Common Interview Questions with Confidence

Prepare for common interview questions by anticipating them in advance. Practice your responses, ensuring they are concise, relevant, and highlight your skills and experiences. Focus on providing specific examples that demonstrate your abilities and achievements. Maintain a positive and confident demeanor while answering questions, and don’t hesitate to ask for clarification if needed.

To learn how to answer the most common interview questions, take a look at this table:

Common Interview Questions

Best Possible Answer

Tell me about yourself?

Start with a brief overview of your professional background and experiences, highlighting relevant achievements and skills.

Why are you interested in this role?

Explain your genuine interest in the company, the role, and how it aligns with your career goals and passion for the industry.

What are your strengths?


Highlight a few key strengths that are relevant to the position and provide specific examples of how you have demonstrated them.

Tell me about a time you faced a challenge and how you overcame it.

Describe a specific challenge you encountered, the actions you took to address it, and the positive outcome or lessons learned.

How do you handle stress and pressure?

Discuss strategies you employ to stay calm and focused, such as prioritizing tasks, seeking support from colleagues, or practicing self-care.

Describe a situation where you demonstrated leadership.

Share a specific example where you took the lead, delegated tasks, motivated a team, and achieved a successful outcome.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Provide a thoughtful response that demonstrates ambition, growth, and alignment with the company’s long-term goals.

Why should we hire you?

Summarize your unique qualifications, experiences, and skills that make you the ideal candidate for the role, emphasizing your ability to contribute to the company’s success.

Do you have any questions for us?

Ask thoughtful questions about the company culture, team dynamics, future projects, or opportunities for professional growth.

What is your salary expectation?

Research the industry average and provide a range based on your qualifications and experience, while expressing your openness to negotiation.

Showcasing Your Qualifications and Experiences Effectively

During the interview, emphasize your qualifications and experiences that align with the job requirements. Clearly communicate how your skills can benefit the company and contribute to its success. Use the STAR method (Situation, Task, Action, Result) to structure your answers when discussing past experiences. Be authentic, enthusiastic, and demonstrate a genuine passion for the role.

By following these essential tips and strategies, you can face interviews with confidence and increase your chances of success. Developing strong interview skills, understanding different interview types and stages, and effectively showcasing your qualifications will position you as a strong candidate in the competitive job market. Remember to be well-prepared, stay positive, and leave a lasting impression on the interviewer.

Different Types of Interview Stages: From Preparation to Follow-Up

Pre-interview Stage: Research and Preparation

Before the interview, it’s crucial to conduct thorough research about the company, its values, mission, and culture. Familiarize yourself with the job description and requirements. Prepare answers to common interview questions and practice articulating your qualifications and experiences.

The Initial Greeting and Ice-Breaking

During these initial types of interview stage, the interviewer will greet you and initiate a conversation to establish rapport. Offer a firm handshake, maintain eye contact, and display a friendly and professional demeanour. Engage in small talk and find common ground to create a comfortable atmosphere.

The Main Interview: Questioning and Answering

In the main interview, the interviewer will ask a series of questions to assess your suitability for the role. Listen attentively to each question, take a moment to gather your thoughts, and provide clear, concise, and relevant answers. Use the STAR method (Situation, Task, Action, Result) to structure your responses and provide specific examples.

Closing the Interview: Asking Questions and Expressing Gratitude

Towards the end of the interview, the interviewer may invite you to ask questions. Prepare insightful and well-thought-out questions about the role, the team, or the company’s future plans. Express your gratitude for the opportunity to interview and reiterate your interest in the position.

Post-interview Stage: Following Up and Staying Connected

After the interview, send a personalized thank-you email or note to the interviewer within 24 hours. Express your appreciation for their time and reiterate your interest in the role. Use this opportunity to highlight any key points discussed during the interview. Additionally, connect with the interviewer on professional networking platforms, such as LinkedIn, to stay connected and maintain a professional relationship.

Structured Interviews

  • Standardized questions and scoring criteria
  • Focuses on job-related competencies
  • Ensures fairness and consistency in evaluation

Unstructured Interviews

  • Open-ended and conversational format
  • Allows for flexibility and adaptability
  • Relies on free-flowing conversation

Situational Interviews

  • Assesses how you handle hypothetical scenarios
  • Evaluates problem-solving skills and decision-making abilities
  • Focuses on behaviour and reactions in specific situations

Competency Based Interviews

  • Targets specific skills and behaviours required for the job
  • Assesses past behaviours as indicators of future performance
  • Requires examples of situations demonstrating relevant skills

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It’s Your Turn to Nail the Interview Process

In conclusion, mastering the different types of interviews requires a combination of knowledge, preparation, and practice. By understanding the interview process, honing your interview skills, and adapting to various types of interview methods, you can confidently face any interview situation. Remember, each interview stage is an opportunity to showcase your qualifications, skills, and personality. With this Interview Handbook as your guide, you’ll be well-equipped to succeed in your next interview and land your desired job.

Master the art of job interviews with our comprehensive Interview Tips guide, tailored to help you make a lasting impression and land your dream job.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the 2 main types of interviews?

The two main types of interviews are structured interviews and unstructured interviews. Structured interviews follow a set of predetermined questions and scoring criteria, while unstructured interviews are more conversational and open-ended.

What is a 4-stage interview?

A 4-stage interview refers to an interview process that consists of four distinct stages or phases. These stages typically include pre-interview preparation, the initial greeting and ice-breaking, the main interview involving questioning and answering, and finally, the closing stage where questions are asked, and gratitude is expressed.

How do you clear a job interview?

To clear a job interview successfully, it is important to prepare adequately by researching the company and the role, practicing common interview questions, and showcasing your qualifications and experiences effectively. Additionally, dressing appropriately, maintaining good body language, actively listening, and confidently addressing the interviewer’s questions contribute to clearing a job interview.

Which is the easiest type of interview?

The easiest type of interview may vary depending on individual preferences and strengths. However, some candidates find structured interviews to be relatively easier as they follow a standardized format, allowing candidates to anticipate and prepare for the specific set of questions.

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