Types of Interviews and Questions

Depending on the organization and industry you are interviewing with, there could be different styles of interviews that you could face. Many interview questions are comprised of traditional questions, behavioral based, and industry specific/ technical questions. Learn the different styles and questions in order to execute your next interview!

Interview Types

Screening or Telephone Interview: Phone interviews are also commonly known as screening interviews. This quick interview usually lasts 10-30 minutes and gives the employer a first impression of you, your experiences, and your skills to see if you are a good fit. Since this interview is over the phone, it is important to have positive verbal tone and sharp answers delivered with enthusiasm.

One-on-One or Individual Interview: This interview style is common and a traditional interview style. This style of interview tends to be in-person and can take place as a first-round interview and follow-up interviews.

Group Interview: This interview is just as it sounds- a group of people. There is a group of candidates being interviewed by one or more interviewers. Group interviews allow employers to see your interpersonal skills first-hand. See how you can stand out in a group interview below:

Panel Interview: This style of interview has become more popular with employers. The panel interview is comprised of one candidate and multiple interviewers. The panel may be a search committee, potential coworkers, and supervisors that you could interact with on the job. Try and build rapport with each member on the panel and make eye contact with everyone and not just the person asking the question.

Virtual Interview: Technology has allowed virtual interviewing to be a growing practice. Whether you live out-of-state, the interviewers are in different locations, or a global pandemic, these are all reasons that virtual interviewing has become a popular choice. Check out the video for tips to be prepared and successful in a virtual interview.

Next Round and Series of Interviews: Next Round or an On-Site interview means that you have been successful, and they would like to know more about you! This interview style can tend to be longer lasting a half or even a full day with the organization comprised of a series of interviews (multiple interviews with different groups). For example, you might start the day having a panel interview with the search committee, followed by a one-on-one interview with the direct supervisor, and wrapping up the day with a panel interview of the employees you would work most closely with. These interviews tend to be the last stage before a job offer is made.

Interview Questions

Traditional Interview Questions: One of the most common types of interview questions are traditional questions. These questions range from, “Tell me about yourself,” “Strengths and Weaknesses,” “Why are you the best candidate,” to “What questions do you have for me?” Check out our list of traditional questions to practice.

If you are unsure how-to best answer “Tell me about yourself,” check out this video about a successful elevator pitch:

Behavioral Based Questions: The basic premise behind behavioral based interviewing is this: The most accurate predictor of future performance is past performance in a similar situation. Employers predetermine what skills are necessary for the job and then ask very pointed questions to determine if the candidate possesses those skills. You can prepare for these questions by looking at the job descriptions and seeing what skills they are looking for. Utilize the STARR approach when answering these questions in order to give specific and detailed answers. Check out the Job Search Handbook for more information about the STARR approach. Here is our list of behavioral based questions to practice.

Technical or Task Based Questions: These interview questions are structured in a way that allows you to demonstrate your technical knowledge, skills, and abilities. These questions may come in a variety of forms. They could be standard questions (example: “What experience do you have with XYZ Software?”) Or they could be action-based questions that ask for you to perform a task or exercise which could include anything from a short test to delivering a presentation.

Check out more of our practice questions here!