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Types of Interviews

The purpose of a job interview is for you and an employer to learn about each other.

There are a lot of different ways an employer can interview someone. Learn about the most common types below.

Interview Types

Type What to Expect
Telephone Screening Interview A call from an employer to eliminate candidates. An employer may call you without an appointment. Have your job search records organized and handy. Refer to your resume as needed.
In-Person Screening Interview A face-to-face meeting to eliminate candidates. Provides an initial impression of your attitude and interest. You may not meet with the final decision maker. But don't slack off. Sell yourself as you would in a "regular" interview.
Selection Interview In-depth questions to see if you are right for the job. Also to see if you fit in. There may be more than one interview at this stage. Connect with everyone you meet, before and after the actual interview. Sell yourself as a fit for the team.
Behavioral Interview Also known as a STAR interview (Situation, Task, Action, and Results). The interviewer will ask questions that require you to describe how you have handled work-related situations. This provides more information about your behavior, personality, and character. Think of a few examples ahead of time. Use examples that show your skills and give a good impression of you.
Work Sample Interview Gives you a chance to show your work samples or demonstrate your skills. This might happen as part of the selection interview. Run through different ways to describe projects you have done in the past. Practice your presentation until it is smooth.
Peer Group Interview A meeting with your potential coworkers to see how well you fit in. Don't forget to smile. It shows confidence.
Group or Panel Interview Three or more people will ask you question. It may include other candidates for the position. Direct your answer to the person who asked the question, but try to maintain some eye contact with all group members. If other candidates are present, introduce yourself and be polite. Volunteer to respond first to a few questions, but do not dominate the entire interview. Compliment another candidate's response and then build on it with your own thoughts.
Luncheon Interview Also known as "The Meal." Interview conducted in a restaurant to assess how well you do in social situations. Pick easy things to eat so you can answer questions easily. Pay attention to the conversation. If the location is a coffee shop, it will probably be a more casual conversation.
Stress Interview You will be asked questions intended to make you uncomfortable. It is to test how you will handle stress on the job. Keep your cool. Take your time in answering each question. Don't take anything personally.
Video Conference Interview Uses technology for a "person-to-person" interview by video. Eliminated the need for travel. Practice in front of a video camera or mirror if this format makes you nervous. If the interview will use an online video chat (such as Skype or Google Chat), do a mock interview with a friend using that technology.

Source: Adapted from Creative Job Search, Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development.

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