Do You Know the Type of Job Interview you Face?

Do you know the type of job interview you face? And are you prepared? Here are seven types of selection interviews. They include everything from pre-screening to the encounter with the decision-maker(s).

  1. Pre-screening can be checking your resume – do you meet the basic criteria? Match key-words (by computer)? Sometimes it may also be by phone, one-way video or Skype call. Third-party pre-screening consists of an interview with a job search firm consultant, employment agency rep or even an independent psychologist. A personality test may be included.  Many companies have internal screening interviews – usually from HR.
  2. Behavioural Interviews are the most usual type of interview. Here, the interviewer asks how you handled a certain situation in the past. Such critical incident questions have the potential to reveal your perspectives and competencies without you being aware of how much you are revealing. The interviewer generally has been trained in this methodology. Some create mini-scenarios that show how you work under pressure.
  3. Sequential Interviews can be held in a series of interviews over one day. Usually they involve a reporting chain of supervisors, peers or team members, often with little coordination among the interviewers.
  4. Panel or Team Interviews are vested interest party screening – usually co-workers, team members, people who depend on your work and, possibly the decision-maker.
  5. Interviews with Decision-Makers has two crucial, usually unsaid, questions: In what ways can you make me a winner and can I work easily with you?
  6. Stamp-of Approval Interviews are final interviews where the hiring decision has been made and you meet potential new key players and vice versa. It may be where critical first impressions are made that will affect your crucial first 90 days.
  7. Stress Interviews deliberately create a stressful atmosphere. It has the purpose of assessing how you respond under pressure.

Other types of interview include an informal lunch, a work task, a structured list of questions for each candidate, or a competency based approach with the focus on the ‘Can do?’ question rather than the ‘Will do?’ or “Fit?’ questions.

Remember that interviewing is a mutual process. Keeping this in mind is necessary for the right mental attitude – you are an equal with something of value to offer, not a supplicant with your hat in your hand.


My Four Session Job Application Programme provides you with the essential frameworks and techniques to meet the challenges of each type of screening and interview.

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