Do You Know The 21 Types Of Interviews?
Before you launch yourself into the interview cauldron you need to know the lay of the land. Not only do you need to be aware of how interviews are conducted from a question and answer level, but you need to know the structural format of interviews. This article gives you the big picture on the 21 different types of interview formats and what to expect as you move through the interview process.
Do You Know The 21 Types Of Interviews?
To Win At The Interview Game You Must
Be Ready For All These Interview Formats
Bill Cole, MS, MA
Founder and CEO
William B. Cole Consultants
Silicon Valley, California
Before you launch yourself into the interview cauldron you need to know the lay of the land. Not only do you need to be aware of how interviews are conducted from a question and answer level, but you need to know the overall structural format of interviews. This article gives you the big picture on the 21 different types of interview formats and what to expect as you move through the interview process.
- Assessment Interview: Rather than being interviewed verbally by a human, you may be asked to complete psychometric tests, medical or physical tests, analytic tasks, skills tests or other tested measures.
- Asynchronous One-Way Video Interview (OWVI): An asynchronous video is one that has no live interviewer. Also called time-shifted interviews, this format is a one-time, one-way video recorded interview you can often complete on your own time schedule. These are frequently used in many medical schools, and businesses, acting as an efficient mass screening tool. One common version of this video type is called CASPer, the Computer-Based Assessment for Sampling Personal Characteristics, developed and administered by Altus Assessments Inc. This is a 90-minute situational judgment test (SJT) where the candidate views 12 scenarios with actors and is then required to describe how they would handle each one, plus giving the reasons behind their decision. Other similar virtual, distance asynchronous video formats are called KIRA Talent and VITA (Video Interview Tool For Admissions).
- Audition, Demonstration Interview: Here you may actually be asked to demonstrate something, teach something, sell something, explain something or stand up and deliver a speech to the interviewers. You may also be given homework to present at the interview, or to simply turn in as a form of portfolio the admissions panel will judge. In engineering, a “white board” interview tests your technical and coding knowledge and abilities.
- Behavioral Interview: This is a very common type of interview you will encounter, and the one that takes the most training and preparation to master. The interviewer asks questions that probes your actual experience and competence, as opposed to asking you questions about qualities you say you possess. Also called a competency-based interview or behavioral event interview.
- Case Study Interview: Here the interviewer may describe a hypothetical client or situational problem or challenge and ask how you would approach it, analyze it, and solve it. You also may be asked to provide an actual case study you experienced.
- Email Interview: Generally considered a screening method, rather than an in-depth interview, here you will be asked to submit your resume, cover letter, application and answer some questions.
- Follow-Up Interview: After your first successful interview you may be called back for a number of ensuing sessions, often with different people.
- Group Interview: Sometimes called a tag-team interview, here you are in a room with a number of other interviewees at the same time, and typically a panel of interviewers. You may be expected to participate in a group task (sometimes against other teams). Your goal is to differentiate yourself from the others.
- Informational Interview: Here you interview an expert or a more experienced person than yourself to gain details about a career or position. This interview has less pressure since you are not actually asking for a job, but merely seeking details about a career, industry, or trends in a field.
- Mealtime or Social Event Interview: You may be asked to interview over breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks or drinks. This may happen at restaurants, a sporting event, the theater, golf, or other venues.
- Multiple Mini Interview: The multiple mini interview (MMI) uses a timed circuit over numerous independent assessments to arrive at a metric for a candidate. This format is popular because it results in an objective score that can be compared to other applicants.
- Panel Interview: In this format you are alone in front of a group of interviewers, and you may be asked questions by any or all of them.
- Screening Interview: This is the first interview a candidate often undergoes. This is often a telephone interview of around 30 minutes or less.
- Semi-Structured Interview: Considered more flexible than the structured interview, the semi-structured interview gives the interviewer (and interviewee) freedom to make deviations in the flow of the interview. Follow up questions, probing questions, and more conversational elements can turn this format into a dialogue rather than an interrogation.
- Serial Interview: In this format you will be asked to give interviews, on the same day, back to back, with different people.
- Skeet Shoot Format: A series of panelists ask you a series of questions in a short time frame to test your ability to handle stress.
- Speed Interviewing: Here you almost run from interviewer to interviewer for short three-minute or so episodes of rapid-fire questions. Similar to speed dating, but with more stress.
- Stress Or Hostile Interview: In some industries where a candidate needs to work in a stressful environment stress interviews are used to determine who has the mental and emotional toughness to survive and thrive at the job. Here the interviewer may be rude, dismissive, hostile or abusive.
- Structured Interview: This type of interview has a pre-determined, rigid structure that does not allow for extemporaneous, creative additions to the format. This requires the interview to be conducted with exactly the same questions in the same order. Sometimes also known as a standardized interview or a researcher-administered survey.
- Telephone Interview: This is also considered a screening method, but it can be rather in-depth and lengthy at times. The interviewer is seeking to determine if they want to call you in for a face to face interview.
- Video Interview: Interviewing in front of a camera is becoming one of the next steps in the online recruiting process. Employers know that they can use video conferencing faster and more efficiently than they can in scheduling in-person interviews.
Knowing in advance, as much as is humanly possible, the way an interview will be structured, is critical to you as you prepare to be interviewed. You really need to know what to expect so you can adjust your interview training and practice accordingly. As your interview coach I will help you devise smart strategies for each type of interview so you can enter each one with the most important ingredient of all—confidence.
This article is an excerpt from the Interview Success
Guide, an indispensable tool you need to make your interview campaign
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To learn more about how interview coaching can help you improve your abilities
in media situations, oral test and exam situations, and job interviews visit
Bill Cole, MS, MA, the Mental Game Coach, at:
Bill Cole, MS, MA. All rights reserved.
Bill Cole, MS, MA, a leading authority
on peak performance, mental toughness and coaching, is founder and
CEO of William B. Cole Consultants, a consulting firm that helps
organizations and professionals achieve more success in business,
life and sports. He is also the Founder and President of the International
Mental Game Coaching Association (www.mentalgamecoaching.com),
an organization dedicated to advancing the research, development,
professionalism and growth of mental game coaching worldwide. He
is a multiple Hall-Of-Fame honoree as an athlete, coach and school
alumnus, an award-winning scholar-athlete, published book author
and articles author, and has coached at the highest levels of major-league
pro sports, big-time college athletics and corporate America. For
a free, extensive article archive, or for questions and comments
visit him at www.MentalGameCoach.com.
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