19 Types of Common Interviews and How To Prepare for Each

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 27 September 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Employers use interviews to learn more about candidates to narrow their search for the best fit for the job opening. During an interview, the hiring manager may ask you a series of questions to test your competency and learn more about your experiences related to the role. Though many employers use a traditional one-on-one interview format, some companies find that other kinds of interviews help them evaluate candidates better. In this article, we explain 19 of the most common types of interviews you may experience as a job candidate and how to succeed in each setting.

19 common types of interviews

Though most employers tell you what kind of interview to expect, it's still important to know what each of the most common types of interviews entails so you can prepare for any you may encounter when looking for a new job. Here are 19 interview types to know:

1. Traditional interview

A traditional interview is when you and one other person meet to discuss your credentials. Typically, this person is a manager, HR professional or the owner of the business. For a traditional interview, you meet the interviewer at the business and have an interview in their office or a conference room. They may ask you about your education, experience and skills about the role. Prepare for this kind of interview by researching both the company and your interviewer.

2. Panel interview

In a panel interview, multiple people interview you at once. Your position may affect other people's jobs, so they all may give their input on how they see you as a candidate. When answering each question they ask you, direct your answer to the person who asked it, while still trying to make eye contact with the interviewers. Try to learn the positions of each interviewer beforehand, so you know where to direct specific questions.

Related: 10 Questions To Ask an Interviewee (With Example Answers)

3. Group interview

In this style of interview, the company may interview multiple people at once. Though you may feel competitive in a group interview, always be polite and friendly to the other candidates to show your professionalism. Provide answers that may help you stand out as a candidate. Listen to what the other candidates say before you so that you can think of a unique response when it's your turn to answer.

4. Phone interview

Hiring managers or recruiters often use phone interviews to screen a pool of candidates. During this interview, they may ask you to tell them a little about yourself and then ask you questions about why you applied for the job. If they find you're a quality candidate for the role, they may ask you to come to the business for a traditional interview. If you're applying to a remote position, a phone interview may also serve as a formal interview. When interviewing on the phone, try to find a quiet location free of noises and distractions.

5. Video interview

Remote employers often use teleconferencing or video interviews when hiring for their positions. Treat your teleconferencing interview like a traditional interview by preparing for common interview questions beforehand. Also, dress professionally, as if you were attending an in-person interview. Sit in front of a tidy, neutral backdrop so the interviewer can focus on your responses and see that you're an organised person. As with a phone interview, try to find a quiet room with no noises or distractions.

Read more: 10 Video Interview Tips To Help Make a Good Impression

6. Stress Interview

Though this interview type is less common, employers filling a high-stress position may use the stress interview tactic. In a stress interview, the interviewer may ask you unusual questions rather than ones about your background and experience.

For example, they may ask you to solve puzzles, react to unusual behaviours or give you an odd task. The purpose of this interview is to assess how you can perform in challenging situations. To do well in a stress interview, try to remain calm and focus on one task at a time.

7. Case interview

In a case interview, the interviewer may ask you certain questions about a real-world situation and how you may handle the situation. In a case interview, the employer often is selective about which candidates they interview. This means that they themselves may decide if your responses are good enough for them to consider you as a candidate.

Related: 15 Common Difficult Interview Questions (With Example Answers)

8. Job fair interview

In a job fair, companies may set up booths at an event where visitors apply for jobs or promotions within the company. The employer may also circulate among these booths and speak with applicants one-on-one. They may also offer applicants informational brochures or hand out contact information for their departments.

9. On-the-job interview

When you're applying for a role at any organisation, you may experience an on-the-job interview. During this kind of interview, you meet with your new employer to discuss your role and then start working for them immediately. On-the-job interviews are popular in the technology industry because workers have to work directly with clients or co-workers on a day-to-day basis.

10. Unstructured interview

The advantage of an unstructured interview is that they're often more relaxed and informal. It's typical for an employer to give you a few minutes of their time to discuss what you're looking for in a role. They may ask questions about yourself or your experience or they may simply want to learn more about your lifestyle.

Related: 21 Tips for Interviewers (Plus 5 Interview Techniques)

11. Structured Interview

During a structured interview, the employer may give you some information about them and what they do before they ask you questions. They may ask you about your skill sets and your desired area of work. This helps employers establish a baseline for you so they can better determine if you fit into their organisation.

12. Behavioural interview

Behavioural interviews are most common with sales teams and other positions in which you may interact with clients or the public. The employer may ask you to tell them about yourself, why you're applying for the job and examples of your past performance. Be prepared to describe your work history and discuss your skills in detail.

Related: 40 Top Behavioural Interview Questions (with Example Answers)

13. Technical interview

A technical interview is an interview about your skills. You can expect to be asked about how well you know the specific tools or technologies that the employer uses. They may ask you questions about specific tools or concepts that they use daily, so they may want to see that you understand how the technologies work.

14. Final interview

The final interview is a follow-up to a previous interview. This can be a phone interview, an in-person interview or any other kind of interview. In the final interview, employers may ask you more in-depth questions about your skills and experience, since they may already have reviewed your resume and perhaps verified it with someone else from your past employment history.

15. Informal interview

In an informal, the employer may set up a time to meet you informally with someone to discuss the general elements of the position. It may be the receptionist, the director or another representative of the employer. The purpose is for the employer to get more of an idea about you rather than setting up a formal interview situation, which may occur later.

16. Mock interview

In a mock interview, you practise the job interview in a way that is very similar to a real interview. You can expect to hear questions you may receive in a real job interview. The purpose of this kind of interview is for you to practice and feel more confident about your answers and how to present yourself.

17. On-the-spot interview

An on-the-spot interview is when an employer interviews a candidate as soon as they apply to the position, typically in person. This may include questions about your overall qualifications to determine if you're eligible for a formal interview. Although, some employers may make hiring decisions after conducting on-the-spot interviews.

18. Informational interview

An informational interview is an interview with someone who works in the field that you're interested in. It's a great way to learn more about careers and what it takes to find employment within an industry. After all, there is no better way to learn about a career than learning from someone who actually does it daily.

19. Second interview

A second interview is a follow-up interview after the employer has conducted the first interview. This can be a phone call, an in-person interview or another kind of meeting. During this meeting, you can expect to learn more about the job and your possible co-workers.

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