Interview Types: Understand What You're Getting Into

Interview Types

Following are the main interview types:

Phone Interviews • Assessment Events • Informal Interviews • Group Interviews • Panel Interviews • Behavioral Interviews • Situational Interviews • Second Interviews • Structured Interviews • Technical Interviews

Most people have the stereotypical image of a job interview being that of the candidate sitting in front of one or more interviewers and answering questions. However, reality is not as simple. There are in fact many types of interviews, each playing a specific role. Part of preparing for a job interview is actually ascertaining what type of interview you will be attending, so you can focus your energy in the right direction.

Depending on your career field, the interview stage, or the organization, interview types can differ widely. Each of these types of interviews are meant to evaluate specific aspects of your candidacy. Going to an interview without knowing beforehand what you're getting into is counterproductive.

Gather Information

To gain a competitive advantage, research the internet and social media to find clues about what to expect at the interview. Find out about the interview process, interview questions that tend to be asked, how many people will be interviewing you, details about the interview setting, etc. If need be, call HR or, when scheduling the interview, ask for details. Don't take a passive approach. Be active in putting the odds on your side.

Ascertain the Type of Interview

Sometimes, it may not be clear exactly what type of interview you will be attending. For instance, you may not be told that it will be a "behavioral interview" or a "situational interview," but knowing the details of how the interview will take place will give you a general sense of what to expect. The idea is that you should not necessarily try to put a label on the interview, but instead be ready for whatever comes your way.

Knowing the interview type in advance is knowing the rules of the game in advance. Don't forget, an interview is nothing more than a tournament. The winner gets the job.


The articles in this section discuss the various types of interviews, but focus mainly on interviews where there's a direct interaction with the interviewer(s). If you need help preparing for pre-employment tests or assessments, see: Prepare for Your Pre-Employment Assessment.

Scenario / Situational Interview

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