The Different Types of Interview Formats

All interviews have the same goal: to find the best candidate. Many employers reach that objective using different methods. You may enter an interview expecting to communicate your professional accomplishments and may soon find yourself being tested on how well you can sell shoes or demonstrating your programming skills. There are many types of interview formats, and not all of them are identical. Some employers use interviews to test your knowledge in a specific area while others use them to perform personality assessments. In order to perform well on an interview, you need to know the rules of the game.

Pre-Screening Interviews

Many employers like to screen candidates to make sure that they have the right skills and qualifications needed to perform the job. Interviewers using this method often have the ability to determine right away if there is anything that may disqualify you for the particular position. They may question you about the gaps in your employment history or about anything on your resume that looks inconsistent. They might also ask you about salary information to determine whether your expectations fit within their budget. Sometimes this type of interview may even take place over the phone so that employers can decide whether or not they would like to call you in for a face-to-face interview.

Behavioral Interviews

A lot of employers are increasingly relying on behavioral interviews because they assess a jobseeker’s behavior to indicate future performance. In these types of interviews, employers may use standardized questions and methods to find information that is relevant to your abilities and knowledge of a particular area. You may be asked to describe a time when you had to resolve a conflict, used problem-solving skills, used multi-tasking, took initiative, or managed priorities.

Audition Interviews

Some IT or technical positions require specific knowledge in a particular area. Employers may take you through a demonstration or brief exercise to evaluate your knowledge and skills. This is a great way for you to learn about the actual position that you are applying to.

Group Interviews

You may be required to interview with other potential candidates. This type of interview can show an employer how you might interact with co-workers and colleagues as well as demonstrate your leadership style. It can also show how you perform in a team environment. The employer can use this to view how you communicate with others and persuade people to take action. You may be asked to discuss an issue with the other candidates, solve a group problem, or discuss your specific abilities and qualifications in front of the other candidates.

Follow-up Interview

Employers may bring a candidate back in for a second, third, and sometimes fourth interview for a variety of reasons. This may be to introduce you to other staff members and senior management, assess whether you are the right candidate for the position, narrow in on a few final candidates before making a final decision, or to confirm what a great candidate you are.
The most important thing in any interview is to be confident. Highlight what you can offer the employer and express your interest in the job. Ask questions to discover more information about the company’s culture. Be prepared for the unexpected and relax during your interview so that you can answer questions to the best of your ability with a natural flare.