6 Most Common Interview Types And How To Prepare For Them

A job interview is one of the most important steps that you will take in your job search journey. It’s the best chance you have to show the hiring manager that you’re the most suitable person for the job. But interviews come in different shapes and sizes - they can be face-to-face with one single interviewer, they can be done in groups or sometimes, you may even get a phone call out of the blue. The coronavirus outbreak has made virtual interviews a popular thing in this age as well. But no matter what the format, you need to be well prepared to ace the interview. Here is a list of the top most common interview types and how to nail every interview you might face. 

1. Solo Interview 

Solo interviews are the most expected and common interview types which are feared by many. You’ll probably be interviewed by your would-be manager or other members of upper management for this type of interview. The ultimate goal of this interview is for them to make an evaluation of your attitude and your ability to perform the job. 

Here are some pointers to keep in mind during solo interviews:

  • Be yourself - Employers usually want to hire someone they can see themselves working along with. Are you serious or easy going? Are you laid back or upbeat? Make sure that your personality shows and fits the company culture during this interview.
  • Reiterate your interest in the position - Make sure to show immense interest in the role and give them all the reasons why you think you would be a great fit. If the interviewer has some doubts about your skills and experience, this is your chance to give them that one last pitch to make them change their mind.

The next common interview type is a group interview.

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2. Group Interview

Companies hold group interviews because they can save a lot of time and because they’re often more efficient than solo interviews. A group interview is where there are a number of applicants competing for the job in the same interview along with you. This is usually the stage before an official solo interview if there are lots of applicants. These interviews are designed to assess your teamwork and interpersonal skills. The challenge here is to take charge and stand apart from your peers when you are all equally qualified.

Here are some pointers to keep in mind during group interviews:

  • Listen to other candidates - In an ideal group interview, every candidate has to wait for their turn. Use this time to listen to the other candidates so that when it's your turn, you can come up with a better response. 
  • Don’t interrupt - Don’t ever interrupt the interviewer and the other candidates even if you've got something good to say. This will just make you look more aggressive than qualified.

The next interview type is the virtual interview.

3. Virtual Interview

Virtual interviews are becoming a regular part of the job application process due to the coronavirus outbreak. Once considered the type of interview that only edgy startup companies would ask for, they have become more mainstream as they help to save time and money that face-to-face interviews require. These interviews can also be recorded and shared with other managers to compare candidates. However, virtual interviews can be stressful for candidates who never had a video interview before because they don’t know what to expect. 

Here are some pointers to keep in mind during virtual interviews:

  • Keep your background neutral - This is one of the easiest aspects you can control and makes a big impact on how you are perceived by your interviewer.
  • Find a good camera angle - Choose a few good angles with proper lighting before the interview to make sure your face is well lit and properly in the frame.
  • Look professional - Dress as you would for a face-to-face interview.

The next interview type is the panel interview.

4. Panel Interview

Panel interviews include one applicant and several interviewers. While you should cover all of the typical interview preparation tips like researching the company, highlighting your past accomplishments, reviewing your resume, etc., there are some additional things you should also keep in mind to ace your panel interview.

Here are some pointers to keep in mind during panel interviews:

  • Practice good body language and eye contact. Make eye contact with the entire panel, but pay a little bit more attention to whoever asks the questions.
  • Prepare some questions in advance and ask them to the panel.
  • Try to find out from the HR department who will be on the panel in advance and spend some time learning about them.
  • Bring a resume copy for everyone on the panel to make sure that they are all familiar with your background.

The next interview type is the phone interview.

5. Phone Interview

While searching for a job, you need to be prepared for unscheduled phone interviews as well. While these types of interviews can be scheduled as well, they happen on a moment’s notice at most times. In either case, it is good to be prepared and stay confident to answer the interviewer’s questions.

Here are some pointers to keep in mind during virtual interviews:

  • Maintain a conversational tone and do not sound so stiff over the phone. Talk as if you are sharing something exciting with one of your friends.
  • Do not give very short or non-descriptive answers.
  • Do not speak too fast as it will make you sound more nervous.

The next interview type is the exit interview.

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6. Exit Interview

An exit interview is a meeting between an employee who resigned or has been terminated by the employer. Companies often conduct exit interviews to get feedback on the work environment. You could be asked by the HR department why you are leaving, what would make your stay, or what changes you would suggest to make the job better for future applicants. You should respond carefully to these questions so that you do not burn any bridges.

Here are some pointers to keep in mind during exit interviews:

  • Do not complain or be rude. 
  • Share only specific and helpful information.
  • Plan what to say ahead of time.
  • Do not boast about your new job.

Here’s What You Can Do Next

The next best thing you can do after a job interview is to be smart and follow up at this stage. Send the interviewer a quick thank you note the next day after your interview. You can also ask them when you can expect to hear them about the next steps in this email. Another way of standing out from the crowd is to get certified and highlight your expertise in the role. This will showcase your level of commitment and also prove that you are eager to learn new skills to bring innovative changes to the organization.

About the Author

Nikita DuggalNikita Duggal

Nikita Duggal is a passionate digital nomad with a major in English language and literature, a word connoisseur who loves writing about raging technologies, digital marketing, and career conundrums.

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