Types Of Interview

Interviewers come in many styles, shapes, and sizes. They may be trained professionals or rank beginners. They may be pleasant and encouraging or rude and opinionated.

Likewise, there are several kinds of interviews, depending on the personality and preferences of the interviewer and the instructions from the employer. Generally, in on-campus and consortia interviews students will be involved initially with a screening interview, one from which the interviewer makes a recommendation about whether to consider a candidate further. The screening interview is usually (but not always) conducted by a friendly, encouraging individual who has been trained to follow a fairly structured line of questioning.


Be ready for a telephone interview from the moment you apply for a position. Many times a company will ask you questions the first time they contact you to begin assessing your qualifications. Keep a list with you of the positions you have applied for, the company it is with, the job description and any other pertinent information. The fact that they cannot see you is a challenge but also a benefit, use your notes.


Some employers will interview several candidates at the same time or you might find yourself in a social setting with the other candidates during the interview process. Keep in mind that the employer is always evaluating you. You want to be seen as a team player.


A panel is the reverse of the group interview. There are several people from the employer. You might be interviewed by 2-10 people at the same time. Be sure to make eye contact with each person. When a question is asked you want to direct 50% of your eye contact to the person that asked the question and the other 50% to the other members of the panel. Try to get everyone’s contact information so that you can write each of them a thank you letter.


This is the traditional format for interviews. Make good eye contact and try to match their “style“. If they are very conservative and don’t smile it would not be a good idea to try humor in the interview.


The main challenge is that you usually only have 30 minutes with the recruiter. So be sure to use all the time to your advantage. If there are company representatives in the waiting area, take advantage of the extra “face time” by speaking with them. Remember, they are always evaluating you.


When you get an interview that is at the employer’s place of business you need to stay on your toes. You want to be nice to everyone from the receptionist to people you pass by in the parking lot. You never know what their position is at the company. Plan your route to the location and make sure you allow for traffic. You do not want to be late to an interview! Arrive about 15 minutes early but you want to be near the employer about 1 hr before your interview so you can make sure you have everything together. Take the last 45 minutes to get some water or a bite to eat if you are hungry.

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