Career Corner: How to Ace These 9 Most Common Job Interview Types

Job interview

It used to be that you would physically sit down with a manager to interview for an open position. And while that still frequently happens, you also have good odds of being asked your availability for a video interview. Or even just talking by phone.

How you handle an interview drastically changes based on the format, so you need to know how to adjust. The editorial team at The Muse has compiled some of the more commonly seen interview types, and strategies for going into them.

Standard Interviews

The classic that everyone knows. Just do your research on the position and company, and dress appropriately, and you should do fine for this one-on-one sit down at the company.

Video Interviews

This adds some challenging new dynamics, especially making sure your camera and microphone are functioning okay. You also now have to be sure whatever room you use as your background looks as professional as you do.

Phone Interviews

This might be more pressure or less, depending on how comfortable with visual communication you are. The plus side is you don’t have to worry about what to wear since it’s all auditory. The downside is you don’t have any visual feedback on what the interviewer might be thinking, so you need to really excel at verbalizing your skills.

Group Interviews

If there are multiple openings for the same position, you might experience an interview where you are together with other candidates. Make sure you use your time to speak effectively so you don’t get lost in the shuffle and avoid piggybacking off other’s thoughts to make sure you are showing your individuality.

Working Interviews

Rather than just hearing you describe why you are a good fit for the role, this employer wants to see you in action. They may put you in a cubicle or office to work on a timed assignment to really see what you can do. You should be aware that you are going to be tested prior, so practice your time management beforehand if possible to ensure you don’t leave the task unfinished.

Panel Interviews

Rather than just one interviewer, you will be facing multiple people at once. You need to make a good impression on all of them, so be sure to take time to make eye contact with everyone as you respond. When it comes time for you to ask questions, have specific questions in mind to give each interviewer a chance to respond to you.

Lunch Interviews

The setting might be more casual, but you still have a lot riding on this. Pick your meal based on professionalism rather than whatever you have a craving for. Avoid noisy foods, and nothing messy like chicken wings or a sandwich that will leave your hands all greasy.

Career Fair Interviews

This puts you on the spot in a crowded room, so be sure to speak loud enough to be heard over the noise. Also be aware to make the most of your time, as the interviewer will likely only be able to give you so long to talk if others are waiting.

Case Interviews

Similar to the working interview, here you are showing your problem-solving abilities on a mock case. You should know this is coming, so prepare by looking up sample cases and use your expertise to practice what your response would be.

Puzzle Interviews

Another style that resembles a working interview, this time you will be given a specific scenario to mull over. Your task is to logically explain what methods you would use to formulate your conclusion, such as research to conduct. Take a moment to collect your thoughts before launching into an explanation to make sure you don’t wind up rambling and are able to form a coherent plan.

You might not necessarily know in advance which interview type you will have for a job. Some could even be combined, such as a group video interview. Practice for each now rather than getting caught off guard later.

For more detailed tips on how to handle these interview formats, read The Muse’s article about it by clicking here.


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