6 Different Types of Job Interviews

You can be the smartest candidate to cross the sights of an interviewer but a disregard for proper research can cause you to fail the process. Understand what to say and how to behave in each type of interview. There six common types of interview – and you may be in one of it tomorrow. So, read up and understand what they are before starting your interview journey.



A phone interview is often a preliminary round of interview. Employers and recruiter prefer conducting a pre-screening interview to quickly evaluate candidate’s qualification and verify details from the application you sent in before you are called to meet with the actual panellist. The goal of the pre-screening is to see if you can speak to the resume that they have in front of them.

Questions would normally be about your qualifications, your experiences, and your interest in the job. This is your first hurdle – so be ready. When you get a call, excuse yourself till you can get to a quiet place where you can speak freely. Answer the questions directly and you are normally not required to pepper your answers with examples unless directly asked to do so. Be cordial and friendly – recruiters are always saying that the candidates on the phone often sound bored, unsure, suspicious and at times a little rude. Don’t hurt your position of being called in for an appointment – politeness will take you further.

Overall, the real point of this call is to determine your interest in the position you applied for and why you are job hunting.



This would be one other precursor to you getting the job. This type of interview assesses your ability to react to certain situation. During this interview, you will be given scenarios and you will need to determine what your actions will be. The logic behind this interview is to determine how your future performance will roll out to be. The interviewer also wants to evaluate your problem-solving skills.

Before attending this type of interview, you need to have a practice session. Think of all the scenarios that can take place in your experience, in past employment and do your best to outline an answer. During the interview, the key is to keep your cool – don’t ‘ah’ too much, or ramble and don’t have your teeth chattering against each other. Another tip – is to not fidget. The interviewers watch your entire body language during these meetings.

Finally, of course avoid ‘cliched’ answers like – ‘I will sit down and talk to the co-worker on our conflict’. Be real, always provide non-confrontational, valuable solutions that will keep business uninterrupted.



Face-to-face appointments is of course a traditional interview type. This would be the most likely type of interview for most people applying for a job. A face-to-face to interview would be where interviewers can gauge your demeanour, answers, fit and intelligence. Your end goal is to build rapport, substantiate your potential hiring with confidence and answer the questions with integrity.

We have done a whole article on 20 Most Common Job Interview Question – which would help you prepare for any job interviews.

Or read the 10 Psychological Tricks to Help You Ace A Job Interview – to learn the tricks of mind in doing well during your interview. Another helpful article would be the 8 Big Tips to Pass Your Job Interview.

Lastly, you must read 10 Things You Should Never Say During Your Job Interview that gives you tips on what to avoid during any interviews.



Now a panel interview, can be tough. Simply because during this interview there will be panel of representatives from different departments or units conducting the interview. Each of them could have different expectations and methodology of assessing an interviewee. But their end goal is all the same – to hire the best candidate for the position.

The most important tip in doing well during a panel interview is to watch your body language and maintain eye contact. That doesn’t mean you have to stare them down when answering questions – but pretend you are making a presentation and make eye contact with everyone in the panel. The other tip is to bring a copy of you resume and qualification certifications for all the members of the panel – so if you are not sure how many people will be attending the interview then make as many copies as you can.

Panel interviews can be long at times, as everyone in the panel would want to take turns asking you some questions or clarifications. Don’t loose your posture, train yourself to stay motivated throughout the meeting. A positive demeanour will endeavour in positive results.



These days video ‘anything’ is possible. Video interviews are normally held in scenarios where the interviewers and interviewees are in different cities, countries – essentially when a face-to-face interview is not a possibility. Sometimes a video interview could also stand to be a second round of preliminary interview after a phone interview. The processes vary from organisation to organisation.

From a content perspective treat all video interviews like a face-to-face interview. The tip to starting with a good impression during a video interview is to ensure that you are seated in a place with optimal WiFi/broadband connection. Next, ensure that your face gets good lighting – sit facing the light source to be in an ideal position. Most importantly, ensure that your background is not cluttered and that you do not have people walking around behind you, which could serve to be distracting. A quiet area to be in during the interview could help you stay in focussed. Before the interview, check your volume, the link for the interview and adjust your angle so your face and at least one quarter of your chest can be seen in the video. And please be dressed the same way you would be attending a formal face-to-face interview.

The other thing is to practice looking at the camera (not the screen) so that it looks as if you are making eye contact and remember to close any other applications with ‘dings’ so they don’t inadvertently go off during the interview distracting you and the interviewer.

Pro Tip: Inform the interviewer earlier that should the connection fail, you have your mobile phone next to you for any case of emergency. Ensure that the interviewer has all your contact details.



Many times, a coffee meeting or lunch interview will serve as the last evaluation before you can join the team. More often than not this type of interview will be with a higher management in attendance. Sometimes other members of the team can be invited to join too – to see if you fit their ‘work family’.

It is critical that you are still on your best behaviour during this round of evaluation. Don’t ask members of team for the juiciest gossip in the office.

Instead, try to learn more about the culture of the company, expectations for all employees and objectives and goals of the company. Prepare your questions in advance before coming into the interview. You can also talk about how you intend to align your contributions to match the goals of the company. The situation of the interview is intended to be more casual – so relax your shoulders but continue being alert – you are still being assessed.

Now, the most important tip if you are attending this type of interview is that the focus is still you and not the meal. So don’t order anything too expensive, or too messy, and nothing that would need you to concentrate on cutting or any food theatrics. Order the simplest item on the menu and the best option often is just a cup of coffee.

If you are having a meal during the interview, do not doggy bag the leftovers to be taken home. The idea here is to sell yourself not to fill your tummy. Strictly practice a no alcohol policy – unless you are poured a glass by the interviewer and if so, keep the drinking to one glass and don’t take any more. You also don’t have to pay or offer to pay for the food because it is never expected for a candidate to pay.