Interview Types


Conducted by the Human Resources department or an outside firm to eliminate persons who do not meet the basic requirements of the company. They will usually compare your qualifications against a job description or the job requirements.

Treat screeners as if they were making the final decision - they are deciding if you will go to the next step.

Use information from this interview to your advantage.

Your main purpose is to make a good impression.


Informal: Interviewer has a general idea of what will be asked, but after the first question, the interview follows the trend of a conversation rather than any pre-set pattern or list of questions.

Structured: Questions will be written out, based on the job requirements, and will be asked of every applicant. This is often a longer interview, since all questions must be asked of all candidates and then compared.

Unstructured: Can be interpreted as a type of stress interview if you are not prepared. After one or two questions, the interviewer may sit back and wait for you to make the next move. Ask questions about the job or the company and after the answer, respond with how your strengths and interests match.

Sequential: Interviewing with several people, one at a time. Handle this as though each one was the only one, even if it means many things will be repeated.


You may meet with more than one person at a time

Teamwork is important to the company. They want to see how effective you are as part of a group.

Take it one question at a time. Focus intently on the questioner.

Answer the person who asked the question. Follow-up with a statement or summary to include the group. When you look around, see if anyone seems to need further clarification.

Do not assume the questioner is the decision-maker. Try to figure out the power structure within the group, but do not let it distract you.

Make eye contact with each member of the group.


You will be called on to act as you would in real-life situations. An example would be a sales presentation. If you have a choice of selling anything in the room, choose yourself!

You will be asked questions that describe how you would do things under certain circumstances or how you have done things in the past.,/p>


Designed to screen out less qualified applicants. Initial screening can also be done by faxes and e-mails.

  • - Expect a call outside of normal business hours.
  • - Eliminate background noises.
  • - Have all information by the phone.
  • - Stand while you speak. Your voice will sound stronger and more confident.


Conducted either to see how you handle pressure; or may be an untrained interviewer on a power trip. Interviewer stares, lets long silences go by, fires questions, interrupts answers, uses sarcasm, etc.

When you recognize this:

  • 1. Take a deep breath and keep calm.
  • 2. Answer as much as possible before the next interruption.
  • 3. Do not let silences rattle you.
  • 4. Do not be defensive or argumentative.