6 Types of Interviews You Need to Know About

Katy Montgomery

Katy currently serves as the Global Director of the Career Development Centre at INSEAD where she manages career services professionals across three campuses: Abu Dhabi, Fontainebleau, and Singapore. Katy previously served as the Associate Dean for Student Development at the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School.

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Interview season is in full swing, and if you are new to the art of interviewing, you might not know about the different types of interviews—each one requiring a different approach. In this post we examine the various types of interviews you may encounter while on the job hunt.

1.   Informational Interviews

In this interview YOU are the one doing the interviewing. Who are you interviewing? Well, typically an industry professional so you can learn more about a particular industry or job function. This type of interview is best suited for students in the early stages of creating a job search strategy.

2.   Phone, Skype, and Videoconference Interviews

A growing contingent of top employers has cut costs by avoiding campus visits and candidate travel expenses. As a result, phone, Skype, and videoconference interviews have become common practice for the first-round. On a phone interview you are unable to see and adjust to visual cues, so be sure to pay close attention to the interviewer’s tone and the substance of their questions. You may find a short delay in Skype or videoconferencing, but do not let this distract you; remain polished and articulate.

3.   Group Interviews

In some instances, you will be interviewed by more than one person at the same time. Normally, group interviews allow for no more than four interviewers and commonly only two are present. Be sure to make eye contact with each interviewer and address each interviewer’s questions; additionally, be careful not to focus on just one interviewer.

4.   Behavioral Interviews

The theory behind behavioral interviews is that past performance in a situation is the best predictor of future performance in a similar situation. Questions in this interview format are most likely influenced by important, sought-after competencies such as leadership, teamwork, and creativity. Think of specific examples that demonstrate your hard and soft skills to prepare for this interview.

5.   Case Interviews

This type of interviewing is typically found in consulting companies, but it is now spreading into financial services and banking. Initially, you are presented with a hypothetical industry-related problem. There is no right answer; instead, the interviewer is evaluating your problem-solving and analytical reasoning skills. This type of interviewing can be daunting, but with preparation you can participate in a case interview with the utmost confidence.

6.   Task/Testing Method Interviews

Some employers may give you a task or test to evaluate your skills during an interview. For example, a task may be giving a live presentation during your interview so your employer can gauge your communication skills. A test may be quantitative in nature, such as completing a set of accounting problems, so the interviewer can assess your accounting abilities.

Whatever type of interview you encounter, the Career Development Office can help you prepare by discussing interview strategy and conducting practice interviews. Contact the CDO now to perfect your interviewing techniques. Registration for coaching sessions is available through Carey Compass.

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