Acing the Interview

Section One: Types of Interviews

The most common type of interview is sitting down one-on-one with the interviewer.

The one-on-one interview is what most people think of as the traditional interview. You are invited to meet with a recruiter or hiring manager to speak about the position you have applied for and your qualifications for the job. In this interview it is important to connect with the person interviewing you. Remember his or her name, and be honest and personable. Remember that this person wants to know how you can benefit the company, but it is also important for you to ask and learn about the position to see if it is the right fit for you.

Phone interviews can be used as a screening tool.

To narrow down the pool of candidates, employers may use phone interviews to screen applicants. This type of interview can also be useful in interviewing far away candidates and minimize cost of travel. If you have sent out your resume, then you should be prepared for a phone interview. Be sure to have a copy of your resume, as well as a pen and paper by your phone to take notes. It is important to eliminate all distractions, such as eating, drinking, or smoking while on the phone to give the interviewer your full attention. Use a natural conversational tone and remember to smile while you are talking – this improves your tone of voice and releases endorphins. If you are using video chat, such as Skype or Google Hangout, be sure that you are dressed professionally with a neutral backdrop. At the end of the call, thank the interviewer and reiterate that you look forward to meeting in person.

Group interviews include two or more candidates and may have more than one interviewer.

Group interviews allow the company to save time and money while observing how candidates interact. Introduce yourself and show confidence by being an active participant, not an observer. Panel interviews are conducted by two or more members of a hiring committee. This shows teamwork as a company value and may speed up the hiring process. Shake each person’s hand, make eye contact, and try to remember everyone’s names. In the activity to the right, decide whether each item is a trait of a group interview, panel interview, or both types of interviews by dragging the item to the corresponding category.