11 Job Interview Techniques and How to Handle Them

Strategies for handling 11 types of job interview techniques so you can be prepared and avoid surprises.

These tips will help you to understand why employers use specific techniques, what they are looking for, and how to respond to make a great impression.

Keep in mind, the panel interview, one on one interview and second interview are the most common types of techniques used by employers.

Other types of interviews, like stress interviews or group interviews exist, but they are far less common.

It is good to be aware of less common types of job interviews so you won't be caught unprepared if you encounter one of the other, less common job interview techniques, but don't let yourself become too worried about the possibility of encountering some of the more unusual interview strategies.

Most Common Types of Interviews

  1. One on One Interview
    Many people say they feel most comfortable with this job interview technique. One on one interviews, along with panel interviews are probably the two types of job interviews you will experience most often.

    Review the tips for preparing for a job interview and answering interview questions to put your best foot forward in this type of interview.

  2. Although one on one, panel, and second interviews are overall the most common types of job interviews, typical interview techniques can vary by industry.

    For example, interviews for police officer jobs are often stress interviews because the employer needs to know the job candidate can diffuse stressful situations.

    Jobs which require manual dexterity (like manufacturing jobs) often include psychological testing which can test a person's fine motor skills.

  3. Panel Interviews
    Panel interviews are interviews that are conducted by more than one interviewer.

    Often employers use this type of interview to give staff who will work closely with the new employee an opportunity to meet the candidates for the job. Panel interviews can also be used to allow the team to share responsibility for hiring new staff.

  4. Second Interview
    If you are called for a second, or third interview, you are well on your way to being offered the job.

    Follow up interviews are often more about assessing your personality than assessing your ability to do the job. That is, if an employer has called you in for a second interview, at that point he or she is probably convinced you have the skills to do the job and wants to determine if your personality and work style would be a good fit with the job, their customers and the existing staff.

Less Common Job Interview Strategies

  1. Screening Interview
    An initial screening interview is usually conducted as an in person, one on one interview or a telephone interview.

    If employers have several promising candidates they want to interview, they may conduct initial screening interviews with several candidates and use the information gathered in those interviews to select two or three candidates to bring in for second interviews.

  2. Phone Interview
    A phone interview is a specific type of screening interview.

    Employers may use a telephone interview to do some initial screening before committing the time to bring you in for a full, in person interview.

    Ensure you are in a quiet place with no distractions in order to make the best first impression.

  3. Group Interviews
    A group interview is an interview in which the employer interviews more than one job candidate at a time.

    Employers use this type of interview to see how you work as a part of a team, to be more efficient with their time or to cause a little bit of added stress and to see how you react to that type of stress.

  4. Stress Interview
    In this type of interview, employers purposely cause more stress than the usual interview stress. They do this because the job will involve certain types of stressful situations, and they want to see if you respond effectively to this type of stress.

  5. Lunch Interview
    If you are invited to this type of interview, read up on your table manners and avoid ordering any food that is difficult to eat (it will distract you from the conversation).

    Do keep in mind that lunch and dinner interviews are very uncommon, and unless you will be entertaining business contacts on a regular basis as a part of your job, you will not likely experience this job interview technique.

  6. Psychological or Pre Employment Testing
    Some employers use psychological tests to assess your personality or your aptitudes (the things you will likely be good at) as they relate to the job.

    If you are required to undergo this type of test, do not try to beat the test. Answer questions honestly and to the best of your ability, get a good night's sleep and go dressed to make a good first impression.

  7. Internal Interview Tips
    Some companies require candidates for internal jobs to go through a formal interview process. Do not assume that the coworker who interviews you knows all about your skills and experience just because he or she is your colleague.

    Describe your skills and qualifications in detail just as you would for an interview with someone you didn't already know.

Not Really a "Type of Interview" but an Important Interview Strategy to Know About

  1. Situational Interviews and Behavioral Interview Questions
    Situational interviews or behavioral interviews are not really types of interviews.

    Situational interviews and behavioral interviews are specific types of questions that you may be asked in a job interview.

    You will not likely experience an interview that is comprised of nothing but situational or behavioral questions. However, you will be asked a few situational or behavioral questions (along with other types of questions) at most job interviews you attend.

    The following articles provide tips for handling situational and behavioral job interview techniques:

Have You Experienced an Unusual Job Interview Technique?

Have you found yourself in the middle of an unusual or particularly difficult job interview? Share your story about your most unusual job interview experience.

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