4 Types of Job Interviews (& How to Ace Them)

Job interviews happen in a variety of ways. Sometimes they occur over lunch, others in a boardroom. You might speak with just one person, or three stakeholders in a day—the possibilities are many.

Here’s our rundown of four common types of interviews complete with tips on how to ace them:

#1 Recruiter Interviews

Recruiters and Hiring Managers are likely both positions you’ve heard of in regards to who plays a role in the interview process. You may have heard these terms used interchangeably, but there is actually a difference in what interviews are like between these types of people.

A recruiter will likely be the first person you have contact with. An interview with a recruiter almost always takes place over the phone, and you can expect this interview to be a bit more relaxed than interviews that may follow.

The recruiter interview serves as a screening or vetting stage. Though they will likely not ask you any technical or extremely difficult questions, it is their job to ensure that you are qualified for the position. Usually it is beneficial for a recruiter to find a candidate fit for the position, so they are rooting for you to do well. You can think of the recruiter as your advocate.

How to Ace It: Don’t let your guard down! Impress the recruiter. Even though they’re your advocate, you need to first give them good reason to advocate for you.

#2 Manager Interviews

A hiring manager is usually the person you will be put in touch with after speaking with the recruiter. The hiring manager will be more knowledgeable about what the job entails. The Hiring Manager might even be someone you could be working with if you were to accept the position.

The hiring manager likely has another role within the company, whereas a recruiter only has one purpose, to recruit qualified candidates.

How to Ace It: Ask questions that go beyond the details of what is listed in the job posting, as the hiring manager is typically in the know about the inner workings of the position you applied to.

#3 Virtual Interviews

Employers leverage video technology to review candidates for a number of reasons. It gives them most of the benefits of meeting with a candidate in real life, minus some of the obstacles that come with it —especially useful when the candidate is not in the same city or state as the employer.

How to Ace It: If you’re interviewing virtually, practice using the technology you’ll be interviewing on before the day of the interview to avoid any stress or last minute scrambling. Never conduct a virtual interview in a coffee shop or somewhere public where you cannot control or predict your surroundings.

Direct eye contact as you would if you were in person (don’t look at the screen, look at your camera lens!).

#3 Group Interviews

A group interview means you are interviewing with several other candidates, in the same room. The interviewer will pose a question, and all of the candidates will take turns answering.

How to Ace It: You might be wondering “How am I supposed to stand out amongst a room of other equally qualified candidates?”

Prepare introduction so when it comes time to present yourself, and be sure to introduce yourself to the whole room, not just the interviewer.

Answer questions first, but not all the time. Nobody likes a show off, and there are advantages to waiting to hear others speak first. When other candidates are answering questions, be attentive, and face whoever is currently speaking.

At the end of the interview, be sure to thank the interviewer and shake hands with not only them, but the other candidates.

#4 Panel Interviews

A panel interview is kind of like the opposite of a group interview. You are the only candidate in the room, but there are several interviewers.

How to Ace It: Many of the principles for acing a group interview apply here. Shake hands with everyone there and direct your eye contact and body language accordingly. Additionally, try to direct some of your questions to specific people, and be sure to use their name. It has been psychologically proven that people like hearing their own names. And remember, stay calm.

Understanding the type of interview you’ll be experiencing will tell you how you’ll be judged, as well as what you’ll be able to learn about a potential employer. Combined, these data points will allow you to make the right impression during your meeting, as well as a sound decision about your next steps with the company!

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