Interviewing Types and Stages
Interviews occur in your job search process where employers make their hiring decisions.
They provide an opportunity for you to make a strong connection with the employer
and demonstrate why you'll be a good fit for the position and the company.
Different types of interviews will be encountered on your job search which are detailed below. Those include, face
to face interviews, job fair interviews, panel interviews, group interviews, phone
interviews, or web based interviews.
Stages of an interview will help you prepare before the interview, during, and after.
Types of Interviews
Face to Face Interviews
In these interviews candidates will meet in person with human resources representatives,
recruiters or supervisors. Meetings can take place at the company site, on campus,
at a job fair or at an independent meeting site. The interview format may be as short
as an hour or as long as a full day or half day visit. Candidate may interview with
one person, a series of individuals or with a group. Employers will always let you
know in advance what the format will be.
Job Fair Interviews
These are often a very brief exchange that allow you to tell a recruiter about yourself
and your interest in the organization or position. You may need to do this in a noisy
room with many distractions, or there may be quiet interview space available for the
recruiters to use. Present your pitch concisely and clearly. Sometime job offers
may be made on the spot, but it is more common for employers to invite the top candidates
for an on-site interview at the company.
In these interviews, several employer representatives will interview the candidate.
Questions can come quickly and the interviewee needs to listen carefully and provide
clear and concise answers. While speaking to a group may seem daunting, observing
the dynamics of the group can offer valuable insights about the company and its management
In these interviews, several candidates participate together in a group interview.
Questions may be directed to all the applicants or to an individual applicant. Employers
are able to observe factors such as candidate self-confidence, teamwork, presentation
skills and the ability to think on your feet.
Some employers find it efficient to conduct initial screening interviews by phone.
Those candidates that stand out during the phone interview are often invited to an
in-person interview at the company. Phone interviews are similar to other interviews,
but present some unique challenges. Some good advice for phone interviews:
- Have a copy of your resume, notes on the organization and questions you want to ask
- Verify time zones if you are interviewing from a distance.
- Set up the call in a quiet room, free of distractions. If possible, use a land line
to avoid dropped calls or poor reception. Never interrupt a phone interview to take
another call or to speak to someone who enters the room.
- Practice ahead of time.
Web Based Interviews
These formats provide efficient and cost effective ways to interview for positions
in other geographic locations. Things to remember for these formats include:
- Test your connections or equipment in advance.
- Always verify time zones.
- Have a phone readily available as a back-up.
- Be aware of background images and noise.
- Dress professionally and wear solid-colored clothing that contrasts with your skin
- Focus on the interviewer’s image, speak clearly, and avoid quick movements.
1. Prior to the Interview
- Research the company, the position, the industry and the location
- Review the information on your resume and cover letter so you can speak in more detail
- Identify why you are the best candidate for the position. Identify potential questions
that the employer may ask.
- Conduct practice interviews with friends, family or career center staff.
- Prepare questions you would like to ask the employer.
- Update your Linkedin profile or other social media sites.
- Prepare a professional outfit to wear to the interview.
- Consider creating business cards that you can hand out.
- Get directions to the interview and map out your travel route and schedule, allowing
ample time for traffic or unexpected delays.
- If asked to do a presentation at the interview, prepare that material and practice,
2. On the Day of the Interview
- Bring extra copies of your resume to the interview.
- Bring names and contact information for references.
- Dress appropriately for the industry and company.
- Arrive 15 minutes early.
- Attend the interview alone, leave your friends and family members at home or in the
- Turn off your cell phone.
- Take a deep breath and relax.
3. During the Interview
- Display appropriate manners and etiquette.
- Make good eye contact.
- Have a firm handshake.
- Be yourself.
- Be enthusiastic about the position and the company.
- Never badmouth previous employers, supervisors or co-workers.
- Take adequate time to think through your answers before responding.
- Be concise but provide specific examples of accomplishments, strengths and skills.
- Come prepared with questions you would like to ask.
- Do not mention salary or benefits first, let the employer bring those up.
- Inquire about the next steps in the process.
4. After the Interview
- Shake hands and thank everyone you met with.
- Ask for business cards.
- Send a handwritten or email thank you note to the people you met with. If you met
with a search committee, send the thank you to the chair of the committee.
- Carefully weigh the pros and cons of the job objectively to decide if you want to
proceed with the search or if it is best to withdraw..
- Follow-up with the employer if you do not hear back within a timely period.
- Identify priorities and create a strategy if you wish to negotiate any aspect an offer
such as salary, hours, benefits, etc.
- If you are not selected for a position, be professional and courteous. Do not post
negative comments about the interview or the company on social media.
- If you are not selected for a position, consider asking for feedback on ways you could
improve your skills if you wanted to apply for future openings in the organization.
- If you are offered the position, carefully weigh the pros and cons. You usually have
a few days to think over an offer before giving an answer. Do not accept a position
that you don’t really want. If you accept a position honor your commitment.
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