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Types of Interviews

Reduce your pre-interview anxiety by knowing what to expect:

  • Find out what type of interview it will be.
  • Understand the interview process.

There are several different ways to interview candidates and an employer may use one or more of them to assess you. When you’re contacted for an interview, ask what type of interview to expect.

Screening interviews

Screening interviews are used to eliminate candidates who don’t have the required qualifications or who may not be a good fit for the organization. Screening interviews may be:

  • In person
  • By phone
  • By computer
  • As a member of a group, where each person answers a question about themselves or makes a short statement

Some employers also use proficiency tests to screen candidates (for example, tests to demonstrate your writing ability or accounting skills).

Panel interviews

Panel interviews are conducted by a group of people. The interviewers often represent different areas of the company, such as human resources and the area where you will work if you get the job. In the not-for-profit sector, entire boards sometimes participate in the hiring process.

At the beginning of a panel interview, be sure you’re seated where you can make eye contact with all panel members.

If you know the names and positions of the interviewers ahead of time, you may be able to tell who you’ll be reporting to and who you will be working with if you get the job.

It’s hard to catch everyone’s name when you’re introduced to a group. If you know their names beforehand and write them down, you’ll feel more comfortable using their names during the interview.

Serial interviews

Serial interviews are common in larger organizations. They can be individual, group or panel interviews, or any combination of these. If you succeed at the first interview, you move on to the next stage.

You might have several separate interviews. Some of these may take place in informal settings such as restaurants. Some might involve a tour of a physical plant, where you will be introduced to other staff.

The interviewers will assess you throughout the process to see how well you might fit in.

Video or conference interviews

Video or conference call interviews are used to interview candidates who live at a distant location. Some employers ask candidates to respond to a list of questions on video before inviting them back for an in-person interview.

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