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Eight Types of Interviews and How to Prepare for Them

Jan 31, 2023
Eight Types of Interviews and How to Prepare for Them

Interviews can be divided into several main types. But why do you as an applicant need to know what your interview will be like? It's simple: each type has its own characteristics, methodology, and questions for candidates. If you are familiar with the characteristics of each type of interview, you will be able to prepare well in advance for anything that might come your way. 

So let's consider the types of interviews and their features:

Phone Interview 

This is the most common interview type, but the nonvisual form of communication means there are unique elements to it.

How should you prepare? Just like a traditional job interview, the ability to clearly and meaningfully answer questions is essential, so you should be able to talk about:

  • your skills and experience in general
  • examples of how you solved specific problems in the past
  • any personal qualities you have that are important for the job

There are nuances to a telephone interview that should be taken into account as well. For the most part, they are associated with the lack of any visual information and the fact that a call can take an applicant by surprise.

How to succeed:

  • If the employer calls unexpectedly and you are uncomfortable talking, ask to reschedule the meeting. This is better than talking on a noisy street or while standing in line.
  • Try to speak a little slower and more clearly than normal. You can only impress them with your voice, not appearance and gestures, so focus on your speech.
  • Choose a suitable place for the conversation—a quiet room in your home, for example. Definitely avoid places like a noisy co-working space, coffee shop, or the break room in the office where you currently work.

Video Interview 

In this type of interview, preparation is key, and this includes more than just knowing the answers to common questions (although that is important too!). The environment and your appearance are both factors that candidates often underestimate. From a technical point of view, the following points are essential:

  • Ensure your equipment works in advance: camera, microphone, and computer.
  • Decide on a place for the conversation. Ideally, this should be a quiet, tidy room in your house (and not a noisy café). Put the room in order. Personal items (clothing, toys, etc.) should stay outside the employer's field of vision.
  • Ask your family not to disturb you during the interview.
  • Make sure you have good lighting in the room so the employer can see you well.
  • The camera should be mounted at eye level or slightly higher.

How to succeed:

  • The same principles apply here as in a traditional interview. The task is to answer questions meaningfully, talk about your experience and achievements, and stay calm, confident, and dignified. Pay extra attention to visual aspects.
  • Clothing should be business formal—no pajamas and slippers. A formal appearance also helps you as an applicant: it is easier to dial in a professional  tone if you are in a dress shirt than a tee shirt.
  • In the case of technical problems, don’t get nervous. Instead, ask for a five-minute break (by phone if the connection is interrupted) and try to resolve the problem.
  • During the conversation, look at the camera so that the interviewer will have a feeling of "in-person" communication with you.
  • Don’t type anything on the keyboard or on your smartphone (unless you need to send something to the employer). Focus entirely on the conversation at hand.

One-Way Interview 

A one-way video interview is a short video you send to employers to help them with the screening process. You usually answer a few preselected interview questions or follow a prompt.

Many employers use this interview format to allow candidates to introduce themselves. They usually ask you to answer a series of basic questions to help them learn more about your personality and interest in the role. They may prefer this format as they can watch it at their leisure and play your video for other hiring managers.

How to succeed:

  • Read the instructions carefully. Before recording, ensure you understand what you should include in your video and how to submit it.
  • Choose a location to record in. Find a quiet place with good lighting and a nondescript background, such as in front of a bookshelf or wall.
  • Find the right equipment. Many new laptops come with a webcam that can be used for video.
  • Meet the deadline. Make sure your video is posted before the employer's deadline. Schedule time to practice and record yourself answering the questions several times.
  • Practice your answers. Before recording, write down what you want to say about each question. While recording, imagine you are talking directly to the interviewer.

Panel Interview 

In this scenario, a single job applicant is interviewed by several representatives of the hiring company.

How to succeed:

  • At the beginning of the interview, the interviewers will most likely introduce themselves. Try to remember their names and refer to them by name during the interview (if you are sure that you remembered them correctly).
  • When answering questions, try to give the impression that you are addressing everyone, not just one person. Move your eyes from one interviewer to another.
  • A setting like this can cause you to feel unsettled. Maintain balance and kindness.
  • Don't try to please everyone. Stick to one line of conduct and radiate the idea that you are interested in the work and are confident you can handle it.

Group Interview 

This is an interview where one representative of the hiring company talks with several applicants at once.

In this scenario, the employer's attention is not focused on one person, so you need to stand out and show your strengths while competing with the other applicants.

How to succeed:

  • Remember that in a group interview, it’s not only how you interact with the employer that is essential; it is also important how you interact with other applicants—employers evaluate this. Look at other applicants as partners, not enemies.
  • If you’re asked to perform a group task (this does happen), show you can cooperate with others. If possible, take on the role of leader.
  • No matter the situation, stay calm, extend goodwill to others, and be prudent with your words and actions.

Technical Interview 

Due to fierce job competition, technical interviews have become commonplace in the tech industry. During this type of interview, the depth and breadth of knowledge and technical skills that you possess are checked in detail. This assessment can be done in various ways, including coding problems, logic puzzles, group interviews, and programming language tests.

How to succeed:

  • Control your body language. Be sure to display attractive behavior. Having good posture, keeping your eyes open, and making appropriate gestures are vital. You don’t want to project a sense of uncertainty that might cause an employer to question your fitness for the job.
  • Be specific in your answers. You will be asked clearly formulated questions of a purely technical nature. Therefore, give clear, technical answers in return.
  • Don't be afraid to admit you don't know something. During the interview process, not only is the depth of your knowledge tested, but also your ability to cope with difficulties.
  • Be prepared to write technical specifications that relate to your type of activity. The best way for an employer to test your knowledge is to put it into practice.

One-on-One Interview 

This is the most common type of interview between an employer and a job seeker. Communication here is based on the principle of "question and answer."

How to prepare:

  • Research the employer ahead of time so you don’t ask questions like, "What does your company do?"
  • Think about how to talk about yourself for 3–5 minutes (tip: talk about your skills and work experience, not about the fact you were an excellent student at school).
  • Prepare answers to frequently asked questions.
  • Stay confident (for this, you need to prepare properly).
  • Illustrate statements about your skills with examples.
  • Don’t criticize former colleagues or managers; only say positive things about them.
  • Answer questions in a focused, direct manner—avoid rambling.

Lunch or Dinner Interview 

If an employer has offered to hold an interview over food, you should be aware of a few key points:

  • Despite the relaxed tone of the interview, it is still worth paying attention to clothing and appropriate manners.
  • Plan out in advance how to get there on time, especially if you’ve never been to the restaurant before. You don’t want to be late because you misjudged how long it would take to get there!
  • Do not order alcohol during the interview. And choose food that will be easy to eat with a fork so that it does not cause distraction.


Whatever type of interview you have, 90 percent of success is being prepared. If you are armed with answers to typical questions, examples of solving complex problems, a list of achievements, and knowing your strengths, you will most likely win.

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