What are the Different Types of Interviews?

Dan Cavallari
Dan Cavallari
Clothes for an interview should be professional.
Clothes for an interview should be professional.

The types of interviews one is likely to go through require preparedness and a fair amount of confidence, as a job opportunity is usually on the line. The most common types of interviews include formal interviews, phone interviews, panel interviews, sequential interviews, and even walk-in interviews. Each of these types of interviews will require the candidate to showcase his or her talents and prove that he or she is the best choice for the job; preparedness is the most important tool in the candidate's arsenal, and regardless of what interview type he or she is going through, the candidate must be prepared to speak eloquently and professionally about the job and his or her qualifications.

Formal interviews are probably the most common types of interview.
Formal interviews are probably the most common types of interview.

A formal interview is perhaps the most common of the different types of interviews. Such an interview requires the candidate to meet the employer in person. The employer will ask several prepared questions — the same questions the employer will ask all candidates — in a specific order. The candidate's answers may be recorded, and the employer is likely to take notes on the candidate's answers. Many of the questions will deal with hypothetical situations, past experiences, and qualifications. An informal interview works much the same way, but the employer is likely to stray from the set questions and steer the conversation in another direction if he or she pleases.

Employers are likely to ask about a candidate's willingness to relocate for the job during a telephone interview.
Employers are likely to ask about a candidate's willingness to relocate for the job during a telephone interview.

Phone interviews are one of the only types of interviews that are not held face to face, though video conferencing can now solve this issue. A phone interview is conducted between candidates and employers who are in different areas of the state, country, or world. The questions one will answer in such an interview are generally the same as those asked in a face to face interview, but other questions about relocation and travel may be asked as well.

During panel interviews, several people interview the candidate at once.
During panel interviews, several people interview the candidate at once.

Panel interviews occur when a candidate is interviewed by several people at once. Each person at the table will have his or her own set of questions to ask, and each interviewer will generally focus on a specific area to discuss. One may ask about experience and background, for example, while another interviewer may focus more on goals for the future. A close relative to the panel interview is the sequential interview, in which several people interview the candidate, but instead of all the interviewers perform the interview at once, they will each have an opportunity to interview the candidate one on one. This often means the candidate must answer the same question several times for several different people.

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Discussion Comments

anon311936

An interviewer asked me to bring my laptop on interview day for the position of Sales and Service Engineer. What is that for?

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    • Clothes for an interview should be professional.
      By: Elnur
      Clothes for an interview should be professional.
    • Formal interviews are probably the most common types of interview.
      By: Rido
      Formal interviews are probably the most common types of interview.
    • Employers are likely to ask about a candidate's willingness to relocate for the job during a telephone interview.
      By: sinseeho
      Employers are likely to ask about a candidate's willingness to relocate for the job during a telephone interview.
    • During panel interviews, several people interview the candidate at once.
      By: nyul
      During panel interviews, several people interview the candidate at once.
    • Initial interviews are typically conducted on a one-on-one basis.
      By: vgstudio
      Initial interviews are typically conducted on a one-on-one basis.