The type of interview you attend, will determine how answering interview questions should be handled. Generally you are not going to know prior to arriving for an interview, which type to expect.
If you’ve been out of the job market for awhile, just starting out or you are preparing for a mid-career change; it may come as a surprise to you that there are actually many different types of interviews and you need to be prepared for all of them.
Handling & Answering Interview Questions for All Types of Interviews
Most employers are not going to come right out and tell you which type of interview they will be conducting.
However, if you take the time to learn about the different types of interview, as well as the purpose of each, you’ll be able to immediately recognize the type of interview the employer will be conducting within moments of your arrival.
This knowledge can be critical in helping you understand how to successfully negotiate the interview and land the job.
Answering interview questions about screening interviews …
A screening interview will generally be used at the beginning of a company or organization’s selection process. This type of interview will occur after the resumes have been received and initially screened.
If you make the cut for the initial resume screening you may be called in for a screening interview.
Be aware that if you are called in for a screening resume, chances are that a number of other persons were called in as well. A screening interview is used to “weed’ through a large number of candidates.
Screening interview questions most often focus on the negative, rather than the positive; as a way of trying to eliminate you from the short list.
The best way to handle this type of interview is to answer questions directly and honestly.
Answering interview questions about telephone interviews …
A telephone interview is also commonly used in the beginning phases of the selection process. This type of interview may or may not be combined with a screening interview.
Employers sometimes use a telephone interview when you are located a significant distance away from the employer.
They can then decide whether to bring you in for a sit-down interview; especially if it will involve significant travel.
Again, if the purpose of this type of interview is to screen you out, the interviewer will most often question you about reasons why you left previous jobs, job gaps and any other data that might make you an unsuitable candidate.
Answering interview questions about informational interviews …
This type of interview can be used during a telephone interview or may be utilized during an initial one-on-one interview.
The primary purpose of an informational interview is to follow up on the information you presented on your resume and to dig a little further.
If you satisfy the interviewer during an informational interview; you will likely be called back for a subsequent meeting.
Answering interview questions about directive interviews …
A directive interview is commonly used in organizations or corporations where individuals are hired on a regular basis and the senior human resources department has a specific procedure and agenda for interviews.
The directive interview usually follows what may appear to be a script, with interview questions already composed. In this type of interview, all candidates are asked the exact same questions.
While this makes the process more democratic and eliminates the possibility of the employer being at risk for any type of discrimination, it can make it difficult for the conversation between the job seeker and the interviewer to evolve naturally.
The best way to handle this type of interview is to go along with the interviewer and save any information that you feel was not asked of you until the end of the interview, when you should be able to touch upon it.
Answering interview questions about meandering interviews …
The meandering interview can either be a job seeker’s worst nightmare or a golden nugget in the field of job mining. How you look upon it depends on how well you have prepared ahead of time.
Questions posed in meandering interview are generally broad in scope and open ended. If you have taken the time to categorize your strengths and weaknesses as well as prepare sample interview responses, you should be well prepared for these types of interview questions.
Answering interview questions about stress interviews …
The stress interview is just what the name implies-stressful. You will generally be able to tell the moment you arrive if this type of interview is being used.
Besides the fact that employers may make you wait for an absurd amount of time, with no explanation, before bringing you back to begin the interview.
It is also quite common for the interviewer to be excessively rude during this type of interview.
Tension can be quite strong and the urge to run out the door can be overwhelming. Just keep in mind that the interviewer is simply attempting to determine whether you have what it takes to succeed in a business environment that may be frequently hostile.
If you don’t-it’s better for everyone that you find your calling elsewhere.
Answering interview questions about behavioral interviews …
The behavioral interview is very easy to spot and fortunately, also very easy to prepare for. Behavioral interview questions generally focus on strengths and skills which you possess and may have demonstrated in prior positions.
You will commonly be asked to “Describe a time when you…” Or “Tell me about a situation in which you…”
Taking the time to become familiar with your own strengths and weaknesses as well as committing a few stories describing your prior accomplishments to memory will help you to ace a behavioral interview.
Just remember to keep your answers short and to the point.
Answering interview questions about audition interviews …
While an audition interview takes its name from the entertainment field, it is also commonly used in the business world. In this type of interview, you will be asked to perform a task that will be essential to the job duties of the person who fills the open position.
This may include some type of computer programming or coding, typing, driving or operating a vehicle and numerous other tasks.
If you have fibbed on your resume, even a little, this is where you will be discovered.
Make sure you are proficient in all skills and tasks you mention on your resume before you send it out, stay on top of them and you should be fine.
Answering interview questions about group interviews …
Group, panel and tag-team interviews are all very similar. Numerous interviewers are used with all of these types of interviews. Depending on the organization, a candidate may meet with five or six people at a time.
It can be very unnerving to interview with even one person, let alone a half dozen; however this type of interview is often used to determine how well you interact in unexpected situations as well as in groups of people.
This type of interview is also frequently utilized to obtain multiple perspectives of a job candidate. Just remember to remain calm and focused.
Meal Time Interviews
Answering interview questions about meal time interviews …
A meal time interview is used when companies and organizations want to get a feel for how you interact in social settings and on an interpersonal basis. If the position for which you are applying will involve frequent socializing, the company is interested in whether you are a natural people person as well as if you have the “right’ social etiquette to mingle in diverse groups.
When you are job searching, you should always be prepared for this type of interview. Brush up on your meal time etiquette to make sure you use the right utensil; if necessary.
During the interview follow the lead of your host, make sure you are polite, try not to be overtly picky about your food and food service and make sure you let your natural people skills shine through.
With the follow-up interview, anything goes. You may be called back multiple times to meet with entirely different people before a decision is made on a job.
Each time may involve different interview tactics … remember to be flexible and prepared.
When you are returning for a follow-up interview it’s also always a good idea to have some questions prepared to pose to the interviewer relating to the job as well as to be ready to discuss salary; if the subject is broached by the employer.
Good luck in answering interview questions successfully!