What type of interviews are there?

The ‘interview’ normally presents itself as the key opportunity for you to secure your new job.  An interview is a ‘two-way’ thing; you meet your potential new employer and they get to meet you. 

So, let’s look at the different types of interviews that you might experience to secure your new job.  

One-to-one Interview 

This is arguably the most common form of interview and you would normally be invited to company to meet with a single person who would conduct the interview.  This would be quite a senior person in the business, possibly the Managing Director or a Senior Manager. 

Some job seekers will be more comfortable attending this type of interview as there are fewer distractions which makes your job of impressing the interviewer easier. 

The Panel Interview 

A Panel Interview consists of more than one Interviewer.  Typical personnel at this type of interview could be the Managing Director, Line Manager and HR Manager.  This type of interview tends to be more structured and can be driven by an interview plan where questions are asked from a list and then marked by the individual to provide an overall ‘panel’ score.  After the interviews have been completed the panel get together to compare scores and discuss those interviewed prior to a decision being made. 

For the inexperienced job seeker panel interviews can be quite nerve-racking as you become the sole focus of several people. 

Telephone Interview 

Employers mainly use telephone interviews as an initial step to screen candidates prior to an invitation to attend an on-site interview.  Telephone interviews are also used when it is too difficult for the candidate to travel to the site (distance) or if it has proved difficult to arrange a convenient time for an on-site interview. 

Telephone interviews do have some advantages as you can have your notes at hand to help you answer potential interview questions. 

One mistake some job seekers make when attending a telephone interview is not to free themselves from distractions so it is important that you plan ahead and ensure you are in a quite comfortable place where your work colleagues, children or pets will not interrupt you. 

Online Video Interview

Video interviews have become extremely popular since the Coronavirus pandemic and are arguably taking over the ‘telephone interview’.  Technology is readily available to quickly organise video interviews and are an excellent means for an employer to initially screen candidates prior to drawing up a shortlist to be invited for a face-to-face interview.  Skype, Microsoft Office Teams and Zoom are popular platforms to use. 

Assessment Interview 

Assessment interviews are typically carried out when there are many job seekers looking to secure careers with larger employers.  Examples include the Police, Armed Forces (British Army, Royal Navy and Royal Air Force), NHS, Train Sector and Openreach Technicians. 

At the Assessment Centre, you will undertake various organised tasks, some will involve just you or will be teamwork related.  As you move through the assessment interview you will be marked on your performance.  Tasks that you might encounter are written tests, role-playing, fitness/physical tests, puzzles, presentations and interviews. 

If you are attending an assessment interview you must try and find out what is involved.  You can then try and prepare yourself for the various tasks you will encounter.  There are plenty of online resources to help you with this including YouTube and more specialised sites such as https://www.how2become.com/.