Types of interviews

Types of interviews

When you think of an interview, you often think about a potential employer sat in a room behind a desk, talking to prospective candidates about why they want to work there and why they should get the job. Although this view is true, there are many other types of interviews that exist and this blog will provide you with an insight into the different types of interviews that exist and what to expect from them.


The traditional interview – Face to Face

As previously mentioned, these types of interviews will involve you and the interviewer sat down in a room. They can either be informal (just a chat about you and the job) or more formal where each candidate is asked set questions and their responses are recorded and then reviewed upon completion of all of the interviews. The most suitable candidate for the position is then chosen and offered the job.


Panel interviews

Panel interviews are similar to the face to face interview; the major difference between them is that it will involve more than one interviewer being present in an interview – often the line manager will be involved and a representative from the company’s HR department. However, the number of interviewers and their positions does vary according to different companies – there will be one chairperson who will coordinate the interview.



Video interviews are a fairly new concept and are becoming increasingly used by companies – particularly if they have a high number of candidates that they want to screen before inviting them for a more formal interview. The video interview often involves the candidate being sent a number of questions where they video their responses. Other types of video interviews can include a web link being sent directly to the candidate which takes them to a website where questions pop up and the candidate has 30 seconds to answer each question. The video is then reviewed by the company and a short list of candidates is then drawn up to attend an interview at their offices. 



Once again, Skype interviews are a fairly new method of interviewing but once again are becoming more common – particularly as it often saves on costs for the business and candidates. The company will arrange a time which is mutually convenient and will then use the Skype program to contact you. Tips for this interview are firstly to make sure that you set up a Skype account asap if you don’t already have one; don’t leave it until the last minute to download the application and set one up. Also make sure you dress appropriately and locate yourself in a room which looks professional.



Telephone interviews can be similar to the video interviews, in that the company has a high number of applicants and is wanting to use the telephone interview as a way to short list potential candidates for a more formal interview. Often companies will contact you in advance to arrange a suitable time – so the key is to make sure that you find an area where you have minimal noise an, if you are using a mobile phone, have the best coverage possible.


The 2nd interview

Depending on the company’s recruitment policy you may be asked back for a second interview; this could be with a representative from the HR department, a different line manage or even the owner/director of the business. However, it could be just that they have a strong field of candidates and they would like a 2nd look at you to decide who they will recruit. Whatever the reason for the 2nd interview, you should be flattered that despite the extra stress and nerves being put on you again, they are interested in you and you should see this as a positive.

Once again, like any interview you should make sure that you fully prepare for it – research the business and practise any questions again. They may ask you questions that you have already been asked, so it would be beneficial to reflect on your last interview to see what you did well and what you think could be improved.


General advice

The main piece of advice I can offer for any interview, whether it be a traditional face to face, telephone, video or skype, is to prepare for it fully. See my blog on 5 tips on performing well at interviews to get further information on how to prepare effectively for an interview.



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