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Types of Interviews

Every interviewee (that’s you! The person who wants a job) should be aware that there is no right or wrong technique to use in an interview. There are many approaches, different styles, and different advantages and disadvantages. 

Preparing for an interview depends on the type of interview, as well as the position you are applying for, the industry, the company itself, the country, etc. 

Here we have a short list of all the different types of interviews you might have when you’re trying to find a job:

Telephone Interviews

A telephone interview is all about making a first impression, which is an advantage to the interviewee. It moves faster than a meeting in-person, the conversation of a first telephone interview usually lasts for about half an hour. You can divide this time into three segments, the first five minutes for a warm-up, twenty minutes for the detailed conversation, and another five minutes for the conclusion.

Pros

  • Quicker than live interviews
  • Doesn’t require a lot of effort

Cons

  • Usually a focused conversation but may have connectivity issues or background noise
  • Lacks a social component

Video Interviews

A video interview is an upgrade from a telephone interview, and have become extraordinarily popular recently. Many companies use modern software like Zoom, Webex, Teams, or Skype. A visual component adds to the conversation. You can anticipate when the other person wants to speak (or when they are finished speaking) and you can convey your own emotions (confident and happy) better when people can see your face.

The average length of video interviews is around thirty minutes. However, it can go as long as an hour in some cases. As a first interview, it is comparable to a telephone interview with similar pros and cons.

Pros

  • Improved over just a voice call, as you can see the other person and avoid interrupting
  • Conveys emotions better
  • Quicker than live interviews
  • Doesn’t require a lot of effort

Cons

  • Possible technical issues or interruptions
  • A professional look is a must
  • Conveys emotions better (negative reactions are visible!)

The Assessment Day

An assessment day typically happens when a company is interviewing a group of people at the same time. Even though seeing the competition for the same job can be more stressful for some people, it can be an opportunity for you to stand out. Typically, an assessment day will take between 4-6 hours, but can last up to the full day. Naturally, you will be categorized in a particular group that applies for a certain job position.

Pros

  • You can stand out over other interviewees
  • Optimizes your time, consolidating multiple interviews into just one day
  • You get to tour the offices and meet multiple (future?) colleagues

Cons

  • Some people are intimidated by group conversation or public speaking
  • Requires a lot of effort, preparation, and time
  • Potentially tiresome, without breaks to relax & recharge

Group Interviews

Even though group interviews are not as common as the others above, they can still be a part of a recruiting process. A group interview can have similar elements as an assessment day, but is typically a maximum of 2 hours.

Pros

  • You can stand out over other interviewees
  • Possible competition sparks

Cons

  • Lacks personal 1-1 communication you would get in a face-to-face interview
  • Some people don’t like direct competition

Face-to-Face Interviews

The most popular type of interview is a face-to-face interview. This is typically a conversation between you and one to three others at the company you’re applying for. 
As an interviewee, you’ll have the opportunity to make a personal connection with the interviewer. Most people prefer a face-to-face interview over other types, as it typically allows a job candidate the chance to present themselves in a more relaxed environment. It can last from half an hour to two hours depending on the context.

Pros

  • Personal and direct communication with the interviewer
  • More time to provide crucial information about work experience
  • Body language allow you to communicate beyond just your words

Cons

  • Sometimes uncomfortable, and long
  • Some people are not comfortable with face-to-face interviews, feel under pressure

Panel Interviews

Panel interviews are like face-to-face interviews but feature multiple employees interviewing the job candidate.

This type of interview can be unpleasant sometimes since you have a couple of people questioning you about your work experience and judging you by your behavior. The panel interview usually lasts for about forty-five minutes to an hour and a half. You might even be asked to prepare a presentation or assignment to present to the panel as a test.

Pros

  • You will have the opportunity to meet more than just one person
  • Doing it well means that you have more than one person in favor of hiring you

Cons

  • It can be overwhelming in some cases, facing multiple people all judging what you say
  • Lacks personal and intimate conversations, which can further connections

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