Recruiters and hiring managers often use different types of interviews throughout the hiring process. As a job seeker, it’s important to understand each type, and the strategies and approaches of them, in order to properly prepare and give yourself the best chance at success.

Screening Interview

Screening interviews are a brief assessment of candidates to determine if they are suitable for the job. Screening interviews are often used to narrow down a large pool of candidate by helping to identify the ones with a specific skill set. HR staff usually conducts these types of interviews.

Tips for Success:

  • Prepare by reviewing the key skills required for the position and mention them during the interview.
  • Plan several key statements that explain why your skill set makes you a strong candidate and include them in your answers.

Selection Interview

Selection interviews judge potential candidates for a position. Selection interviews help interviewers to get to know the strongest applicants for a role, can include multiple interviewers and can take place at several levels (first interview, second interview and final interview).

Tips for Success:

  • Research the company in advance, identify its business goals and objectives and ensure that your interview answers are relevant.
  • Rehearse your answers with a friend or family member in advance to ensure that you remain on-point.

Panel Interview

Panel interviews are interviews conducted by two or more members of the company. They often include people in different roles within the organization.

Tips for Success:

  • Ask who will be on the panel and then use LinkedIn to review their profiles ahead of time. Tailor your answers to reflect the expertise of the people on the panel.
  • Make eye contact and address each of the interviewers in turn. It is often easiest to speak to the most receptive looking person, but keep in mind that the outcomes of the interview is often be decided by the entire panel.

Group Interview

Group interviews typically test a group of candidates together to see how they respond in group situations. This type of interview is often used for entry-level or customer service type roles for which there are multiple job openings.

Tips for Success:

  • Introduce yourself to the other candidates and the interviewers to demonstrate how you interact with other people.
  • Be confident in your answers but avoid monopolizing the conversation. Your goal is to show how you get along with others in a professional environment.
  • Demonstrate teamwork and a collegial approach to working with others in activities or scenario exercises.

Unstructured Interviews

Unstructured interviews are a conversational-type interview without a set question and answer format. They are a good opportunity to demonstrate your personality and how you fit within the culture of the organization.

Tips for Success:

  • Make small talk to start off the conversation to demonstrate your interpersonal and communication skills.
  • Prepare thoughtful questions about the company and key points to weave into the conversation.
  • Demonstrate your interest and enthusiasm for the job by researching the company in advance so that you understand the business’s mission, values and direction.