Not all Interviews are Created Equal – Know the 4 Interview Types

Not all interviews are create equal. 

There are four main types of interviews, each with the common goal of ensuring that you would be the best fit for the company, team, or department. 

Let’s go through the interview types and break down what to expect with each. Remember: succeeding at any interview requires preparation on your part. With the right interview skills, preparation, and attitude, you’ll be ready to face any interviewing situation with confidence.

Screening Interviews

Screening interviews are preliminary interviews whose goal is to narrow the field of applicants for a job. You’ll usually be asked for a screening interview after the hiring officer or recruiter has looked through your resume and seen that you might be a good fit for the position. These are often conducted by a human resource professional or a recruiter working for the company, and can be done over the phone or in person. 

Individual or Group Interviews 

Once past the screening interview, you’ll move on to an individual or group interview. Generally speaking, if you’re being hired for a more significant position in a company, you’ll have multiple interviews of this sort. 

Group interviews will often have a handful of people from the organization sitting in—supervisors over the position being filled, a peer, or someone holding a similar position. These can feel intimidating, but with the right interview skills, you’ll be able to show that you’re the right person for the job.

Behavioral Interviews 

Behavioral interviews differ from traditional interviews in how the interviewer poses their questions. For instance:

Traditional interview: "How would you deal with an unhappy customer?"

Behavioral interview: "Tell me about a time when you dealt with an angry customer.

Explain the nature of the problem and describe the steps you took to resolve the problem." 

The purpose of a behavioral interview is to draw out detailed, specific examples of how you behaved in a given situation in the past. The idea behind this (which is based in behavioral science) is that past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior. Your answers will help the interviewer determine if you’re the right “fit” for the position with more accuracy than a traditional interview question.

My advice is to prepare every interview question as if it will be a behavioral question. Come to the interview with speicifc examples of problems you’ve faced on the job, goals you’ve set and achieved, or when you’ve faced disappointment and how you handled it. 

(I will be writing a blog in the future about common behavioral questions in interviews. Stay tuned for that.)

Technical Interviews

Not every job position will have a technical interview. But for those going into sectors where hard skills like coding, financial equations, or even problem-solving are essential, be prepared to show your abilities in an interview.

This may be presented as the interviewer giving you case studies and asking you to talk through your thoughts and solutions. Or you might be asked to write a short coding sequence, construct a financial model, or submit examples of your work. 

To prepare for a technical interview:

  • Do your research about the position and its requirements, the employer, the industry, and its main competitors. 
  • Read real case studies about companies within the same industry and how they problem-solved through difficult situation. 
  • Practice your skills. 

Happy interviewing!