Beat the Heat: 6 Interview Styles and How to Master Them

Interviews are make-or-break moments when job hunting. There are many different types of interviews, and it is imperative that you are comfortable with each unique type. You are likely to encounter at least one of these interview styles during your job search.

Case

In case interviews you are presented with a business problem to which you must provide a logical solution. The questions are often very complex, and you will be challenged to ask your interviewer targeted questions to reveal information pertinent to solving your case. Be aware that they are not always related to your field of study, and are meant to challenge your critical thinking skills. The point is not to come up with the “right” answer, but to illustrate your ability to process information and propose actionable recommendations.

Behavioral

The behavioral interview is the most common style of interview. There will be conversation regarding your resume and you will discuss work-related activities and lessons you have learned from previous work experiences. In these interviews, it would be wise to come prepared with examples that illustrate your work ethic, professionalism, and problem-solving abilities.

Basic Screening

The screening interview is 15-30 minutes in length and typically takes place over the phone. In this interview, the employer is establishing whether you meet the essential criteria to move forward in the interview process. You can expect to briefly go over your resume, interests, and career trajectory.

Group Interview

The group interview seems self-explanatory, but the purpose behind it is often misconstrued. Candidates are often lured into believing they should dominate the conversation, however, employers are seeking those who can listen as well as lead. Those who excel at active listening will offer meaningful contributions by demonstrating their own knowledge while collaborating effectively.

Informational Interview

This is not your standard interview- here, you are in charge. The informational interview is an opportunity for you to gain insight about the company. They may be formal, but they are often quite casual and precede a more formalized interview. Motivated job candidates will seek out company employees prior to formally applying to conduct informational interviews. The added benefit of the informational interview is that it is an opportunity to build out your professional network.  

Stress Interview

The stress interview may be incorporated into any of the other interview types. In stress interviews, your prospective employer is testing to see how you perform under nerve-wracking and even hostile circumstances. Common tactics include ignoring the interviewee or being overly abrasive. It is expected that you maintain your composure, and drive the interview along in a positive and professional manner.

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