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The 7 Types of Interview You Must Know About

Lesson 13 Module 6

There are 7 Types of Interviews You Must Navigate

Not all types of interviews are created equal! It is important that you understand the similarities and the differences. Click on each of the + below for a summary introduction of each type, including the pros and cons of each.

Phone Screen

A phone screen is just what it sounds like. It's a preliminary interview conducted over the phone to determine if you should be invited on-site for more detailed interviews and discussions. Depending on the job and the employer's interview process, they may require more than one phone screen before being invited to an in-person interview.

The phone screen/interview is the gateway to being invited to an onsite interview to compete for the job offer.

When more than one phone screen is required it may be for one of two reasons.

  1. They may have one person who is more of a subject matter expert determine if you have the technical skills required. A second interview may involve determining how well you might fit into their culture or similar reason.
  2. It could mean that your first interview was inconclusive and more information is required before they invite you for an onsite interview. Any time a second phone screen is required, it's best to assume this second reason so you can double down on your interview preparation and be ready to do you very best.

The exception to reason number 2 above would be when they tell you at the very beginning that you should expect more than one phone interview prior to coming for an onsite interview.

Be sure to study the lesson on phone screens below for tips on how to best prepare for your phone screen interview.

Video or Webconference

Again, a video job interview is just as straightforward as it sounds. It's essentially the same as a phone screen except the visual aspect is added. Everything about preparing for a phone only job interview applies. However, there are several important additional considerations that you must make for a video interview.

Your phone interview may be conducted via Skype, Google Hangouts, Zoom or one of the several web conferencing tools and solutions.

Please study the video job interview lesson for details on how you must prepare for a video interview.

NOTE: in some circumstances a video interview may substitute for an onsite interview.This could be the normal interview process or be due to circumstances like the COVID-19 pandemic where many processes have been moved online and completed in a virtual environment.


A traditional interview consists of a series of questions that can be almost anything related to your education, experience, job history, goals, objectives, etc.

These are the type of questions that you find listed on the Internet which have suggested more or less "canned" answers. I'll include some of those in this course, but my primary focus is to be sure you know how to answer behavioral and performance-based questions.

These are much harder to answer and "canned" answers just won't suffice. Be sure to check out my lesson on some of the more common traditional questions.


Larger and more sophisticated employers have embraced behavioral interviewing as their standard interviewing process for quite a few years.

In a behavioral interview, an employer has decided what skills (often referred to as competencies) you will need if they hire you. They will ask you questions to find out if you have has those speific competencies. They will ask how you did behave, or how you went about accomplishing a particular task, activity or project. The interviewer will want to know how you handled the situation. They key here is that most interviewers using these questions tend to focus onyour past.

The foundation and basis for behavioral interviewing is that the most accurate predictor of future performance is past performance in similar situations.

The main form of questions for a behavioral interview consists of questions such as, "give me an example of...", or "tell me about a time you..." Be sure to study the lesson on behavioral interviewing for details and how to structure your STAR answer.


Performance-based interviewing falls under the general umbrella of behavioral interviewing, yet is different in important ways. This area is my speciality and I've personally certified 2,000+ recruiters from some of the most prestigious companies in this method.

The method is built around two key questions and one technique. The first question is a form telling your about a specific work deliverable and then asking, "what have you done this is most comparable?" Then the interviewer uses the one technique sometimes referred to as "peeling the onion" or "drillinging down" which includes asking you a series of questions to probe for details.

A second part of this method is to ask about your significant accomplishments in a specific job. Then use the "peeling the onion" approach to drill deep into the details.

An important difference from behavioral interviewing is to also focus on the future. This is done by telling you about important performance outcomes expected in the job, then asking you, "how would you go about accomplishing that?" This is always followed with the "peeling the onion" technique to drill down into the details. Correctly done, this becomes a real work discussion about the job and some of the important things about the job.

You'll discover more details in the lesson on Performance-based Interviewing again using the STAR method of answering the questions.


A panel job interview includes a group of people from within the employer typically consisting of between 2 and 5 people. It's usually made up of the Hiring Manager and key members of the manager's team. It can also include people from other parts of the organization that regularly interact with the position for which you're being interviewed.

Done correctly the panel has pre-selected which member will explore various aspects of your background. When using either the behavioral or performance-based interview method, the members have been assigned which competencies they should focus on in their questions.

It may sound intimidating at first, but with the correct interview preparation is can work to your advantage. Be sure to study the detailed contained in the lesson devoted to this style of interview.

Case Study

The case interviewing style is particularly common among management consulting firms, law firms, counseling and social work organizations, police departments, and other organizations that place a premium on understanding your thought process. This includes IT roles, especially those heavily involved in technology projects.

Most likely, the case will be the final part of a screening or hiring manager interview.

Consulting interviews are notorious. Nervous candidates can expect mathematical puzzles, complex case studies, and tests of teamwork to be flung at them in rapid succession.

Why so brutal? 

Because McKinsey, Bain, Accenture Consulting, Deloitte Consulting, IBM, Bearingpoint, Cap Gemini, Mercer, and similar companies are only as good as the people they recruit, and because a job as a consultant demands that you be intellectually rigorous and nimble, all while keeping your poise in front of clients paying six-or seven figure sums for your wisdom.

The following lessons provide more detail about each of these interview styles. Following that you'll find our Interview Preparation Lesson.

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