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Types of Job Interviews: The Variety of Interview Formats

In this blog post, I discuss the different types of job interviews a candidate may encounter on his or her job hunt. I cover all the types of job interviews, and I put them into specific categories. I provide advice for each job interview type, and how to prepare.

Types of In-person Interview

Traditional Job Interview:

Phone Interview, Human Resources In-Person Interview, and Hiring Manager Interview

For this interview type, the candidate receives an initial screening call from the Human Resources manager, and then a follow-up in-person interview with a Hiring Manager and a supervisor. The in-person usually consists of a back-to-back interview with two managers. There are usually two steps for this interview process: phone call, and back-to-back in-person interview. This type of interview process is the most common.

Situational or Behavioral

STAR Method, Given A Hypothetical Situation, And Then Providing A Solution

The interviewer presents the potential candidate with a hypothetical situation, and the applicant needs to provide a detailed response on how he or she will respond to the given scenario. This type of questions falls under the STAR method. The interviewer is trying to decide whether or not the candidate is a good fit for the company culture. These type of questions are asked to determine if this candidate will be able to work well with fellow employees or clients. An example of a behavioral question would be: how would you respond to an irate customer on the phone?

Tag-Team Group Interview

Two Interviewers Per Interview Drilling Questions To The Applicant.

In this type of interview, the potential candidate will be called into the office to interview with a series of department heads. Usually, this type of interview will last up to eight hours. The potential candidate meets with two managers every thirty minutes. There are usually two mangers interviewing the candidate at the same time. This type of interview process was very common at advertising agencies, such as the former Modem Media.

Informal Interview

For this category, the interview is a usually more of a one-on-one conversation in a casual setting, such as coffee shop or lunch in the company cafeteria. For European companies, business usually is discussed over lunch or dinner. I categorize this as the informal interview process. Internship interviews usually fall into this type of category.


On the other side of spectrum is the panel interview. The job applicant is usually interviewed by a series of executives or senior-level staff members on a panel. The panel drills the candidate on particular questions about specific field or the position. There could be a case study involved with the panel interview.

Case Study

The interviewee is giving a project, and then the candidate must give a presentation on his or her findings. This could be done sole or in a group setting. The case study could be though of as a homework assignment that needs to be done prior to an in-person interview. An example of case study would be researching a particular market for advertising agency or in case of the company Octagon, a specific sports star or personality.

Prescreening: Types of Virtual Interviews

Automated Self Interview

In this type of interview, the candidates records him or herself answering prescreened questions. The potential candidate has to respond to the questions in a timely manner. This type of interview involves video recordings with typed responses, and timed answers from the candidate. There is no human interactive in this process. This usually done through a web portal prior to an in-person interview. NBC Universal is known to use this as a prescreening process. This process is new, and I can imagine this process gaining momentum in a post COVID-19 world.

Video Conferencing

Since the spread of the Coronavirus, this type of interview process has gained popularity. This type of interview is done through a web conferencing application, such as Skype, Google Chat, or Zoom. Usually, the video conference call is companioned by a phone call during the prescreening process. In this article companion article, I discuss tips on how to prepare for a video conference call.


This type of interview is usually for software engineering, or any field that required a specific technical skill. During this interview, the potential candidate will be asked a specific technical question, and then the candidate has to answer the question usually on board or thorough a web portal in real time. The interviewer is assessing whether or not the candidate has adequate knowledge in his or her field. A typical questions would be: please write a For-Loop in the Java-programming language, etc. This type of interview could be online or in-person.

Skills Assessment

Prior to being interviewed, the applicant needs to take a basic exam on mathematics, vocabulary, or logic-reason puzzles. The skills assessment test could cover a specific software application, such as Microsoft Excel or a popular accounting application. This is usually done through a web platform, such as Hirevue. This types of tests are done to filter out potential applications prior to any phone or video interviews. I think these skills assessments could fall into a grey area because administrating an IQ test is illegal in most states. Usually, the skills assessments are done prior or after an in-person interview.

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