Looking for a new job? Depending on your industry and whether you’re looking out of state for work, you will encounter different types of interviews. Many employers and recruiters use an interview process that involves several rounds of interviews with increasing levels of intensity. Or you may only need to tackle one interview to get the job. It all depends on how the company or staffing firm operates.

Five popular types of interviews—and how to prepare for them

Whatever type of interview you’re faced with, you can nail it if you’re prepared. Consider the following five popular interview types and what you need to know to give your very best performance:

  1. Traditional interview. The classic form of interview, this requires you to get dressed up and meet your interviewer in a predetermined location. You should prepare common interview answers and come armed with 3–5 questions about the company, plus copies of your resume and cover letter. Arrive 15 minutes early and dress according to your industry. In many cases, you can’t go wrong with an interview suit.
  2. Phone interview. This type of interview could be used as a first-level meet and greet, or if you’re interviewing for a position in another state. If it’s the first time you’ll be talking to an employer or recruiter, do a little research about the position and the company beforehand, if you can. If it’s a full-fledged interview, prepare as you would for a traditional interview. Be sure you choose a location for your phone interview with no distractions, and charge your phone beforehand.
  3. Video interview. This can be used as a first- or second-level interview, or even as a full, official interview. You’ll be chatting with the interviewer through Skype or Facetime. All the preparations for a phone interview apply, with one small caveat: The interviewer will be able to see you. For this reason, you’ll want to get dressed and be ready to impress. Check with the interviewer beforehand to determine dress code. Be sure the surroundings you choose for the interview are clean and minimalist—your interviewer will be able to see the room, so rock posters or piles of laundry may not make the best impression.
  4. Coffee/lunch interview. A more informal style of interview, a coffee or lunch date can help you feel more relaxed and at ease, and can be used for any purpose from meet and greet to full interview. For these reasons, prepare for what will be happening—do some research if it’s just a meet and greet, or do all the standard preparations if it’s a full interview. Check with the interviewer about dress code—in most cases, it will be business casual. You can always offer to pay for your coffee or lunch, but typically your interviewer will pick up the tab.
  5. Career fair interview. This usually involves meeting company contacts and networking during a career fair. It’s always important to dress to impress based on your industry—in a suit or dress clothes. Bring copies of your resume, cover letter and business cards, if you have them. Then, plan out which company booths you’d like to stop at. Shake hands, introduce yourself with your elevator pitch and find out more about open positions. Plan to connect on social media with the people who talk to, in order to keep the conversation going.

Looking for your next job?

As you prepare for different types of interviews, consider the value of working with a recruiter. And check out McGrath Systems! We place candidates with job opportunities in IT, engineering, human resources, light industrial and office/administrative. To learn more, contact us today!



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