skip to Main Content

*IMPORTANT: Top Resume Writing & Career Services is in no way affiliated with the company and/or services provided by TopResume.

Most Common Types of Job Interviews

interview photoWhen job seeking, it is likely you’ll run into a lot of different types of interviewing types and procedures. Knowing what type of interview you’ll have is an important part to helping you do your best. Let’s go over the most common types of job interviews.


Informational Interview


There are times when you set up an interview simply to learn more about the career or industry. This is a gathering of advice and information expedition from an expert, rather than actually seeking a particular job. In order to find appropriate people to interview, use social media to connect with industry professionals and then ask people you know to introduce you.


Once introduced make contact, preferably by phone, but if you can’t, sending a letter is also a good way to set up an interview. Simply let them know that you’re interested in speaking with them about the field in general because you value them as an expert in that industry. Ask for 15 to 30 minutes of their time.


Even though this is for informational purposes, if you get the interview, dress and act professionally and show up prepared with your questions. You never know when this situation can lead to additional referrals or even a job.


Behavioral Interview


Sometimes a behavioral interview is also called a competency interview. You may not realize you’re involved in a behavioral interview until you’re right in it. The executive who is giving a behavioral interview may ask open ended questions like “Describe a time when you had to make a quick decision involving an ethical situation.” They want you to answer giving specifics.


Practice answers to these types of questions so that you can relate your answers to the particular position using your past experience. You can’t really BS your way through these types of interviews, but if you are prepared with a few stories you’ll have a lot better chance of acing this type of interview.


Case Interview


Many employers like to give job seekers specific scenarios that they might have to solve on the job. Typically the interviewer knows what they want the answer to be, and it’s up to you to have done your research to know how these types of questions should be answered. Practice your reasoning, presentation, and hone your specific business skills for this type of interview.


For example, if you are an accountant, you need to know how to handle many situations and work numbers on the spot. Ensure that you understand the businesses’ target market, industry size, and other information before walking into an interview like this.


Panel Interview


There are times when you will walk into an interview that has a panel or committee of interviewers. This can be very stressful. You’ll typically be in a chair facing the panel. It’s very much like being in the proverbial hot seat. You’ll have to deal with many different personalities with a panel interview. Likely, they have all discussed what questions they will ask you in advance.


This is very common in education circles or in positions that require you to interact with many different people. This is meant to ensure that you are a good fit to the entire group. If you know in advance that you’ll have a panel interview, ask who the members of the panel are. Typically, they will give you the information and then you can research each individual who is on the panel. Most of all, stay calm and focus on one interviewer at a time when asked a question.


Group Interview


Group interviews can happen in many settings where a business needs to hire a lot of people. They will interview several people all at once. You will be interviewing directly with your competition. This is a way that the interviewer(s) can determine who is best for the job by directly comparing you with your competition.


This can also be very stressful when you realize you’re interviewing right next to your competition, but it can also be a great experience, too. Even if you don’t get the job, how often do you get to sit in on others interviewing? Not often. It’s important that you look energetic and lively.


Always introduce yourself to everyone. If you arrive early you can introduce yourself to your fellow interviewees before the big interview. Knowing that you’re going to have a group interview in advance is helpful because you can ensure that you dress up one level, practice your smile, your handshake and be sure to speak up during discussions that occur during the interview. Try to stand out as a leader.


Social Interview


A social interview is usually part of the interviewing process once closer to choosing the candidate. Usually, it involves going to an event, lunch or dinner. Sometimes spouses are encouraged to attend. It is important for you to remember, no matter how social everyone is being, this is still an interview. Be on your best professional behavior and avoid drinking too much, or eating too much.


Keep all discussions as appropriate as possible no matter what others are discussing. But, be friendly at the same time. They are trying to ensure that you fit in with their culture by inviting you to a social event. You want to fit in without going overboard. Finally, never be the first to leave, but don’t be the last one to leave, either. Take your clue from the person in charge of hiring. When they go, you’re safe to go.


No matter what type of interview you find yourself in, it’s important to study all these different types of interviewing styles so that you can be prepared. After all, being prepared is half the battle when job seeking.

Now be honest… is the resume and cover letter you’ve been submitting for jobs getting you noticed? Are you receiving invitations to interview? If you answered “no,” we should talk. Contact me by phone: 1-866-562-0850 or email: for a NO COST, NO OBLIGATION 15-minute consultation. 



Kimberly Ben is a multi-credentialed Professional Resume and LinkedIn Writer and Job Search Coach. She has written hundreds of resumes, cover letters, LinkedIn profiles, and other career communications for multiple career industries and professions. Kimberly’s extensive education, training, and experience have resulted in a clear understanding of current hiring best practices and the most effective job search techniques, branding strategies, and insight on what it takes to gain the competitive edge and impress employers in a challenging job market.

Back To Top