An interview may not always be face to face or even one to one. Sometimes it is conducted over the phone, and sometimes with a panel of interviewers. In different types of interviews, candidates may be invited to lunch, or be required to solve a problem.
Regardless of the format of the interview, it is to assess the candidates’ suitability for the job. So a candidate needs to be prepared for all these different types of interview formats.
Face To Face Interview
This is the most common type of interview format. The candidate is usually seated across 1 to 2 interviewers to answer a series of questions. The interviewers will assess the candidate’s suitability for the job based on his or her answers and interaction with them.
A panel interview is also a type of face to face interview. However, instead of facing 1 to 2 interviewers, candidates face a panel of interviewers representing different interests from within the company. The panel may include the immediate supervisor, representatives from human resources department and from the different groups that work closely with this role. This is to assess if the candidate possesses the qualities to handle different aspects of the role.
Unlike the usual interview where candidates are interviewed one at a time, group interview involves several candidates at the same time. These candidates may be required to discuss or solve a problem as a team. The interviewers will act as facilitators to the group and assess each candidate on how they contribute and participate in solving the problem. Such interview format is not common and is usually part of a larger interview process.
Instead of meeting face to face, candidates may also be interviewed over video calls. With flexible work arrangements and remote management getting increasingly common, candidates are no longer required to be interviewed in the company’s office. Since employees are no longer required to report to the office, they can be located anywhere in the world. This format of interview allows companies to interview and employ candidates from around the world.
A phone interview is typically the first round of screening. This is usually a short 10 to 15 minutes to ask for additional information or to fill the information gaps in the resume. It helps the interviewer screen out unsuitable candidates efficiently before inviting suitable ones for a face to face interview.
Video interview is a new format of interview that is still not widely used yet. Companies rely on video interviewing software to conduct this type of interview. In a video interview, candidates are given a video, audio or text-based question and given a time limit to think and record their answer. Interviewers will then evaluate the candidates based on their recordings.
Lunch interviews are common for middle to top management positions and jobs that require good communication and social interaction skills. Although your table manners are important in a lunch interview, it is not what the interviewer is actually watching out for. It is more of an assessment of how you carry a conversation and setting of the mood and atmosphere during the meal.
Case Study Interview
The case study interview is a discussion of a case study during the interview. It is a format commonly used by consultancy firms to test the knowledge of their candidates. Candidates may be given actual anonymous cases to analyze and discuss with the interviewers. In this type of interview, interviewers are interested to see how candidates process the information and come up with a solution.
Stations Interview or Multi Mini Interview
In this type of interview, companies set up several interview stations, each with a different objective. Usually, each station lasts no more than 10 minutes and when the time is up, the candidates are rotated to a different station. The process repeats until the candidates complete all the stations.
Instead of the traditional type of interview, candidates may be asked to do a presentation to introduce themselves. In a recent recruitment event, candidates were given three minutes to present themselves and another three minutes for question and answer session. As soft skills become increasingly important to recruiters, it is not so uncommon to have candidates to do a presentation as part of an interview.
Simulation Interview or Audition Interview
What can be a better way to know if the candidate can perform the job well than to put them through the job itself? In the simulation or audition interview, candidates are put through a series of activities similar to the actual job. Therefore it provides an insight into how the candidates may perform when they are actually hired. Candidates can also learn more about the scope and responsibilities of the job through the activities.