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Career Center

The InterviewDifferent
There are many different types of interviews. Once you are selected for an interview, you
may experience one or more of the situations described below. When you schedule an
interview, try to get as much information as possible about whom you will be meeting. Note
that it is rare to have only one interview prior to a job offer. Most employers will bring bac
a candidate a number of times to be sure a potential employee will fit into the company
Traditional Face-to-Face Interview
! Most interviews are face"to"face. The most traditional is a one"on"one conversation.
! #our focus should be on the person asing $uestions. Maintain eye contact, listen and respond
once a $uestion has been ased.
! #our goal is to establish rapport with the interviewer and show them that your $ualifications will
benefit their organi%ation.
Panel/Committee Interview
! &n this situation, there is more than one interviewer. Typically, three to ten members of a panel may conduct
this part of the selection process. This is your chance to put your group management and group
presentation sills on display.
! 's $uicly as possible, try to (read( the various personality types of each interviewer and adjust to
them. )ind a way to connect with each interviewer.
! *emember to tae your time in responding to $uestions. Maintain primary eye contact with the panel
member who ased the $uestion, but also see eye contact with other members of the panel as you
give your response.
Behavioral Interview
! The basic premise behind this type of interview is that your past behavior is the best predictor of your
future actions. These types of $uestions may be ased in any interview format+telephone, panel or
! &f the employer ass behavior"oriented $uestions, they are no longer asing hypothetical
$uestions but are now asing $uestions that must be answered based on facts.
! With a behavioral $uestion, the interviewer is looing for results, not just an activity list. They are
listening for names, dates, places, the outcome and especially what your role was in achieving
that outcome.
! This type of $uestion generally starts with the words ,-ive me an example when.... or ,Tell me about a
time when/.
Case Interview
! &n some interviews you may be ased to demonstrate your problem"solving sills. The interviewer will
outline a situation or provide you with a case study and as you to formulate a plan that deals with the
! #ou do not have to come up with the ultimate solution. The interviewers are looing for how you
apply your nowledge and sills to a real"life situation. 0pea and reason aloud so interviewers
have a full understanding of your thought process.










Case Interview (contined!
! 1efore answering a case interview $uestion, be prepared to as the employer numerous $uestions for clarity
and informational purposes. Most employers will provide responses that could result in additional in$uiries.
! The more you are able to analy%e and dissect the case study, the more you will liely impress your interviewer.
! This is the only interview for which it is acceptable, even encouraged, to bring a pad of paper and pencil.
Most interviewers will allow you to tae notes and jot down thoughts as you wor through the case.
Telephone Interview
! Many organi%ations will conduct interviews by telephone to narrow a field of candidates. Telephone
interviews may also be used as a preliminary interview for candidates who live far away from the job site.
! &t is important to treat this interview as you would a face"to"face connection. 'rrange for a $uiet
space and time to schedule the conversation. 2lear a wor surface to minimi%e distractions.
! )ocus on the conversation. 3isten to the $uestions carefully before you answer. 0ince your voice
is ey, convey energy with inflection in your voice.
! 4ave a copy of your resume nearby as a reference.
! 'void using a phone with call waiting. #ou do not want to be interrupted during an interview.
! Try to use a landline phone or a cell phone that is not prone to dropping calls.
"rop Interview
! ' group interview is usually designed to uncover the leadership potential of prospective managers
and employees who will be dealing with customers.
! The front"runner candidates are gathered together in an informal, discussion type interview. '
subject is introduced and the interviewer will start off the discussion.
! The goal of the group interview is to see how you interact with others and how you use your
nowledge and reasoning to influence others.
#nch/Dinner Interview
! The same rules apply at a meal as those in an office. The setting may be more casual, but
remember that it is a business meal and you are being watched carefully.
! 5se the interview to develop common ground with your interviewer. )ollow his6her lead in both
selection of food and eti$uette.
! 'void messy foods and do not drin alcohol at any point in this part of the interview process.
! 0ee the 2areer 2enter tip sheet ,The &nterview+7ti$uette. for additional tips.
$tress Interview
! This form of interview was more common in sales positions and is rare today. 4owever, you
should be aware of the signals. The stress interview is usually a deliberate attempt to see how
you handle yourself under pressure.
! The interviewer may be sarcastic or argumentative, or may eep you waiting. 8o no tae it personally.
2almly answer each $uestion. 's for clarification if you need it and never rush into an answer.
! The interviewer may also lapse into silence at some point during the $uestioning. This may be an
attempt to unnerve you. 0it silently until the interviewer resumes the $uestions. &f a minute goes
by, as if he6she needs clarification of your last comment.
Link: careers.usc.edu/docs/handouts/Interview_Different_Types.pdf
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