Not All Interviews Are the Same

John Krautzel
Posted by

As a job seeker, it's common to use the same preparation strategies for every single job interview. The reality, though, is that not all interviews are the same. Spend some time during your job search learning more about the types of interviews so you're prepared for anything when walking into that first meeting with a potential employer.

Phone Interviews

A phone job interview is commonly used as a first-round screening when potential employers are looking to narrow down candidates. You have just one chance to make it into the final round, so it's crucial to spotlight your interpersonal skills when speaking with a recruiter or member of the hiring team. Avoid talking over the interviewer and take cues for when you should begin speaking based on the pauses in the conversation. Answer the phone in a friendly manner, speak in an energetic tone, and imagine you are smiling through the phone since the hiring manager cannot see your body language or facial expressions. Answer each question honestly while staying focused on your qualifications and skills.

Informational Interviews

Many times, employers opt to conduct an informational job interview to get to know who you are as a person and a professional. It's often deemed as a little more informal than the traditional meeting; still dress to impress and treat this meeting as a chance to sell your skills. During your job search and prior to the meeting, research the company thoroughly so you can share your knowledge and ask in-depth questions about the firm. Show up to the job interview with a list of questions for the employer. Remember that since this meeting is informational, you should expect to gain information as well. Keep the conversation professional and avoid divulging personal information, even if you feel relaxed and the tone is informal.

Video Interviews

With more and more employees and executives working remotely, video interviews have gained momentum. Plan to conduct this type of job interview in front of your computer using your webcam and video software. Treat this meeting as you would when meeting in person with potential employers. Dress professionally, make sure your hair is out of your face, smile often, and pay close attention to your body language and facial expressions. Enunciate your words clearly and answer each question directly while offering examples and facts related to your qualifications.

The nature of screening applicants has changed drastically with the use of technology and the need to scope out each candidate's ability to perform the job duties and mesh well with the company culture. Be prepared for any type of job interview by rehearsing interview questions, preparing an elevator pitch and compiling a list of questions to ask. Your flexibility and ability to adapt goes a long way with hiring managers and potential employers.

Photo Courtesy of Vicardl1 at


Become a member to take advantage of more features, like commenting and voting.

Jobs to Watch