Review common types of interviews, and tips for succeeding in each. Please also review sample interview questions. If your interview will be conducted over a meal, be sure to brush up on dining etiquette.
Strategies for all types of interviews
- Show enthusiasm and confidence; smile, make eye contact, maintain good posture, and listen carefully.
- Avoid fillers such as “umm,” “you know,” “yeah,” “I mean,” “like,” etc.
- Practice providing concise answers to avoid rambling.
- Use examples from work, school, volunteering, or other less personal situations.
- Avoid interrupting. Wait until the interview has finished asking the question before answering, even if you know how the question is going to end.
- Keep the conversation positive; do not make negative comments about previous experiences, supervisors, teachers, etc.
- No matter the type of interview, be prepared to answer and ask questions.
- Questions focus on the competencies of the job and are asked in the same order for each candidate.
- For this or any type of interview, be prepared to give examples of how you have gained or demonstrated competencies using the S.T.A.R. method.
Unstructured or Semi-Structured Interviews
- Some questions are determined prior to the interview and other questions are spontaneous based on the candidate’s responses.
- You have a greater chance in this type of interview to steer the conversation. Be natural and conversational, but don’t miss opportunities to emphasize how you can add value.
- Avoid making negative comments and discussing topics considered controversial.
Case Study and Technical Interviews
- Used to evaluate critical thinking and problem-solving abilities
- Questions include scenarios that require multiple steps to solve.
- Questions may not have an exact right answer; the interviewer is observing your reasoning process and how you support your conclusion
- Taking notes may be acceptable, so have a notepad in your padfolio or portfolio. You may be able to ask questions to confirm your understanding before working through the solution.
- In technical fields, candidates should know which programs would be useful in finding a solution. Demonstration of technical ability may be required.
- When scheduling a mock interview with the Career Center, be sure to include that you would like to be asked a case study question.
Multiple Mini Interviews (MMI)
- Typically used by medical or healthcare professional schools to measure competencies that can’t be assessed through standardized tests.
- Multiple stations focus on a different question with different interviewers having a chance to observe the candidate.
- Candidates have a set time to prepare before engaging in conversation to work through the scenario or question.
- When scheduling a mock interview with the Career Center, be sure to indicate if you anticipate having the MMI format in your actual interview.
Multi-Candidate or Group Interviews
- Used to screen candidates, save time, and/or observe interactions in group
- Introduce yourself to other candidates.
- Balance contributing responses with listening to others; avoid interrupting.
- If another candidate makes a comment you planned to make, add to it if appropriate.
- More advice for group interviews.
- Allows multiple members of organization to ask questions and evaluate candidates
- Greet and make eye contact with all panelists.
- Focus initially on the person asking the question, then make eye contact with others as you respond.
- If the employer is in another time zone, clarify which time zone will be observed.
- Secure an interview location with reliable coverage and limited distractions. The Career Center offers interview rooms for this purpose.
- Have your resume handy with a few key words to remind yourself of points you want to make. Do not read notes. Be conversational as if you were there in person.
- Be sure the interviewer has finished talking before you begin speaking.
- Sit up straight (or stand) and remember to smile occasionally. Smiling helps you sound engaging and will likely calm your nerves.
- More tips for phone interviews
- Review all tips for phone interviews as many also apply to virtual interviews.
- Identify a location with no visual distractions in the background.
- Position the camera to capture the upper half of your body, including your hands. Be sure you’re looking directly across into the camera as opposed to looking up or down. As much as possible, appear as you would if you were there in person.
- Check lighting, video, and audio in time to make adjustments if necessary.
- More tips for virtual interviews.
- Questions are sent online and appear as text on the screen.
- You’re allotted time to think about a response, and then you’ll deliver the response through either live chat or a recording.
- You may get a practice question, but you don’t want to count on that.
- As with every interview, practice concise responses that cover the question completely.