What is an Interview? Types of Interviews

An interview is the first step in your work journey. To start your work-life, you must pass the interview. What is an interview? And what does it mean?

Interviews are a formal meeting between two people (interviewer and interviewee). Interviews are conducted in order to obtain information and ask questions. Interviewers ask questions, while interviewees answer them.

Interviews are conducted in companies and organizations to assess the candidate, test their domain knowledge, evaluate their skills, analyze their attitude and behavior, and other elements that are necessary to meet organizational needs.

Only the selected candidate is chosen for the job after a thorough evaluation. Failing to interview for a job does not mean you are incapable of work. However, you must still work hard to improve your skills, understand your weaknesses, fill in the gaps, take steps to address them, and finally, do what is necessary to succeed at interviews. This is where self-evaluation plays an important role.

Interviewers do not follow a single type of interview to evaluate interviewees. They also test them with various types of interviews. It is important to be prepared for all types of interviews. Before you do, it is important to know what types of interviews are available and how they are conducted.

Read More: What Is A Face-To-Face Interview And How Does It Work?

Let’s talk about this. We will help you understand what types of interviews are. This will allow you to practice well and be the best at future interviews.

1] Formal, informal and in-depth interviews:

Formal interviews are planned interviews. The questions are pre-planned and all details are decided before the interview.
Informal interviews, on the other hand, are less planned and more random. Both parties communicate more casually than formal interviews.

In Detail:-

What is the difference between a formal interview and an informal interview? How to succeed?

Formal interview and informal interview

The recruitment process used by top companies has seen a lot of changes over the years. It’s not the same process as it was in the past, from applying for a job to receiving an offer letter. Companies have had to change how they recruit. The interview process has also changed. It can now be divided into two types: informal and formal interviews.

The traditional interview process, also known by the formal interview, has been replaced by an alternative. Many companies now prefer the informal interview, which is a more casual method of interviewing.

Although both informal and formal interview types involve a conversation between an employer and the candidate, they have very different structures.

What does this mean for the candidate? What should a candidate do to approach an informal interview? What are the best tips to succeed in formal interviews?

Before we dive into the meat of the matter, let’s first understand the differences between formal and informal interviews as well as the factors that distinguish them.

What is a formal interview?

A formal interview is usually held in a formal setting.

Formal interviews are meetings between potential candidates and employers that take place in a professional setting. This is the most traditional type of interview and has been for decades. Formal interviews are usually held in the office of the employer. The interview structure is strict and professional.

In formal interviews, everything from the dress code to the conversation are usually professional. A formal interview serves the employer’s purpose in deciding if the applicant is qualified for the position.

While some employers may prefer a formal interview over dinner, the candidate must still dress professionally. Formal interviews are influenced by the attire of the candidate.

The candidate should also maintain professionalism during the formal interview. Although many companies prefer informal approaches to recruitment, traditional interviews remain the norm.

Many companies prefer the traditional formal interview format. Candidates may also be expected to show professionalism when participating in formal interviews. The other type of interview is gaining a lot of popularity lately.

Let’s find out what an informal interview looks like and what its purpose is.

What is an Informal Interview?

In a casual setting, an informal interview is conducted

Informal interviews can be very different from traditional interviews. Informal interviews are conducted in casual settings and have a structure that is very different from traditional interviews. The dress code for informal interviews is not as strict as formal ones.

The purpose is often used by employers to determine if a candidate is a good fit for the job. An informal interview might include casual conversations with the interviewer to gain a better understanding of the candidate’s personality. There is plenty of time for the candidate to ask questions and get to know more about the company.

The informal interview has another advantage: there is no time limit. Informal interviews are conversations over coffee or lunch between an employer, a candidate and their potential employer. If the candidate makes a good impression, such an interview can last a while.

An informal interview is a great opportunity to get to know the company and make a lasting impression.

Informal interviews are not strictly technical, and conversations can include hobbies and stuff as well as technical discussions.

What is a formal interview different from an informal one?

Formal interviews are the most popular type of interview. This is the most traditional type of interview, where an employer and candidate meet in a professional setting.

An informal interview, on the other hand takes place in casual surroundings. An informal interview might involve the employer having a coffee chat with the candidate.

What makes the difference? The difference is in how you dress, what you talk, how you format your presentation, and what purpose it serves.

Both types of interview are very different.

Formal interviews require a similar dress code. You cannot wear ripped jeans to a formal interview. The dress code for informal interviews is not as strict. For an informal interview, you cannot wear ripped jeans! Candidates are encouraged to wear professional attire, but this is less important.

In a formal interview, the conversation is strictly technical and about the job profile. The employer will talk about a variety of topics in an informal interview to gain a better understanding of the potential candidate’s business intelligence and work ethic.

Informal interviews allow candidates to be themselves while formal interviews limit that freedom. Candidates are not allowed to give lengthy, detailed answers in formal interviews.

Although the structure and format of formal and informal interviews may differ, the core purpose is the same.

There is only one difference between the two: in formal interviews, the employer will determine if a candidate can perform the job. Employers will attempt to gain a general understanding of the potential candidate’s abilities and dedication through informal interviews.

An informal interview is preferred by candidates because it allows them to express themselves and unwrap more. An informal interview is better for candidates, but it is not yet the norm. Interviews in the traditional format are still the most popular. Job seekers should be ready for both types.

How to Prepare for an Informal Interview

Informal interviews are usually conducted in casual settings. However, it is important to prepare for an informal interview. You must not undervalue the importance of an informal interview as a candidate.

Here are some tips that will help you succeed in an informal interview.Even for informal interviews, be prepared

Find out more about the company

Research is the most important part of your preparation for an interview. Research as much as you can about the company to get a feel for what it is like.

Informal interviews are designed to assess whether the candidate is interested in joining the company. You should not present yourself as someone who is willing to work in a company that you have no knowledge of.

The right balance between formal and casual

Candidates often speak too freely during informal interviews. Candidates fall prey to the casual atmosphere of informal interviews and say unprofessional things.

You could lose your job if you ridicule your former coworkers or are too optimistic about the industry. You should strike the right balance between formal and casual!

Ask relevant questions

Do not assume that you have the job. Ask relevant questions about the company, such as why they reached you and what role you will play in their growth.

In informal interviews, don’t let your guard down by engaging in casual conversation. Listen to your employer and ask questions.

Properly dress

Candidates often make mistakes when dressing for informal interviews. Candidates either dress too formal for fear or don’t wear professional attire. For informal interviews, business casual is best. Even if an interviewer arrives in a casual dress, it is still your interview. No matter what you wear, don’t overthink your outfit during an interview.

Be careful not to be too casual

Don’t forget to bring something to take notes in. You can use a standard notepad, as well as copies of your resume or portfolio. You should not have too many papers to be able to accommodate an informal interview.

How to Prepare for a Successful Formal Interview

Formal interviews are those traditional interviews you get tips for. Formal interviews have evolved a lot over the years in terms of their structure. Whatever tips you follow for formal interviews, ensure they are relevant to today’s business world.

We offer tips and tricks to help you succeed in formal interviews .Formal interviews are dominated by professionalism.

Find out more about the company

Research is key to any interview, formal or informal. To present yourself confidently, gather as much information as you can about your employers. To make a great impression on the interviewer, it would be helpful if you had a few questions to ask.

Be prepared for the common questions

Rehearsing the answers to the most commonly asked interview questions is another useful tip. It is the most commonly asked questions like “tell me about myself?” These questions can catch job candidates off guard and could cost them their job. These questions should be answered professionally and clearly.

Don’t rehearse cliché answers to interview questions. Be authentic and concise with your answers. Interviewers don’t like to hear the same tired answers, so they prefer candidates who are authentic and concise.

Professionalism is key

During an interview, a candidate must remain professional. No matter how casual or informal an interviewer is, you must remain professional throughout the interview.

Also, be polite and respectful of everyone from the moment that you enter the office to the moment that you depart. These are often overlooked but will paint a positive image of you to your employer.

Be composed and calm

Your stress levels could be high due to all the pressure involved in finding a job. Use calm techniques that have helped you stay calm and composed in the past.

It is not what you want to see all of your hard work go stale because of stress. Do not be afraid to walk when you feel anxious.

Wear formal dress

Dressing up for formal interviews is a must. There are no mistakes. If you want to leave a lasting impression, you must look professional. Your first impression of you is made by your professional attire.

This applies to your behaviour during formal interviews. You must be professional in your language use and how you interact with interviewers.

Mix of both Interview Types

Each type of interview has its pros and cons. The traditional interview is trusted, but the informal interview gives employers an even better idea of the candidate’s personality.

Both interview types offer candidates the chance to make a positive impression. Informal interviews allow candidates to be more open and candid about their professional and personal lives. To get the best of both, many companies choose to mix both interview types.

As a job seeker, you should be prepared for both types of interviews. These tips will help you prepare for a successful interview. Do your research, prepare for both types and be confident when you go to interviews.

Good preparation will ensure that you get the best results, regardless of the type of interview.

2] Panel and Sequential Interview:

Sequential interviews are made up of multiple interviews. This type of interview involves multiple interviews.
Panel Interviews are where several interviewers sit down to ask the interviewee questions. This type of interview is mainly for the Public Sector.

In Detail:

“How many people must I interview with in order to get this job?” Some companies have a variety of answers. They can either interview one person at the time, or a series or serial format. Or all at once for a panel interview.

They don’t mean to gang on you!

This is usually done to make it easier to hire the right person.

This is your chance to show that you can communicate with and build relationships across functional boundaries. You can get an advantage by knowing the names and roles of each person and then looking them up online to learn more about their interests and personalities. You should ask for business cards if you’re unable or unwilling to provide this information. This information will be required to send a thank you note to each interviewer.

Panel Interviews

Interviewing a variety of people can make it feel awkward, intimidating or unnatural. It can also be stressful. This discomfort is a test of your ability under pressure, whether you intend it or not. The interviewers will likely feel uncomfortable as well. You can think of them as people and try to make them feel comfortable. You will feel more relaxed if you do this.

After asking permission to take notes, write down the names of each person, in a visual arrangement that corresponds to their physical location at the table. This will allow you to address each person individually and establish rapport.

Interviewers might ask you questions about your interests. In this case, you should speak directly to the person asking and keep eye contact with others. The group might have a common list of questions that they all ask. If this is the case, you should address your answer to everyone and not just the person who spoke.

You will likely be asked questions about the panel at some point. Usually towards the end. Prepare a question for each person based on their job role. You might ask the HR representative to describe the company’s culture, or ask prospective peers what their day looks like.

Sequential and serial interviews

Interviews are usually conducted one-on-one or over a longer time. You should be prepared for a marathon if they all fall on the same day. This would for me mean that I should have a few protein bars between sessions!

You should have a good-sized list of accomplishment stories that you can share with interviewers. It’s better not to repeat the same stories repeatedly. You don’t want to give the impression that you only have a handful of accomplishments. They will likely compare notes. Your best wins are likely worth repeating.

You should tailor your presentation to each person’s interests. The CEO might be interested in your contribution to the bottom line. However, your potential colleagues may be more interested in your personality and collaboration skills.

3] Interview with a Group:

Group interviews are when many interviewees take part in the interview. It is often called applicant pool. This happens during university or college placements. Interviewees in group interviews are evaluated by many people and only a few are chosen.

In detail

Interviewing: When should an employer use group interview techniques?

Employers are increasingly embracing group interviews. Employers need to be familiar with group interview techniques and benefits. Group interviews are a technique that allows multiple candidates to be interviewed for the same job. Group interviews should be planned and carried out well in order to be successful. A plan should also outline the company’s objectives and reason for using group interviews.

The interviewer will often pose hypothetical problems to the group and then ask them to solve the problem together. Interviewers can observe how candidates interact with one another and how they work together as a group. Interviewers can use group questions to assess candidates’ soft skills, such as problem-solving, teamwork and interpersonal communication. Interviewers may also ask individual questions about each candidate. Employers can also see the candidate’s actions by asking both individual and group questions.

Employers who need to quickly find large numbers of employees, such as start-ups that require a lot of staff to launch their business, can use group interviews. Employers can screen multiple candidates simultaneously, which reduces the time it takes to interview. When the job requires excellent people skills, such as when it is frequently dealing with customers or the public, group interviews can be very effective. When teamwork is an integral part the job, group interviews can be very effective. Employers can observe the behaviors that reflect success on the job before they invest time or money in hiring candidates.

Interviewing multiple candidates at once can cause interviewers to blurred and intertwine candidates’ experience and knowledge, which could lead to the candidate not being selected. Interviews in groups save time and can reduce turnover. This could also save the company money. If used in certain situations, group interviews can be very effective in understanding the company’s goals and determining whether group interviews are appropriate for the employer. It could also help to identify specific behaviors that are more easily visible when active participation in a group setting is an activity.

4] Interview with Situation:

Interviewers will ask the interviewee how they will handle a particular situation or problem. They also evaluated their ability to manage problems within an organization and how proactive in making decisions in these situations.

In detail:

Similar to the behavioral interview situational interviews, candidates are asked questions about their ability to handle specific situations at work. The candidate must assess the situation and provide solutions.

Situation-based interview questions are often used to ask difficult situations and how you would handle them. While you can give some information about your response to the situation, the best answers to situationsal interview questions are concrete examples of how you dealt with similar situations in the workplace. This will give you solid information that is based on past experiences and can be used to help you prepare for the interview.

What should you include in your answer

Your main purpose in answering questions in a situational interview is to relate a similar past experience. 

Start by substituting “problem” for the “task”, and then talk about what went wrong. This will help you avoid rambling and keep your answer focused. Include the following in your response:

  • Tell us about the situation. Include details about the company and what was at stake. Also, describe the current process. One example of how the situation might be described is: “In my previous role, I was responsible for a major fundraiser, one of our largest. The event was attended by hundreds of people and raised thousands of dollars for the charity. I was responsible for planning the event and securing the venue.
  • What went wrong? Explain what went wrong and why. Is it avoidable or an unavoidable crisis? You could use the example above to say that our keynote speaker fell ill three days prior to the event and had to cancel. The event’s biggest draw is its speaker, so it was unwise to not have them. We could lose thousands of dollars if the event was cancelled. However, if we did not have a speaker, we ran the risk of angering our audience.
  • What was your next step? Please describe not only the action that you took but also your reasoning behind it and how you came up with solutions. I shared my ideas with my boss. We could not cancel the event as we would lose too many dollars. So, our only choice was to find another speaker. I spent the next ten hour on the phone, calling every speaker’s bureau in the area and sending emails to anyone who could help. Although it was exhausting, the effort paid off.
  • What was the result? Showcase what you did and how it contributed to the overall project. My persistence paid off. After following up with one company, I was successful in securing a replacement speaker at the same price as the original. We sent out communication to inform attendees about the change. It also highlighted the accomplishments of our new speaker. This was our most successful event to date. We earned $10,000 more than the previous year.

Use your responses to prove that you are a good match.

Example Situational Interview Questions and Responses

These are some examples of situational interview questions. They also include sample answers and suggestions on how to answer them. :

  • How would you deal if your boss is absolutely wrong about a matter?
  • Describe a difficult situation or project. How did you overcome it .
  • What have been your workplace problems? Describe the problems you faced at work and how you solved them .
  • Please describe a problem or challenge you have faced, and how you dealt with it.
  • Describe a time in your life when you had a lot of work. How did you handle it .

For the best chances of being hired, preparation is key. You should think about the situational questions that you might be asked, and how they relate with your past responsibilities. Also consider how these relate to your past challenges.

Think about how you would have handled other workplace problems that didn’t directly affect you. Your answers will give you an edge over other applicants and could land you the job.

5] Interview by phone or video:

Interviews will take place via either a phone call (Telephonic round), or video call. We have seen interviewers using video calls during the current pandemic. This type of interview was most prevalent during the covid-19 situation.

These are the most frequent types of interviews that companies and organizations use to evaluate and test interviewees, and meet organizational requirements and needs.

In Detail:

Interviews by phone or video: Which one is better?

You’re hiring again and must start screening candidates to fill your open jobs. There are three options: an in-person interview or a video conference.

Let’s now discuss which screen is better for applicants: the phone screen or the video screen.

Phone screens are the most popular method of interviewing, even if it is not in-person. Companies usually start with a phone screen, which is followed by an in-person interview.

Video interviews have become the preferred method of interviewing over the last five years. Since COVID-19, many recruiters have made the video interview the default choice.

Which is better: the phone interview or the video interview? Which is the best way to evaluate top talent? Let’s take a look.

The telephone interview

Phone Interviews are the best format for first round interviews. Aspiring job seekers often expect a phone interview as part the first step in obtaining a job.

These are the pros:

Every candidate can access phone interviews and they have been used for decades for hiring purposes. This tried-and-true interview technique is more comfortable for candidates with less tech skills. The recruiter calls candidates on their landline or mobile phones and they are ready to go.

A phone interview is a great way to start a conversation with a recruiter before speaking with a member the candidate would be working alongside. This is a more relaxed way to establish a rapport between candidate and company.

Both the candidate and the recruiter cannot see each other, which allows both to refer to their notes during interviews.

These are the cons

It can be difficult for recruiters and candidates to determine if they are a good match over the phone. It can be difficult to establish a strong first relationship.

It is difficult to gauge the non-verbal signals candidates and recruiters exchange at this stage. This further blurs the lines between how the recruiter can assess job skills and match.

The video interview

These are the pros:

Video interviews allow both the candidate as well as the recruiter to see and interact live with one another. This allows recruiters assess candidate responses to interview questions. It can also lead to a more natural flow and ease of conversation.

A video interview gives recruiters a better insight into the personality of a candidate than a phone interview. Without notes, it is easier to see how well-prepared a candidate is.

These are the cons

Technical problems can interrupt the flow of a video interview, throwing both interviewer and interviewee off-track and reducing the chance for each to make an accurate assessment.

Interviewees and interviewers may be intimidated by the constant visibility and video platform.

You get the best of both worlds

Consider using both the phone interview andvideo interview techniques during your recruitment process.

Another strategy is to use the phone interview to conduct a 15- to 30-minute initial screen between a recruiter, and a candidate.

The next step would be a video interview between the hiring manager, the candidate, and them.

You could also invite the candidate to the workplace to meet other members of the team and take them on a tour. Or you could close the hiring process by completing the video interview.

We recommend that you shorten your hiring process in order to compete in the current labor market. Your chances of losing candidates are greater if your hiring process takes too long.

The amount of resources and time you have available may affect your decision to choose between video or phone interviews.

No matter what method you choose to use, let candidates know your preference so they can download the appropriate software and charge their phones. This will ensure that an easy interview process.


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