What are the Different Types of Interviews?

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  • Written By: Dan Cavallari
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 01 January 2020
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The types of interviews one is likely to go through require preparedness and a fair amount of confidence, as a job opportunity is usually on the line. The most common types of interviews include formal interviews, phone interviews, panel interviews, sequential interviews, and even walk-in interviews. Each of these types of interviews will require the candidate to showcase his or her talents and prove that he or she is the best choice for the job; preparedness is the most important tool in the candidate's arsenal, and regardless of what interview type he or she is going through, the candidate must be prepared to speak eloquently and professionally about the job and his or her qualifications.

A formal interview is perhaps the most common of the different types of interviews. Such an interview requires the candidate to meet the employer in person. The employer will ask several prepared questions — the same questions the employer will ask all candidates — in a specific order. The candidate's answers may be recorded, and the employer is likely to take notes on the candidate's answers. Many of the questions will deal with hypothetical situations, past experiences, and qualifications. An informal interview works much the same way, but the employer is likely to stray from the set questions and steer the conversation in another direction if he or she pleases.


Phone interviews are one of the only types of interviews that are not held face to face, though video conferencing can now solve this issue. A phone interview is conducted between candidates and employers who are in different areas of the state, country, or world. The questions one will answer in such an interview are generally the same as those asked in a face to face interview, but other questions about relocation and travel may be asked as well.

Panel interviews occur when a candidate is interviewed by several people at once. Each person at the table will have his or her own set of questions to ask, and each interviewer will generally focus on a specific area to discuss. One may ask about experience and background, for example, while another interviewer may focus more on goals for the future. A close relative to the panel interview is the sequential interview, in which several people interview the candidate, but instead of all the interviewers perform the interview at once, they will each have an opportunity to interview the candidate one on one. This often means the candidate must answer the same question several times for several different people.


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An interviewer asked me to bring my laptop on interview day for the position of Sales and Service Engineer. What is that for?

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