Interviewing is the most common method of selecting employees to work at a company as it allows the interviewer to gain more information about the applicant regarding their qualifications, experience, and even personality in more detail than is revealed in an application. Interviews are used to glean information that may be considered much more relevant for the job than those listed in an application or resume which generally just checks for the qualifications that would comprise of the minimum requirements to carry out a certain task. This article will describe several of the more popular types and what is expected of a candidate to successfully face them.
Online interviews are much more common following the COVID-19 pandemic and are conducted somewhat differently from physical interviews. Online do not permit the same level of connection as can be expected from a physical interview, especially if either party is unfamiliar with online conferencing. If you think your interview might be held online, it may be worthwhile to read up on some zoom interview tips and prepare accordingly, as although the interview is held online, it will generally follow one of the formats described further in this article.
Structured interviews are the most basic type of interview where all applicants are asked predetermined questions which may have minor changes depending on their application. Structured interviews generally test an applicant’s experience, qualifications, and communication skills. Preparation in advance, confidence while speaking can be beneficial. It is also helpful to formulate answers for common interview questions beforehand. The questions asked in a structured interview tend to be specific or closed-ended although this can change depending on the job.
The opposite of structured interviews, unstructured interviews are characterised by extensive use of open-ended questions to get a more qualitative measure on a candidate’s suitability for a job. While the standard questions are asked in unstructured interviews as well, they are mostly concerned with allowing the candidate to speak more and often instead of simply answering questions. Facing unstructured interviews typically require more skill at communication and can seem less formal than a structured interview. Candidates are often encouraged to ask their own questions from the interviewer during an unstructured interview – meaning that preparing several questions in advance may help.
Situational interviews are generally carried out as secondary interviews after a preliminary structured or unstructured interview, as they tend to gather information about a candidate’s suitability to a job than their personality or qualifications. They are also helpful in determining the awareness a candidate shows towards the industry or company. Situational interviews generally comprise of asking the candidate how they would react during a hypothetical scenario or ask for an example of a particular experience they had while working at a previous position. In order to prepare, it can be helpful to prepare a list of previous experiences that would have given you valuable insight over how to proceed in the future.