How to master the 9 most popular job interview styles

Do well in all interviews - group, test, behavioral, serial, panel, telephone, portfolio, technical, and standard

The days of a one-size-fits-all interviewing approach are long gone, so don’t automatically assume if you score a coveted meeting it will be the traditional face-to-face. 

Here are some of the options companies may choose to try and find their best fit:

What are the different kinds of job interviews?

Group interviews 

This is a great option to thin the herd, so it’s essential you stand out from the crowd. Make sure you’re the primary (intelligent) responder for at least one answer and agree with at least one of the other contender’s responses – while still managing to add your own opinion.

Test interviews

When you’re presented with a series of problem-solving tasks to see how good your analytical abilities are, it’s either sink or swim. Keep a cool head and don’t get flustered.

Behavioural job interviews

Designed to focus on your past experiences and performance. You’ll need to be able to give specific and detailed examples of tasks you’ve successfully managed (along with quantifiable results) to prove you have what it takes to succeed. 

Serial interviews

This is where you’re passed from one interviewer to another in sequence throughout the day. You’ll need to adjust quickly to the varying interview styles and remain cool, calm and collected, despite the mentally exhausting nature of the task.

Panel interviews

Here you’ll be interviewed by several different people at once and be expected to engage with each and every one of them – not just the ones asking the questions. Follow-up is essential, so make sure you get all their cards.

Telephone job interviews

Your interviewer can’t read your body language, so keep your voice positive. Make sure you also have your cover letter, resume and job requirements in front of you so you can answer quickly, concisely and with examples. Don’t forget to go somewhere quiet where you can’t be interrupted.

Portfolio interviews

Do you work in a creative industry where your work needs to speak for itself? Never leave home without an attractive portfolio filled with your best creations, or you might just find yourself dismissed without a second viewing.

Technical interviews

These are used to find out how much you know and what you still need to learn in more technical fields like computer programming, quantum physics. Just don’t lose your cool.

Standard interviews

A one-on-one face-to-face is still the most common option. Do your research about the company, keep your body language positive and look, act and dress the part of the role in which you want to succeed.

Tips for all job interview styles:

  • Don’t assume you’ll have a one-on-one interview
  • You’ll need to stand out in a group interview
  • Keep your voice positive during phone interviews
  • Always bring your portfolio for creative jobs


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