Types of Interview Formats
One interviewer and you. The most common format.
A series of interviews where you move from person to person. A number of interviewers offer a number of different impressions.
Most often when interviewed by peers. Your job is to:
- When responding, look at the person who asked the question.
- If someone is hostile or rude to you, treat him or her with special respect. Ask questions to prompt him or her to interact with you.
- If with peers, be prepared to take control if no one else does. If the interview is with a panel of superiors, don't take control even if needed.
A rare situation designed supposedly "to see how you react under stress and think on your feet." Interviewers may act sarcastic, angry, confrontational and challenging. Your job is to:
- Stay calm, breathe deeply and slowly, and maintain eye contact.
- Recognize the artificially created scenario for what it is, without taking it personally.
- Stay on the positive side of issues presented, without getting angry or hostile.
- Questions are about real or hypothetical situations, and you are asked how you would react or deal with them.
- Questions focus on specific examples of your past performance as indicators of your future performance. Interviewer may take many notes. The "Challenge-Action-Result" response format is perfect for these kinds of questions. This is one of the best interview strategies for getting quality information for a hiring decision.
- This is an interview where you only have your verbal and vocal communication to rely on.
- Relax, take a few deep breaths and proceed.
- If you are surprised by a call at an inopportune time or at a location with no privacy, try to reschedule the conversation at the interviewer's convenience.
- No eating, drinking, smoking or gum chewing while talking. Make sure there is no background noise.
- Speak with appropriate enthusiasm and energy. Stand up straight or walk while you talk. Your voice will sound much more positive if you smile. You will feel better, too.
- Let the interviewer guide the agenda.
- This is a great opportunity to take notes.
Usually, screening interviews for positions for which a company hires many people, such as customer service representatives. Questions are posed to you and require you to choose from a list of responses (yes/no, multiple choice), and punch the number of the response on the telephone keypad.
Interviewer maintains tight control of the interview and has specified questions to ask. This is done to maintain a high degree of consistency in the content and format of each interview when there may be many people conducting interviews with many candidates.
These may range from a "go-with-the-flow" style of an inexperienced interviewer to a deliberate strategy where the interviewer asks broad and general questions and allows you to control the interview. Not an effective method, but some people use it.