Types of Interviews

There are two primary types of interviews used by companies: screening interviews, and selection interviews. Every company's hiring process is different. Some companies may require only two interviews while others may require three or more. It is also not uncommon to see a company conduct testing (personality, skills based, aptitude, etc.) as an intermediate step in the hiring process.

Here is an overview of the major types of interviews and tips on how to handle them:

Screening Interviews

Your first interview with a company will often be a screening interview. The purpose of a screening interview is to ensure that prospective candidates meet the basic qualifications for a given position. It may take place in person or on the telephone. If you meet the basic qualifications, express interest in the position, and make a positive impression on the interviewer, you will likely be selected for a selection interview.

Screening Interview Keys to Success

  • Research the company. Read the job summary carefully. Understand the position and know the key attributes a company is seeking.
  • Using your research and the job summary as a guide, tailor your answers to emphasize the required key attributes.
  • Know your audience. You need to know the background of your interviewer. Is the interviewer from Human Resources or Operations? Are they former military? The Orion Account Executive responsible for that company will be able to give you the necessary information.

Selection Interviews

Selection interviews are typically conducted onsite at the hiring company. The purpose of a selection interview is to determine whether a candidate will be selected for the position he or she is interviewing for. A selection interview is typically more rigorous than a screening interview. At this point, a company is trying to decide whether or not you should either be moved to the next step in the hiring process or an offer is going to be extended, so there will be more scrutiny than with a screening interview. The company wants to know - Are you qualified for the job? Are you a good cultural fit? Can you make an immediate impact, or will you need extensive training? Questions will be more specific and your answers will need to be more detailed.

Selection interviews can come in several forms:

Round-Robin Interview

A round-robin interview is the interview technique most commonly used by our client companies. You will interview with multiple interviewers in succession. The key to a round-robin interview is giving good consistent answers. Interviewers will typically meet after to discuss your answers, and will uncover any inconsistencies.

Panel Interview

A panel interview is an interview that consists of two or more interviewers. Typically, the interviewers will both ask questions. The purpose of a panel interview is to gain multiple perspectives on a prospective candidate. The key to a panel interview is to keep all interviewers involved. Make eye contact with all interviewers even when answering a question for a specific individual.

One-on-One Interview

A one-on-one interview is an interview with a single interviewer. The key to a one-on-one interview is to build rapport with the interviewer. Smile. Be friendly. Try to match your interviewer's energy level. Typically, you will have a short period of time to make an impact. Know the position and the key attributes the company is seeking, and emphasize those things.

Stress Interview

A stress interview is designed to test your responses in a stressful environment. The interviewer may try to intimidate you, and the purpose is to weed out candidates who don't deal well with adversity. The interviewer will make deliberate attempts to see how you handle yourself using methods such as sarcasm, argumentative style questions, or long awkward silences. The key to a stress interview is to recognize that you are in a stress interview. Don't take it personally. Stay calm, focused, and don't allow yourself to be rushed. Ask for clarification if you need it. Know how to push back. Ask an interviewer for a couple of problems they are currently facing, and propose solutions.

Continue to the next topic: Phone Interviews

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