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Types of Interviews

In this Section

Telephone – Most often, these are initial screening interviews that last from 10 to 20 minutes. The goal of this interview (for the employer) is to cover your interest in the position, your strengths, overview of your experiences, and for the employer to describe the position in greater detail.  Sample questions include:

  • Why are you interested in this position and/or organization?
  • Tell me about yourself.
  • Describe your greatest attributes and provide an example.  They may even ask you to describe a specific experience or role from your background.
  • What questions do you have? Candidate should have some prepared in advance and be sure to ask a couple, otherwise it appears as if you are not interested.
  • Tips –Have your résumé, a few examples of accomplishments, pen and paper for notes, and speak slowly.

On-site / Company Visit – May last one hour or up to a full-day. Candidates generally meet with someone from Human Resources, hiring managers, senior employees, and coworkers. Even full-day interviews with a company are broken up into a number of 30 – 45 minute interviews with various employees.

  • Travel arrangements will likely be discussed with you in advance, with the organization paying for airfare, hotel or reimbursing you after the visit (a company is not obligated to pay your expenses but generally does); it is appropriate to ask about expenses in advance if the organization does not bring it up
  • Itineraries are usually provided to candidates but they vary in the amount of detail provided
  • Meals– If a full-day, lunch or dinner with a team of representatives is common. Varies by position/ industry.
  • Salary – May arise during an onsite interview. Let the company bring up the subject but be prepared with an appropriate range based upon education, region, etc. Consult the Career Center for specific information.
  • Test – Not common but not unusual. Be prepared for technical questions that apply to your discipline. 

Group – A small group of representatives conduct one interview with a candidate. One tip is to include each member of the group in your answer, while making eye contact with each person as you answer (“putting your head on a swivel”). Groups are advantageous because they provide candidates with a chance to impress more than one person.