Screening interviews are typically the first step in the interview process and are used by employers to confirm that you have the skills and qualifications needed to perform the job, as well as to verify the information you presented on your resume. A screening interview is often less than an hour and can be in the format of an on-site, telephone, or video interview.
- Have your job search documents organized and close by.
- Refer to your resume as needed.
- Have questions prepared to ask the interviewer.
Phone interviews are often used as a screening interview. Employers will often use this interview to decide if they should invite you in for an on-site interview. Expect the questions to be very similar to an in-person interview. Don’t underestimate the importance of making a positive impression during the phone interview.
- Schedule a time when you can give your complete attention.
- Take the phone call in a quiet place.
- Write down a few key points you want to mention and the questions you want to ask.
- Keep a copy of your resume and the job description near the phone.
Video interviews often take the form of either live interviews via a conferencing software (i.e., Zoom or Skype) or recording your answers to prerecorded questions and submitting the video online.
- Test your video equipment (i.e., webcam and audio) before the interview.
- Look directly into the web camera to make good eye contact with the interviewer.
- There may be a time-delay so allow your interviewer to finish speaking before responding to their questions.
Behavioral interviews are used to see how you have handled past problems or situations. Employers find this interview valuable to predict how you will handle future problems or situations. A typical behavioral interview question is, “Tell me how you handled a recent conflict situation.”
- Using the STAR method is helpful when answering behavioral interview questions
Group interviews involve more than one applicant in the room. Typically a group of candidates is interviewed by a panel.
- If interviewing with other candidates always be polite and allow other candidates to finish talking before responding.
- If interviewing with a panel of interviewers be sure to make eye contact with all interviewers as you answer their questions.
Team interviews are designed to see how you will perform on a team. You will be placed in a team setting where you have to solve a problem or work on a project. During this time you will be observed on your ability to work on a team.
- Be an active participant.
- Listen to other people’s ideas and make suggestions in a positive manner.
Technical interviews are often done if you are applying for a technical position. For example you may be asked to solve problems under a limited amount of time to demonstrate your knowledge of coding.
Prior to the interview ask the following questions of the person setting up the interview:
- Which programming language will they want you to write the code in?
- Will you be asked to use a whiteboard, the company’s computer, or your own computer?
Meal interviews with a potential employer may seem more relaxed than an actual interview, but you want to continue to present yourself professionally because the employer is still evaluating your behavior.
- Follow the proper etiquette of a formal interview including turning off your cell phone.
- The employer will be paying for the meal so follow their meal recommendation(s) or order a mid-priced meal.
- Order a meal that is easy to eat. Take small bites, do not talk with your mouth full, and do not gesture with your utensils.
- Be sure to talk with other guests at the table.
- Thank your host for the interview and meal. Be sure to know what the next interview step will be for you.
Case interviews are the typical format of consulting firms. In general, you will be asked to analyze a problem or situation, or to identify the problem and develop a resolution.
- Listen carefully and take notes.
- Ask clarifying questions.
- Visit the consulting firm’s website to see if they have practice case interviews on their websites.