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The purpose of a job interview is for you and an employer to learn about one another. Employers want to evaluate your qualifications, and you also want to evaluate the employer.

There are several different types of interviews:

Type What to Expect Tips
Telephone Screening Interview A call from an employer to screen you and other candidates for essential criteria. Have your job search records organized and handy. Refer to your resume as needed.
In-person Screening Interview An in-person screening for initial impressions of your attitude, interest, and professional style. You may not be meeting with the final decision maker, but don’t slack off. Sell yourself as you would in a “regular” interview.
Selection Interview In-depth questions on your qualifications used to evaluate your ability to fit in. Establish rapport with everyone you meet (before and after the actual interview). Sell yourself as a natural addition to the team.
Work Sample Interview An opportunity to demonstrate your specific skills. May be a display of your portfolio or a demonstration of your skills. Run through different ways to describe the projects in your portfolio. Practice your presentation until it is smooth.
Peer Group Interview A meeting with your prospective coworkers, who will evaluate how well you fit in. Don't forget to smile. It shows confidence.
Group or Panel Interview Three or more people who will ask you questions on your qualifications and evaluate how you fit in. Direct your answer to the person who asked the question, but try to maintain eye contact with all group members.
Luncheon Interview Interview conducted in a restaurant to assess how well you handle yourself in social situations. Pick easy things to eat so you can answer questions and pay attention to the conversation.
Stress Interview Questions intended to make you uncomfortable. This is usually a test of how you will handle stress on the job. Keep your cool and take your time in responding to the questions. Don't take anything personally.
Video Conference Interview A “person-to-person” interview by video. Practice before a video camera or mirror if facing a camera during an interview makes you nervous.

Preparation is the key to a successful interview. Spend time getting ready for your interview. Review common interview questions and practice answering them with someone else or in front of a mirror. On the big day, remember to:

  • Be on time or early
  • Go by yourself
  • Look professional
  • Shake hands firmly
  • Maintain eye contact
  • Bring your sense of humor and SMILE!

Source: Creative Job Search, a publication of the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development.

Department of Labor CareerOneStop is sponsored by the U. S. Department of Labor,
Employment and Training Administration