3 Types of Interview

3 Types of Interview

The purpose of an interview is to exchange information about you, the job, and prospective employer. For this reason, preparation is critical. Always research a company, know your skills and abilities, be professional and be yourself.

The Informational Interview
An informational interview is NOT a job interview, but an opportunity to meet with an individual currently working in your career field of interest. It allows you to gather information and obtain advice, learn about what is current within the field, identify contacts and assist with career decisions and job search. An informational interview should be treated as a professional interview.

Informational Interviewing allows you to gather details and obtain advice. The following questions will get you started:

  • How did you get into this line of work?
  • How do most people get their jobs in this field?
  • Why did you take a position with this company?
  • What is your function in this company?
  • What do you like and dislike most about your job?
  • What is a typical day like at this company?
  • Can you describe the company culture?
  • Can you describe the industry?
  • What do people in this career have in common?
  • What types of positions are typically available in this company?
  • What skills and experience would you look for in an entry-level job applicant?
  • What kind of work experience, education or training would be the best preparation for this career?
  • What are the short and long-term opportunities for growth in this company?
  • What is the salary range for this career?
  • What trends do you see taking place in this profession?
  • What do you see yourself doing in five years?
  • What is the one thing you would have wanted someone to tell you about this career?
  • What advice would you give someone who is thinking about this career?
  • Do you know of other people who might be willing to give me additional information?
  • Can you recommend any sources for more information?

The Behavioral Interview
A behavioral interview is structured and controlled by the interviewer. It requires candidates to answer questions based on past behaviors. The premise is that past performance is the best predictor of future performance. The interviewer questions and probes for detailed behavioral evidence of what a candidate said, did, felt, though and what the results were of various situations. Answers should be based on what was the situation, what was your response, and what was the outcome. There may be a lot of follow-up questions such as, “Can you give me an example”, “What did you say” and “What was the result.” The interviewer may take copious notes and test for consistency in responses.

The Case Interview
A case interview is broadly defined as an interview geared around solving problems on the spot. It is one of the most common interview formats, especially for consulting firms. It requires specific and exhaustive preparation, quick thinking, keen insight, and intelligence. The case interview is designed to gauge exactly how detail oriented you are by giving you a problem and seeing how you work it out. The case interview can take many forms, but in every form, the interviewer is trying to judge all or some of the following: Logical Thought Processes, General Business Knowledge and Acumen, General Knowledge, Comfort with Quantitative Analysis, Creativity, and Communication Skills. All cases fall into two broad categories – long and short (the reference being to time). Listen to the interviewer for cues on this issue, and know the structure of the interview before going on.