Types of Interviews

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1. Behavioral interview

A common type of job interview in the modern workplace is the behavioral interview or behavioral event interview. In this sort of interview, the interviewers tend to ask questions about general situations, with the candidate asked to describe how they handled a specific problem. Typical behavioural interview questions:

  • "Tell us about the project you are most proud of and your role in it."
  • "Describe the worst project you worked on."
  • "Describe a time you had to work with someone you didn't like."
  • "Tell me about a time when you had to stick by a decision you had made, even though it made you very unpopular."
  • "Give us an example of something particularly innovative that you have done that made a difference in the workplace."
  • "What happened the last time you were late with a project?"

The goal of the interview is to assess the candidate's ability to respond to the sorts of situations that the job may present them with.

2. Stress interview

Stress interviews are still in common use. One type of stress interview is where the employer uses a succession of interviewers whose mission is to intimidate the candidate and keep him/her off-balance. The ostensible purpose of this interview: to find out how the candidate handles stress. Stress interviews might involve testing applicant's behavior in a busy environment. Questions about handling work overload, dealing with multiple projects and handling conflict are typical.

Another type of stress interview may involve only a single interviewer who behaves in an uninterested or hostile style. For example, the interviewer may not give eye contact, may roll their eyes or sigh at the candidate's answers, interrupt, turn his back, take phone calls during the interview, and ask questions in a demeaning or challenging style. The goal is to assess how the interviewee handles pressure or to purposely evoke emotional responses.

Example stress interview questions:

  • Sticky situation: "If you caught a colleague cheating on his expenses, what would you do?"
  • Putting you on the spot: "How do you feel this interview is going?"
  • Popping the balloon: "(deep sigh) Well, if that's the best answer you can give ... (shakes head) Okay, what about this one ...?"
  • Oddball question: "What would you change about the design of the hockey stick?"
  • Doubting your veracity: "I don't feel like we're getting to the heart of the matter here. Start again - tell me what really makes you tick."

3. Technical Interview

This kind of interview focuses on problem solving skills and creativity. The questions will aim at your problem solving skills, and likely will show your ability and creativity. Sometimes these interviews will be on a computer module with multiple choice questions. This is where your programming skills will be tested either orally or on paper.

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