Types of Interviews

Telephone Interview - A telephone interview is a pre-screening technique often used by employers who neither have the time nor budget to meet face-to-face with each candidate during the preliminary stages of the selection process. If the interviewer decides there is a fit worth pursuing, a face-to-face interview will follow.

Prior to the telephone interview prepare a list of points to make. Practice so your delivery sounds natural and conversational. Be certain to keep your resume and cover letter with the job ad nearby for easy reference. Since there are no non-verbal cues to guide you or the interviewer, if you're in doubt about the meaning or intent of any question, ask for clarification, and think out your responses clearly before you answer.

Resume-Based Interview - The interviewer using this "question-and-answer" technique will seek to confirm your qualifications by asking you to describe in greater detail the experiences summarized on your resume. 

Case Interview - The interviewer will present you with a complex problem involving issues or situations that are not likely to be familiar. You will be asked to formulate a solution to the problem under tight time constraints.  

Methods of presenting the case study can range from formal written documents containing considerable information to brief oral descriptions of the problem accompanied by little guidance or information. In either extreme, the interviewer will be looking for these qualities:

  • Demonstrated enthusiasm for solving complex problems.
  • Use of a structured, hypothesis-driven approach.
  • Logical thought process and analytical rigor.
  • Ability to synthesize information and draw analogies.
  • Creativity accompanied by common sense and good business instinct.
  • Comfort with drawing conclusions in the face of ambiguity and uncertainty.


Behavioral Interview - Behavior-based interviewing is currently popular with a growing number of employers and builds upon the basic premise that future performance is best predicted by past behavior. The interviewer will cite an experience, skill, or attribute that the company looks for in its employees and ask you to describe a specific time that you demonstrated that characteristic. The key word is "specific." A person well trained in this interviewing technique will not let you get away with a general or vague answer.

Compared to a traditional interview, the behavioral interview is much more structured and probing. Its focus is on "real-life" experiences and actions. The "STAR" formula worksheet available in the Interview Guidance link will provide assistance in preparing for this type of interview.

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