The Different Types of Job Interview

There are a number of different types of interview that you could encounter on your job hunt,  that hiring managers use for a range of different reasons. We’ve looked at some of the most popular ones and added a few tips on how to handle them:

Competency Based Interview

The most popular interview style tends to be the one on one competency based interview. The reason this is so widely used is because hiring managers can control the direction of the conversation and be sure to cover off all the key areas on their list. If the conversation starts to veer off track then the interviewer can get back to the point and be sure they have the answer they’re looking for. A competency based interview tends to involve just one or two interviewers which helps you to build a rapport more easily as you have less people to focus on and can connect on a much more personal level.

Panel Interview

You’ll see this more in bigger organisations, however the panel interview is still a popular interview type that we see day to day. It may be that you’re applying for a role which has a number of stakeholders involved from different departments so they want to have an input on the individual selected. This can be a little daunting as an interviewee, as you’re unsure who will make the final decision. The key is to treat the panel equally, listening to their questions and addressing the whole panel, giving good eye contact, when you provide your responses.

Phone Interview

If the role you’re applying for is likely to have many applicants then don’t be surprised to be invited to a telephone interview before you’re invited to a face to face interview. Hiring managers will use telephone interviews to save time and better shortlist candidates. The key is to still prepare as you would for a face to face interview, however you have the added benefit of having notes on hand if required to help you feel confident and come across more professionally.

Group Interview

Another daunting interview type can be the group interview, which is of course when all potential applicants are invited to interview together. The interview normally involves a number of tasks that you need to carry out as a group and may end with a one on one interview.  This is your chance to demonstrate many skills, however most importantly they probably want to see how you work as part of a team. For example, are you a natural leader or a brilliant communicator who can break down complex information for the rest of the group? Whoever you are, that’s who they want to see so be yourself.

Technical Interview

Technical interviews have always been popular in Engineering and Technical roles, however we’re increasingly seeing them used across other fields too as hiring mangers aim to get a feel for the abilities of applicants before they make their decision. What happens in the interview will largely depend on your field however you should expect to have to demonstrate your abilities using the relevant piece of industry software, so be sure to brush up on your skills in advance.

Casual Chat

If there isn’t a position currently available, but the company is interested in learning more about you then you might be invited in for a casual chat. There is no commitment here from either side so the questions would tend to be more relaxed and focussed on your skills and experience. However if you’re really interested in the organisation then use the opportunity to still sell yourself and the knowledge you have whilst learning more about the business.

We know interviews can be daunting however whichever type of interview lies ahead for you, you’ll be wonderful as long as you prepare, prepare, prepare! Good luck, we’re sure you’ll do great.


Here at Optimum Recruitment Group we specialise in the recruitment of Accountancy, Finance and Human Resource professionals across the Yorkshire region. Let us help you find the opportunity you’re looking for, call 01904 208065 or email


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