What's The Best Style Of Interviewing For You?

By Gretchen Kernbach on June 20, 2016

Every great business has an even greater interview system. And if you do not have one, you may want to rethink that aspect of your recruiting process. What employers tend to struggle on, however, is what type of interview to conduct.

In today’s day and age, there is more to consider than the typical one-on-one or panel interviews. Now, recruiting can be done over the phone or over an online video chat. In addition, there are even different types of questions that separate interviews apart.


Let’s first investigate the diverse kinds of questions used in the interview process.

Types of Questions

Standard Questions 

These are your everyday, typical questions to ask prospective employees. The most common one recruiters usually start off with is tell me about yourself or why should I hire you? If you are looking to conduct a quick, basic interview, ask the following questions, courtesy of collegegrad.com.

•What is your greatest accomplishment?
•How has your education prepared you for your career?
•What is your greatest strength?
•What is your greatest weakness?
•Why did you choose this career?
•When did you decide on this career?
•What goals do you have in your career?

Behavioral Questions

Asking behavioral-type questions means you are focusing on the potential employee’s past. By asking these kinds of questions, you are able to depict someone’s teamwork skills, how well they interact with clients, their ability to adapt, how well they manage their time, communication skills, and their values.

When asking questions regarding teamwork, according to themuse.com, “you want a story that illustrates [their] ability to work with others under challenging circumstances. Think team conflict, difficult project constraints, or clashing personalities.”

Tell your interviewee to: talk about a time when their personality clashed with a coworker, give an example about how they overcame a team conflict, or describe a time you wish you handled differently with a coworker.

If you want an insight on their ability to adapt, ask about certain failures that he or she had to overcome. This is an especially good topic to include in interviews with recent graduates since college is a new adaptation each semester. Ask these following questions, courtesy of themuse.com.

•Tell me about a time you were under a lot of pressure. What was going on, and how did you get through it?
•Describe a time when your team or company was undergoing some change. How did that impact you, and how did you adapt?
•Tell me about the first job you’ve ever had. What did you do to learn the ropes?
•Give me an example of a time when you had to think on your feet in order to delicately extricate yourself from a difficult or awkward situation.
•Tell me about a time you failed. How did you deal with this situation?

Situational Questions

Unlike behavioral questions, situational ones focus on the future. In this case, you would present a hypothetical problem to your interviewee and ask him or her how they would deal with it. Look for honest and specific responses. According to livecareer.com, situational questions may look like these.

•What would you do if the work of a subordinate or team member was not up to expectations?
•A co-worker tells you in confidence that she plans to call in sick while actually taking a week’s vacation. What would you do and why?
•Describe how you would handle the situation if you met resistance when introducing a new idea or policy to a team or work group.

Case Questions

According to money.usnews.com, “Case interviews are used mainly in the consulting industry and focus on how you would solve specific business issues.”

If you are not in the business of crunching numbers, it would be wise to stay away from these kinds of questions. But, if you are, here is an example courtesy of money.usnews.com.

•An online bank is growing well, but it’s not reaching profitability targets. What could be wrong?

Now that you have a plethora of the types of questions that you can use while conducting an interview, let’s touch base on the actual, physical interview.

Types of Interviews

In-Person, One-on-One Interview

If you are interested in specifically meeting with a potential employee, this is the style of interview you want to conduct. It is the most up close and personal encounter, therefore allowing you to assess not only their work ethic, but also their real personality.

This can be done at the office or over a meal at a local restaurant.

Panel Interview

These types of interviews are conducted by several members of your company; it does not only have to be those who are assigned to specifically recruit new workers. According to the undercoverecruiter.com, you want to consider inviting in “different representatives of the company such as human resources, management, and [other] employees.”

All of the pressure does not fall on one person this way when it comes to hiring. Different members of the business can weigh in on the decision. However, to avoid clashing opinions, you and your fellow interviewers should put together a candidate-outline.

According to pacificstaffing.com, “Use your job description as the foundation for this. Not only should it list the required skills and qualifications you and your team are striving for, but it also should define specific goals and expectations for the individual in the role … When developing the outline, get input from other panel participants and then circulate the final draft several days ahead of the scheduled interview.”

The interview should be slightly scripted as well; you do not want personnel stepping on each other’s toes when asking questions. Interruptions look unprofessional to the potential employee, which could cause him or her to stray elsewhere for work.

Phone Interview

If you find yourself busy and do not have a large chunk of time in your schedule, conducting an interview over the phone is your best bet. However, keep in mind that interviews over the phone do not allow the best communication.

On the other hand, phone interviews can be used as a first step in the overall recruitment process. According to ziprecruiter.com, “To conduct a good phone interview it’s important to be self-aware but not inwardly focused, engaging not obnoxious, probing not intrusive, informative not demanding …”


Video Conference Interview

You should consider this style if you are looking to recruit a specific person that lives in a different location. This way both parties do not have to spend money to travel to see the other. As technology continues to advance, video interviews will become more popular. However, this should not be any company’s prime interviewing style. Like the phone interview, it should only be used to bring in employees for face-to-face interaction.     

By Gretchen Kernbach

Uloop Writer
Virginia Tech

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