Major Types of Behavioral and Non-Behavioral Interviews

Numerous types of behavioral* and non-behavioral interviews exist and you should be prepared for any of these during your job search.

Following is a brief description of each type of interview. For details and success strategies for each type of interview, visit InterviewSmart®.

1. Telephone Interview

Telephone Interviews are becoming more common. They save the employer time and indicate whether a face-to-face interview is warranted. Telephone Interviews are typically used to make a preliminary assessment of a candidate's qualifications.

2. Panel Interview

In a Panel Interview, typically 3 to 6 members in different roles in the organization ask candidates questions to assess their knowledge, skills, team fit, ability to make decisions, etc.

3. Video-Conference Interview

Video-conference Interviews are becoming more common. They expand the scope of searching for qualified candidates with less cost and time involvement.

4. Reverse-Role Interview

In the Reverse-role Interview, the interviewer is unprepared, short on time, hurried, distracted, or simply unskilled at interviewing. The result is that the interviewer does not ask the appropriate questions — without which he or she may not understand your ability to perform successfully or other factors that indicate you are a good fit.

5. Informal Interview

An Informal Interview is casual and relaxed; it is intended to induce candidates to talk comfortably so that they will reveal more information than they might otherwise. Your privacy is important to remember at this point; too much information too soon could screen you out from consideration.

6. Layered-Questions Interview

A Layered-question Interview is common among skilled interviewers. The interviewer asks a series of questions, often overlapping, designed to gather information and find discrepancies in a candidate's answers

7. Stress Interview

A Stress Interview is generally intended to put a candidate under stress to assess his or her reactions. Once a candidate demonstrates that he or she can perform effectively under stress, the test is passed.

8. Performance Interview

In a Performance interview, the interviewer asks candidates to role-play job functions to assess their knowledge and skills. (This is not the same as a Case Interview, in that it typically is only a portion of the interview and is focused on performance or knowledge rather than critical thinking.)

9. Case Interview

The Case Interview is a special type of interview commonly used by management-consulting firms and is increasingly being used in many other organizations. It helps the interviewer analyze your critical-thinking skills. If you are not familiar, do not have experience, or are not comfortable with case analysis, it can be one of the most difficult interviews to undergo.

In a Case Interview a candidate is given a problem to see how he or she would work it out on the spot. The problems that are presented come in many forms, but the interviewer wants to assess the candidate's analytical skills, ability to think under pressure, logical thought process, business knowledge and acumen, creativity, communication, and quantitative analysis skills.

10. Assessment Instruments (Tests)

Various types of assessments (commonly referred to as tests or inventories) may be used to determine if you are a likely fit. Among these are:

  • Personality inventory (assesses personality types).
  • Aptitude inventory (assesses aptitudes in certain skill areas).
  • Interest inventory (assesses interests in various occupational categories).
  • Combination instruments (combines any of the above).


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