The Six Most Common Types of Job Interview (And How to Tackle Them)


Before you dive into your interview preparation, you first need to figure out what sort of interview you’re preparing for. Is it a remote interview? A competency interview? No matter what type of interview it is we’ll help you figure out what you need to do to succeed.

Also, don’t be afraid to ask your prospective employer what type of interview they’ll be conducting so you can create the perfect plan of attack beforehand. This is a tactic often overlooked by job seekers but it’s one of the most effective ways to begin preparing for an interview.

Below are the six most common types of interviews that you can expect to face and some tips on how to tackle them:


1. The Phone Interview

Phone interviews are usually preliminary screenings to check if you’re suitable to come in for a full face to face interview. Employers can often ring you without a moment’s notice, so it’s important to be prepared and leave your caller with a great first impression. Though you won’t have to worry about getting out of your pyjamas or using the correct body language, you’ll need to brush up on your telephone interview technique.


2. The Remote Interview

Video and remote interviews have become much more common over the past few years. Did you know that the beginning of the pandemic led to a staggering 524% spike in demand for video interviewing programs?

Remote interviews come with their own set of challenges. To prepare yourself for this look no further than our blog post on how to ace video interviews.


3. The Traditional Interview

This is the type of interview you’ll be faced with most often as a job hunter: You’ll sit down with one interviewer and answer a range of fairly generic interview questions to determine if you’re the right person for the role. Your success will generally depend on your ability to communicate and establish a connection with your interviewer.

To prepare for this kind of interview, read up on possible interview questions, then write and rehearse some answers to impress your interviewer. It's important to incorporate your previous experience into your answers and try to relate it to the role you're applying for.


4. The Panel Interview

During a panel interview, you will be interviewed by multiple people from the same organisation. Panel interviews have become increasingly popular with larger companies, and can often seem daunting because you’re under the scrutiny of more than one person. To avoid running for the hills when faced with this interview panel-shaped firing squad, it’s vital that you prepare for the interview in advance. Remember to treat each member of the panel equally as you may not know who is really in charge and give eye contact to the person questioning you at the time. Also, don't be afraid to ask each panel member individual questions - this is a great opportunity to learn about different roles within the organisation.


5. The Behavioural Interview

Behavioural interviews are designed to test how well you have dealt with stressful situations in your past in order to evaluate your future performance. You will be asked a series of questions on how you handled stressful situations in your previous roles that are relevant to the position you’re interviewing for. Behavioural interviews are quite easy to prepare for once you know what you’re facing. Consider situations you’ve been in that relate to the role, or special projects you have worked on, and apply the STAR technique to them to come up with some impressive answers for your interviewer.


6. The Competency Interview

Competency interviews leave no room for small talk: They usually follow a strict set of questions designed to focus on your soft skills and interpersonal competencies. The questions you will be asked vary greatly depending on the role you’re applying for, so the trick is reading the job description thoroughly to figure out which competencies you’ll need to demonstrate. Some examples of competencies may include:

  • Communication

  • Conflict resolution

  • Adaptability

  • Leadership

  • Problem solving

As with behavioural interviews, as long as you prepare clear answers using the STAR technique and relate your answers to the role you’re applying for, you’re sure to impress your interviewer.



Regardless of the type of interview you have, it’s important to remember that preparation and practice are your most important tools in securing the role. At HappyJobsNI, we’re always happy to help you whether you’re just starting out or taking the next steps in your career. Get in touch with our team today or browse our jobs here.