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Interview Format

Many employers are well-trained to interview potential employees. Others, however, may not be skilled in the art of interviewing. Maintain your professionalism and use effective interviewing techniques, whatever the skill level of the interviewer. Interviewers adopt different techniques for each interview and it is valuable for the job seeker to recognize these styles in preparation for interviews.

  • Directed - A directed interview has a definite structure. The interviewer will usually have an agenda and a list of specific questions.
  • Nondirected - A nondirected interview tends to be less structured. The interviewer may ask broad, general questions and not take charge of the interview. The applicant is nonverbal encouraged to present qualifications.
  • Stress - A stress-styled interview is not as common as other interview styles. It is used to determine how the applicant reacts under pressure. There are many possible forms of stress interviews, which may include timed and problem-solving tasks.
  • Group - A group interview is one where several candidates are interviewed at once. This style is often used to determine how candidates interact as team members, or may be used if the organization hires in large numbers.
  • Board - A board-style interview involves more than one interviewer questioning a candidate. While similar to the directed interview, it is necessary to establish rapport with each interviewer. Direct eye contact is extremely important.

Whatever the interview situation or style, remember to:

  • Be articulate.
  • Demonstrate confidence.
  • Avoid "yes" or "no" responses.
  • Show enthusiasm.
  • Respond to nonverbal cues such as nodding and smiling.
  • Avoid excessive mannerisms and fidgeting.
  • Avoid bringing up negative information about past job experiences, co-workers, or former employers.
  • Always present the best of your background or qualifications.

More interview formats:


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