Job Seeker 101: The Three Interview Types

By: TSP Blog | @TSProckstars


Securing the job interview is one thing – mastering it is another. While we previously discussed the necessity of research and interview prep prior to your interview, it's essential to discuss what to be aware of during the actual interview.

In this digital era, it's not as simple as going in for one in-person interview before receiving a job offer. Now, we have filters like phone and video interviews that usually come before the in-person interview even takes place. To help navigate what may be ahead, we’ve broken down the different types of interviews and what you should be aware of in each.

Reception is key in a phone interview, so don’t wait until the interview starts to figure out where you’ll be taking the call. Pick a place that you know will keep quiet and test out the service in advance. We also suggest writing down any messages you want to get across in bullet form. Avoid writing complete sentences or lengthy descriptions, as you’ll want to be able to see these key points in a glance.

Despite the urge to wear sweatpants during your phone interview, we highly suggest you dress for success. Wearing what you’d wear to an in-person interview will put you in the right mindset and elevate your overall demeanor. Speak up and be clear in your answers – this could make all the difference in how your message is received as the way a person speaks over the phone is often a reflection on their personality and professionalism.

Just as you check for reception in a phone interview, do the same for your video interview. Test out your tech to ensure that there won’t be an awkward glitches or sound delays. As for where you take your call, pick a location that is free of noise pollution and distractions – both for you and your interviewer. Most importantly, sit against a plain backdrop in a room where you know there will be zero interruptions.    

Unlike a phone interview, your future employer will be looking directly at you in a video interview. While you may only be visible from the waist up, it is essential to dress appropriately from head to toe in the case you have to stand up during the interview. You can keep notes nearby in this type of interview, but don’t rely too heavily on these as you’ll want to be focused on the questions being asked. Practice active listening to show your engaged and interested.

For the in-person interview, bring a hard copy of your resume and any work samples previously requested to give to the interviewer. They may already have these printed, but showing up with them in-hand will portray you’re prepared, professional and thoughtful. It is also important to not only be on time, but to be early for the in-person interview. We suggest arriving 10 minutes before the interview time. Showing up too soon may frazzle your interviewer and showing up late – even if it's just one minute – will definitely frustrate.

Reading the room can help you pick up on how the interview is going. Does the interviewer seem intrigued by your answers or disengaged? If you happen to be in a team interview, it can be tricky to read the room or know how to focus your energy. We suggest keeping eye contact with whomever is speaking, but making eye contact with all people when you are answering. This should show you are aware of everyone in the room and thankful for their time.

Regardless of whether you start with a phone interview or dive head first with an in-person interview, knowing what to expect can make all the difference in your success. Even the most seasoned professional can have trouble mastering the interview process. By doing the necessary preparation, you can walk in (or call in) to any interview feeling confident and comfortable.