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The Most Common Job Interview Formats and How to Excel at Them

Common Job Interview Formats

Almost everyone must undergo an interview before getting hired for the job. Nowadays, discussions come in many different forms, whether they are established by staffing agencies or through your own resources.

To have the best chances of success during a job interview, below are a few popular job interview formats and tips on how to ace them.

The Pre-interview Phone Screening

A representative from human resources may get in touch with you to ask a few questions concerning their multiple job vacancies. This phone call interview aims to eliminate applicants who do not meet the qualifications for the position and to move those who are qualified to the next stage of the process.

As such, there are a few crucial details to keep in mind for the preliminary phone screening. You will first want to make sure you are in a location where you can accept the call without being interrupted by elements like poor cellular phone signal, pets, or children. It is important to remember to be flexible, polite, and professional during this phone call. This call will assist the HR representative in deciding whether or not it is appropriate to move you forward with the interview process.

Remember that this is not the interview that will lead to you landing the job. The interview determines whether or not you will continue to be considered for the position. Maintain composure, relax, and give straightforward, accurate answers to any questions asked.

The One-On-One interview

This is the most common format for an interview, and every potential employee should be prepared for such. The key to nailing this kind of interview is preparedness. To feel confident during the interview, you must adequately prepare by learning as much as possible about the firm, its culture, and its employees. It's highly advisable that you dress according to the job position, ask interesting questions, and demonstrate initiative.

Lunch Interviews

This interview may be done over lunch or in other settings that include food or beverage, such as a coffee meet-up. The real challenge with this kind of interview is the ambiguity that comes along with it. You aren't really sure what to expect with lunch interviews. However, there are a few things that you can do to help prepare yourself, such as:

  • Allow the host to take control of the conversation.
  • Be ready for some light-hearted banter.
  • Be mindful of broaching sensitive subjects like politics and other taboo subjects.
  • Be mindful of how you behave.
  • Alcohol should not be ordered.
  • Be wary of meals that have the potential to discolour your clothing or that can easily become lodged in your teeth.

Panel Interviews

A panel interview is a kind of interview in which multiple interviewers are involved. Just like the one-on-one interview, the key here is to be prepared. Try to conceive the possible questions and scenarios, and make sure that you are prepared to tackle them well in advance. As you can probably guess, a one-on-one interview with a person is going to have a very different conversational dynamic than an interview with a panel of people.

You may expect to be grilled with many questions during these interviews. Panel interviews are frequently used to evaluate candidates for positions that need them to handle conflict or operate in groups. You will likely be placed in a circumstance where you will be required to debate with someone else over something. Simply do so in a courteous manner.

Group Interviews

During a group interview, multiple candidates are questioned at the same time. It's different from a panel interview in which multiple interviewers interview an individual. Confusion and pressure may emerge during group interviews since candidates are pitted against each other for a single open post.

When participating in group interviews, there are a few crucial takeaways to remember. One of the most important factors is how you manage your interactions with the other people being interviewed. Most of the time, it's always better to answer the interviewer and avoid arguing with the other interviewees. Do not knock down other candidates to give yourself a leg up. Your teamwork and leadership skills will likely be tested during the group interview.


Nowadays, interviews come in many different forms with the assistance of staffing agencies. To increase your success in getting hired, you need to know the interview format and adjust accordingly. While the above-mentioned topics are only some of the ways to interview, they should cover the most common ones and help you by providing you with good foundational knowledge.

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