Content | Navigation |

Career Center


Interview Types and Tips


1. Behavioral Based Interview

Behavior-based interviewing is the most popular format among HR professionals. This style of interview focuses on past behavior to determine how an applicant will respond to similar situations in the future. Most questions are designed to elicit specific responses and detailed descriptions. Behavior-based interview questions will challenge the applicant to recall in detail what they did and how they felt. By doing this, the interviewer is able to see the big picture- the applicant's thought process, decision making, communication skills and results.

Answer behavior-based interview questions in the following format:
Situation/Task; Action; Result (STAR)


  • Describe the situation that you were in or the task that you needed to accomplish.
  • You must describe a specific event or situation, not a generalized description of what you have done in the past.
  • Be sure to give enough detail for the interviewer to fully understand what the situation/task was.


  • Keep focus on you even if you are discussing a group project or effort.
  • Describe what your role was - not the efforts of the team.
  • Don't tell what you might do, tell what you did.


  • Finish answer by telling the interviewer what happened, how the event ended and what you accomplished.

2. Screening Interview

  • May be conducted over the phone or in person to help employers determine if you meet the minimum job qualifications, or to narrow down the qualified pool of applicants.
    • Emphasize you have the skills and desire to do the job.
    • For phone interviews, keep your resume, note pad and several pens close for.
      easy access and reference.

3. One On One Interview

  • This is the most common format, usually conducted on site by the hiring manager.
  • Each applicant is usually asked the same questions based on skills, knowledge and abilities as they relate to the job.
    • Sell your key strengths, be personable and professional.
    • When all things are equal professionalism is often the deciding factor.

4. Panel Interview

  • A group interview conducted by 3 or more people representing the company who may come from different departments.
  • Questions may come from each interviewer’s area of interest or expertise.
    • Direct your answer at the person who asked the question while maintaining eye contact with the other members of the panel.
    • Send each participant a thank-you note following the interview.

5. Peer Group Interview

  • This interview will introduce you to your potential co-workers, who generally do not have the final say in who to hire but are looking for a “fit”.
    • Focus on being agreeable rather than someone who has all the answers.

6. Luncheon Interview

  • The purpose of this interview is to assess how you handle yourself in a social setting.
  • Attendees usually include your potential boss, co-workers and HR officials.
    • Order something healthy and easy to eat - Do NOT order alcohol.
    • Offer to pay your share or leave the tip.

7. Second Interview

  • Second interviews are very similar to the first interview, but can be longer and more comprehensive.
  • Usually take place at company headquarters and involve more people.
  • The focus of this interview is to ensure you have the necessary skills and will blend in with the company culture.
    • Sell yourself as a well-balanced package.
    • Prove you have researched the company and emphasize that you will work as a dedicated member of their organization.

8. Video Interview

  • Video/IVN interviewers allow the candidate and recruiter to see and interact with each other without the expense of travel.
  • These interviews are traditionally set up at a specified location or through a home computer.
    • Dress as you would for an in-person interview and be prepared for a slight time delay in receiving sound and images.
    • Make sure to hesitate before you speak to ensure the transmission has been fully completed.

Source: NACE Job Outlook

To top

Student Focused. Land Grant. Research University.

Follow NDSU
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • RSS
  • Google Maps

North Dakota State University
Phone: +1 (701) 231-7111 / Fax: (701) 231-8756
Campus address: Ceres Hall 306
Physical/delivery address: 1301 Administration Ave., Fargo, ND 58102
Mailing address: NDSU Dept. 5280 / PO Box 6050 / Fargo, ND 58108-6050
Page manager: Career Center

Last Updated: Tuesday, October 04, 2011 1:26:02 PM