Let’s assume that you’ve done your strategic networking, gotten some names and numbers, leveraged recruiters, and gotten referred to the right people in the right places. Now it’s time to learn some important details about the interviewing process.

What follows is an outline of the different types of interviews, how they work, and what you can expect during each of these interview situations. At some companies, you will actually be taken through all these interview steps before a hiring decision will be made. In other cases, you may bypass some of the intermediary stages.
Types of Interviews

Informational: No specific job under discussion. Purpose is learning about industry, company, people, skills required, cultural fit – and perhaps gathering additional research or generating more people to contact.

Screening: Used as the first step to narrow the field of candidates who are being considered for employment. Screening may be done by an outside recruiter or in-house Human Resource person. Usually done over the phone.

Hiring Manager: Usually conducted by the individual for whom you would be working, this type of interview provides an in-depth look at an applicant to confirm desired requirements and/or technical abilities, motivation, and overall personal and cultural “fit” with the organization.

Approval: A series of sequential interviews, sometimes formal and sometimes informal (such as over lunch), conducted by team members, peers, or colleagues in departments with whom you, as the applicant, would interact. Getting to this stage assumes that the hiring manager liked you, and “passed you along” for the team’s approval. If everyone on the team gives you the “thumbs up,” you’ll have a very good chance of getting the offer.

Group: A more formal and structured interview conducted by a panel of 3 or more peers and the hiring manager (at the same time) to narrow the field of candidates. Sometimes, this involves behavioral interview methods, hands-on tasks, or an assignment to work on a real-time problem the group is facing. A conference call or videophone format may be used in long-distance situations.

Offer: Hiring manager or Human Resource person formally offers the job to the top candidate. Their focus is now to provide you, their top candidate, with information you need to make a decision and to enter into a win-win negotiation process. This will result in the best possible deal for both YOU and the company you just hired as your NEW EMPLOYER!

Remember: No matter which kind of interview you’re faced with, there is one and only one key to success: PREPARATION. By practicing the interview skills that are necessary for all these types of interviews, you’ll dramatically increase your chances of getting the offer!

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Copyright © 2010, Ford R. Myers. All Rights Reserved.

Permission to Reprint: This article may be reprinted, provided it appears in its entirety with the following attribution: Reprinted by permission of Ford R. Myers, a nationally-known Career Expert and author of “Get The Job You Want, Even When No One’s Hiring.” For information about career services and products, visit and

Author's Bio: 

Ford R. Myers is President of Career Potential, LLC. Since 1992, he has been providing professional services in career consulting and executive coaching. His firm helps executives and professionals to take charge of their careers, create the work they love, and earn what they deserve! Career Potential also offers a leading training and certification opportunity called “Ultimate Career Consultants” (

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