Interview types you need to know about!

March 10, 2017 | Help & Advice

Interview types

Interview types you need to know about!

Believe it or not, not all interviews take place on a one-to-one, face-to-face basis so it’s worth taking a look at all of the different interview styles so you’re fully prepared for every eventuality!


So let’s start with the basics, the face-to-face interview. It’s an oldie but a goodie and one which is still used quite commonly. In a nutshell, in this scenario you will sit down with the person interviewing you for a conversation about yourself and your experience. You will be asked an array of open-ended questions (and be given the opportunity to ask some questions of your own!) and your suitability for the role is based on the answers you give to these questions. Simple!

Top tips for success:

  • Research the company and role you’ve applied for (this is very important as you will more than likely be asked what you know about the company so don’t be caught out at the first hurdle!)
  • Chose a suitable outfit so you look professional and polished
  • Plan your route and allow plenty of time to get there taking into account any potential disruptions
  • Have some answers prepared for common interview questions and have some questions of your own for your interviewer


Telephone interviews are exactly what they say on the tin: interviews via the telephone! Most of the time, these interviews are done prior to a face-to-face interview (they’re not done for every interview, so don’t worry!). It’s a simple way for the interviewer to get to know a little about you whilst observing your telephone and communication skills at the same time.

Top tips for success:

  • Research the company and role in question
  • Eliminate any distractions (such as your mobile phone or TV!)
  • Prepare some answers to popular interview questions, as well as some questions you want to ask them
  • Have a copy of your CV to hand so you’re both reading from the same page (literally!)
  • The same as if you were being interviewed face-to-face, remember to listen carefully to the questions being asked and think about your answers


Group interviews are used to interview a number of candidates at the same time; this could be due to the company having more than one position to fill, or because group work is a pivotal part of the role in question. Group interviews are often used to assess your ability to work well within a team, solve problems and communicate effectively through a variety of tasks from role plays to debates. Now we know that the idea of a group interview tends to fill people with dread, but it doesn’t need to! The key to success is to remember that you’re always being assessed so you need to be aware of yourself; for example, if another candidate is speaking, make sure you’re listening (not looking around the room yawning!).

One of the things people tend to worry about with group interviews is not standing out enough from the other candidates. The key here is to make sure you actively engage in group discussions; make yourself known but don’t overpower others, talk over them or interrupt. It’s a fine line to tread but once you’ve cracked it, you’ll be onto a winner!

Top tips for success:

  • Research the company and the role in question (we know we keep saying this but we can’t stress enough how important this is!)
  • Chose a suitable outfit
  • Prepare some answers to common questions as well as thinking about some ice-breaker answers (the interviewer may ask the group to each give a fun fact about themselves for example, so have something prepared!)


Video interviews aren’t the most common interview types but are still worth mentioning just in case one ever sneaks up on you! They may be done via a live stream whereby you’re remotely being interviewed face-to face (useful if the role you’ve applied for is in another country for example), or you may be asked to pre-record your answers and send them back to the company in question. Either way, we understand that not everyone feels comfortable in front of the camera so it’s worth thinking about how to best prepare yourself to bag yourself the role despite your nerves!

Top tips for success:

  • Do your research on the company and role
  • Have some answers and questions for the interviewer prepared
  • Organise your surroundings (let’s face it, a huge mess behind you in your video doesn’t look great!)
  • Plan a suitable outfit (no PJs!)
  • Eliminate any potential disruptions
  • And most importantly, make sure your tech is working properly! Check your camera, microphone and internet are all fully-functioning; the last thing you want is a tech disaster mid-interview so plan ahead!

Competency-based and Assessment Days

Competency-based interviews and assessment days are similar to one another in the sense that it is your skills and abilities that will be put to the test. Both will use a range of tasks and exercises to assess an array of skills and qualities which relate to the role in question. Depending on what the role you’re being interviewed for is, you could be asked to do anything from a proofreading exercise, to a delivering customer service on a mock telephone call!

Competency-based interviews and assessment days differ however in the sense that assessment days are often open to a number of candidates, whereas competency interviews tend to be done on a one-to-one basis. In a competency-based interview, your interviewer is looking for you to demonstrate certain skills and qualities. For example, if your interviewer asks you to describe a time where you delivered excellent customer service, you would need to think of a situation where you did, explain the action you took and then the outcome of your actions. Easy!

Top tips for success:

  • Research the company and role (as always!)
  • Plan your outfit
  • For competency based interviews, have a look at the job description to identify what key skills they’re looking for and prepare some examples of when you’ve demonstrated this skill (try to think of a mixture of examples including at work, in education or in everyday life!)
  • For assessment days, if possible, try to prepare for some of the tests you’re likely to be faced with

If a recruitment agency has put you forward for a role and you have bagged yourself an interview, then your Recruitment Consultant will let you know what kind of interview to expect and will be able to help with any questions or queries you may have throughout the process, so don’t panic!

If you’re looking for work then give TurnerFox a call on 01623 65303 or email us at We look forward to hearing from you!


By Holly Brailsford