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The Many Faces of Job Interviews

By Ford R. Myers
President, Career Potential, LLC


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 videochat 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!

About the Author:
Ford R. Myers is an award-winning career coach, speaker and author of the best-seller, Get The Job You Want, Even When No One’s Hiring. Ford’s firm helps clients take charge of their careers, create the work they love, and earn what they deserve! He has held senior consulting positions at three of the nation’s largest career service firms. Ford’s articles have appeared in thousands of publications and web sites, and he has been interviewed on every major television and radio network. Ford has also conducted presentations at hundreds of companies, associations and universities. Learn more at


FORD R. MYERS is an award-winning, nationally-known Career Coach, best-selling author, and speaker. He is the President of Career Potential, LLC, a premier provider of career success services. Through powerful individual, corporate and government career programs, Ford has helped thousands of clients take charge of their careers, create the work they love, and earn what they deserve!

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