Types of Interviews


The Different Types of Interviews
There are different types of interviews, each providing quite specific types of information, below is an overview of the major,most common types of interviews:


Biographical interviewing type of questioning aims to explore the candidate's past experiences in a chronological way. Sample biographical questions are :
-  "Why did you leave job A and go to Job B ?"
- " What were you doing between ..... and ..... ?"

This type of interview style of questioning is usually used for:
 Exploring the reasons why a candidate's career has progressed in the way it has and why they have made important career moves or choices also to clarify a candidate's work experience, knowledge and qualifications.


This interview explores a candidate's technical knowledge, qualifications, experience and skills. Here are two sample questions used in technical interviews:

• What project management techniques have you used?'
• 'What would you use component/system x for?‘

This type of interview style of questioning is used for: Exploring whether a candidate is capable of performing the job to the desired technical level or what training or support they might require if appointed 


Known to be one of the most effective interviewing methods, behavioral or competency based interviewing focuses on finding out specific competencies or behaviors the candidate did in the past in specific work related situations that would allow you to predict his/her actions in the new job. And is also used to explore a candidate's particular behaviors  or abilities.. some sample behavioral based questions are: The following question relates to the competency of problem solving & team working:

• 'Tell me about a time you helped out some colleagues who were facing a particularly difficult problem.‘

Depending upon the candidate's response, some useful follow-up (called 'probing') questions are:

• 'What part did you play specifically?'
•  'What happened next?'
•  'What was the final outcome?'

This style of interviewing questions is used for exploring how a person's skills, gained from handling situations in the past, would transfer to the new job.



In situational interviews, you ask hypothetically-based questions, exploring how someone might do a job if appointed. Here are some sample questions to clarify further:  -A customer has just rung in, very angrily complaining about the service they received from one of your sales staff. What steps would you take?'

This type of questioning is used for Exploring how a person might do a job: this can be useful when their experience is relatively 'untried' in that particular area and also Seeing how a candidate's existing knowledge or experience could be applied to handle future issues or problems.

There is a danger with these sort of questions that a candidate may answer in a theoretical way – rather than what they would really do. If in doubt, use competency/behavioural interview questions alongside situational questions to explore how they have actually dealt with related situations in the past.