Interview Techniques: Definition and Examples

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 28 January 2023

Published 20 May 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Following proper interview techniques can help you present yourself to employers as a high-quality and desirable candidate. When you use the right interview technique, you show the employer how qualified and skilled you are for the role. Being successful in a job interview takes preparation, practice and research. In this article, we'll explain what interview techniques are and discuss the types of interview techniques you can use.

What are interview techniques?

Interview techniques are practices you can use during a job interview to convince employers or hiring managers that you are the best candidate for the position. The kind of interview technique you can use often varies depending on the job you are applying for, the venue of the interview and the stage of the interview process you are in. It's important to learn and practice in advance to make sure you are prepared. This can help you convey professionalism and confidence during any stage of your interview process.

Related: Job Interview Tips: How to Make a Great Impression

Types of interview techniques

The technique you use during a job interview may depend on who you are interviewing with and where you are interviewing. Here's a look at some of the common interview techniques:

Video interview techniques

Employers often use video technology in the early stages of the interview process. They may also prefer this mode of communication if you are applying for a full-time role and live far away from the company's office. In a video interview, the employer or hiring manager will use a video application to call you. If they are impressed by the video interview, they may invite you to meet them in person for the next step of the interview process. They may also ask you to send a pre-recorded video answering interview questions.

Employers often use video interviews to gauge how well you follow directions and work with technology. Video interviews are typically used as a replacement for phone interviews, as it allows employers to see your mannerisms and facial expressions as you answer basic screening or interview questions. Here are some video interview techniques you can follow:

  • Practice beforehand: Practice using your video application to interview in advance and make sure your internet connection is stable throughout the entire practice interview.

  • Close other windows or applications: Close computer apps that could negatively affect your internet connection or interrupt the conversation.

  • Dress professionally: To look your best on video calls, opt for softer colours rather than bright colours and patterns. If you're wearing a tie, pair it with a solid colour instead of a patterned one. If you wear eyeglasses, tweak the lighting in your room to reduce glare from the lenses.

  • Be positive: Throughout the video interview, convey optimism with your body language and keep your mood upbeat.

Related: Video Interview Tips: How to Prepare for and Succeed in a Video Interview

Phone interview techniques

A phone interview, sometimes called a phone screening, is typically one of the first steps in the interview process. If the employer thinks the experience and skills on your CV are a potential fit with the company, they may contact you over the phone to learn more about your professional background. Here are a few phone interview techniques you can use to get you to the next round of the interview process:

  • Research the company: Review the company's social media, website and recent activities to learn more about its culture, goals and values. Knowing the company you are interviewing with gives you a good insight during the interview.

  • Look over the job description: Knowing what the employer is looking for in a candidate and what your duties and responsibilities will be can help you tailor your responses to various interview questions.

  • Be an active listener: Be attentive and ask insightful questions to engage the hiring manager. This will demonstrate that you are taking the interview seriously and that you truly care about what they have to say.

  • Have your portfolio and CV ready: It's possible that the hiring manager will want to ask you questions about your portfolio or CV. Make sure to keep these documents nearby for reference.

  • Prepare your notes: If there are certain things you want to discuss during your phone interview, make note of them as you reference your portfolio and CV.

Related: Phone Interview Tips to Get You to the Next Round

One-on-one in-person interview

When an employer invites you to an in-person interview, you are typically in one of the final stages of the interview process. During this stage, the employer may have extensive knowledge about your experience and skills and is now trying to learn more about your work ethic, personality and commitment to the position. Here are a few one-on-one in-person interview techniques you can follow:

  • Win the employer over with your positivity and authenticity: Being genuine can help hiring managers easily relate to you. Showing positivity and upbeat body language can help keep the job interview constructive and light.

  • Be honest: Although it's tempting to embellish on your accomplishments and skills, employers find honesty respectable and refreshing. Focus on your key abilities and why your background makes you the best candidate for the job.

  • Tie your answers back to your accomplishments and skills: With any interview question you answer, it's important that you tie your background to the position by giving examples of solutions and results you have achieved. Make sure to use every opportunity to address the requirements indicated in the job description.

  • Keep your responses focused and concise: In-person interviews usually last between 45 minutes and an hour and a half, so be mindful of rambling. Practising your responses in advance can help keep you focused.

Related: How to Approach Face-to-Face Interviews (With Tips)

Group interview

If an employer has limited time to meet with each applicant, they may schedule a group interview. This often consists of several applicants interviewing together. This helps employers learn about your ability to work well with others and perform in high-stress situations. Here are some techniques you can apply during a group interview:

  • Be prepared: It's helpful to prepare some talking points about your education, skills and previous professional experiences. Be ready to share a few specific examples of previous achievements, such as a time when you met a lofty goal or overcame a difficult challenge.

  • Be confident: Showing confidence through your tone of voice and body language can help employers see that you are prepared and capable. Remember to make eye contact, sit up straight and avoid fidgeting in your chair. Make sure to speak louder so everyone in the room can clearly hear you.

  • Listen carefully: Listen actively when others are speaking, even if they are not addressing you. Also, listen to other candidates' talking points. If possible, refer back to their remark to show you are listening.

  • Be respectful: Respect everyone in the room. And make sure not to dominate the discussion and give other candidates a chance to speak.

Related: 7 Example Group Interview Questions (Plus Sample Answers)

STAR technique

The hiring manager may ask you some behavioural questions, which focus on how you have handled real-life workplace issues in the past to help them understand how you will handle the same issues at their company. When you answer these questions, provide specific examples and explain them in great detail. You can use the STAR (Situation, Task, Action and Result) interview response technique to help build your response. Here are some tips to help you use the STAR technique:

  • Situation: Provide a real-life workplace situation, giving enough context and background for the hiring manager to picture the situation easily.

  • Task: Explain the role you played in the situation.

  • Action: Describe the steps you took to resolve the challenge or issue.

  • Result: List the positive results you achieved after completing your action and resolving the challenge.

Related: How To Use the STAR Interview Technique in Competency-Based Interviews

Panel interview

A panel interview involves multiple members of a hiring team. It might include a human resources representative, your potential supervisor or other decision-makers. In a panel interview, each member is given a chance to ask you questions about your goals, qualifications and experience. Hiring managers often enjoy panel interviews because other employees can express their opinions on whether you would be a good fit for the company. Here are a few interview techniques you can use to succeed in a panel interview:

  • Research and remember your interviewers: Research the background of each member of the panel prior to the interview. Learn their job titles and names, and review key details such as their major achievements and important initiatives they have undertaken in the company.

  • Bring materials for the entire panel: Make sure you have enough materials, such as copies of your CV and your business cards, to distribute to each member of the hiring team.

  • Engage with every member of the panel equally: Make sure to engage with each panel member so that you can build rapport with everyone equally. As you create a collaborative and conversational environment, you can demonstrate your teamwork abilities.

  • Take a conversational approach: Turn the meeting into a conversation to make your job interview more than a standard question-and-answer session.

  • Be prepared for follow-up questions: With several decision-makers involved, a panel interview tends to involve more extensive questioning compared to a standard interview. You can prepare by having several examples of accomplishments, experiences and qualifications to share each time a member of the plane asks a more involved question.

Related:

  • What are effective questioning techniques? An overview

  • What Is an Interview Panel?

  • 5 interview questions about strategy and strategic thinking


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