Interview Guide: Interview Types

This post is part of a complete guide on writing CVs, dealing with recruiters and attending interviews. The complete guide can be found here:


Often employers will screen their candidates by interviewing many candidates over the telephone before deciding which to pursue to an actual meeting.

Telephone interviews
If a telephone interview is arranged we would recommend finding a time in which you know you will have no other distractions and can guarantee a quiet place. Print a copy of your CV and make sure you have it in front of you, you can be sure that the client will have a copy so it will be easier to discuss things.

The client will most likely be the one controlling the interview and will probably have set questions that they will go through. The general advice here would be to give them no reason not to want to meet you.

Your main focus should be to come over as professional and keen. At the end of the interview it is a good idea to ask what the process is moving forward. This can sometimes compel the client to suggest a time that you would be around for a meeting, although do not push for it at this point.

Once you have successfully arranged a meeting, it will most likely be one of, or a combination of the following four types. I would recommend that you find out which interview it will be from your recruiter and prepare accordingly.

Technical interviews – This will be a conversation with one or more members of technical staff, generally including a line manager. As it is a technical interview it is important to do your research on what technologies will be part of the job and if possible which technologies the employer is looking to test you on. You can do this by asking the recruiter and studying the job spec. See how it matches up against your CV to find out which skills are on your CV that are required in the job. These are the most likely things to come up. Many candidates fail interviews because they could not back up the technical knowledge on their CV. Refresh your memory and do your homework to make sure you are fully able to discuss any part of your CV and relevant work history.

Human resources interviews – This will generally be a meeting with a member of the HR or Personnel team and will most likely be either a CV review or a competency-based interview. They may ask your career goals, your reason for leaving companies and get you to explain any gaps in your career. If it is a competency based interview then the interviewer will ask questions on your competencies e.g. “give me an example of strong team work” or “can you tell me an example where things haven’t gone your way” to prepare well for these interviews you must review your CV and recall projects and events that display the best of your skills.

Team interviews – These are a chance for you to meet some of the people that you will be working with. If you do meet the team then treat them with respect and ask as many questions about their role within the company. Try to refer to them by name and you will make a good impression. The best questions to ask in team interviews are “what is the company like to work for?” and “how did you get into the company”

Tests – These can be technical tests, aptitude tests or Psychometric tests.


This post is part of a complete guide on writing CVs, dealing with recruiters and attending interviews. The complete guide can be found here:

Originally titled ‘the top 2%’ the copy has been researched, compiled and edited continually over the last five years by the team at RecWorks Ltd. An IT recruitment consultancy aimed at spotting and developing technical talent with a focus in Java and Graduate developers.

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