Alumni Sharing Knowledge > Practice Interview Skills > Types of Interviews

Interviewing Tips

Types of Interviews:​​​

Interviews may focus on a specific field or position, or be general in nature.​​​ Students and mentors can select whether the interview be held on the phone, over Skype or in-person​.​

See below for more information on the type of interviews offered. 

Information Interviews

An informational interview is a brief meeting with someone currently working in your field of interest that offers you an insider's perspective. Th​e purpose of an informational interview is not to get a job. It's to better understand a particular position or industry and make potential connections in that field.

If you request an informational interview with an ASK volunteer, he/she will expect something more structured and focused than an informal chat. Treat the informational interview as a business meeting. Prior to the interview, research the company or career and develop a short list of questions that you would like to have answered. For a sample list of questions, visit Quintessential Careers' Informational Interviewing Tutorial.​​​​​​

Traditional Interviews

The Following are a sample of more traditional or standard interviewing questions that candidates would encounter in a variety of fields. These questions tend to be more subjective in nature, so there is not necessarily one "right" answer. Make sure your responses stay professional in nature and use specific examples when possible.​

  • For example:​

    • Tell me a little about yourself

      • Our tip: Employers ask this question to see if you're the right fit for the job. Avoid generic and personal answers. 

    • Where do you see yourself in 5 years? 

      • Our tip: Employers look for sincere interest in the industry. Share your interests and skills. Discuss what you hope to learn from potential opportunities with the company.

    • What is your greatest weakness?

      • Our tip: Employers check integrity. Be honest but avoid highlighting a weakness that could affect your ability to do the job. 

  • Other popular questions:

    • Why did you decide to major in _________?

    • How did you come to know about this company and what interests you in our work?

    • Tell me about a few of your accomplishments?

    • What makes you stand out from other candidates?

Phone Screening

Ideal for the long-distance volunteer, phone interviews are designed to simulate the screening process and focus on quick, short answers that determine if you have the required skills for the job. Since you cannot see the interviewer, phone interviews require greater care in being concise and verbally clear in your answers.​

Behavioral Interviewing

The principle behind behavioral interview questions is that the most accurate predictor of future performance is past performance in a similar situation. Employers use this method to obtain an objective set of facts to make employment decisions.

How to Respond: Behavioral interview questions require specific and detailed answers. You should identify a specific situation that relates to the question In a three-step process, (1) addressing the situation, (2) your action and (3) the outcome.​

  • For example

    • Share a specific example of a time when you used good judgment and logic in solving a problem.

    • Describe a time in which you were faced with problems or stresses that tested your coping skills. 

    • Give me an example of an important goal which you had to be relatively quick in coming to a decision or responding to a difficult situation. 

Case Interviews

A case interview is a thoughtful discussion of business issues and problem-solving techniques. They are designed to assess a candidate's problem-solving skills, analytical abilities, creativity and ability to think "outside of the box." These would be appropriate for MBA candidates.​​​​


"Zingers" are questions intended to test the applicant's ability to handle stress. They are rarely used in an interview, but a great way to prepare. 

  • For example:

    • Tell me about a siutation that frustrated you at work

    • What would you do if i told you that i thought you were giving a poor interview today. 

Veruki, Peter. The 250 Job Interview Questions. Avon, MA: Adams Media Corporation, 1999.​​​

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