The Interview Itself

The interview process can take on many different forms. You may have a phone or video interview to start or you may advance straight to an in-person interview. Either form can involve one or multiple interviewers. It is not uncommon to go through a series of interviews as employers search for the right person for the job. In general, preparation for phone, video, and in-person interviews will be the same. Below is a general overview with interviewing tips to help you prepare.

Phone and/or Video Interview

A phone or video interview is generally the first type of interview you will encounter as a potential job candidate. A first interview is typically designed as a screening interview to allow the organization to narrow down candidates they would like to meet with further or in person.

Individual One-on-One In-Person Interview

If you make it past the initial screening interview, often the next step is to engage in one or more in-person interviews. In an individual in-person interview, you will interview with one person who will ask you a series of questions about you and your experiences to help determine your fit within the organization. If you are scheduled for multiple interviews with different individuals, you may be asked some questions more than once.

Group In-Person Interview – Multiple Interviewers

Multiple people or a panel may also interview you at one time. These types of interviews should be treated just like an individual in-person interview. For in-person group interviews, maintain good eye contact with all of the people in the room when answering questions. You may choose to direct your questions at the end of the interview to specific individuals based on what they said throughout the interview, or you could ask more general questions that any or all can answer.

Group In-Person Interview – Multiple Interviewees

You may be invited to participate in an in-person interview where multiple candidates are interviewing at once. These interviews are designed to see how well you work with others and to evaluate your communication and leadership style. In a group interview setting such as this, you may be asked to solve a problem together as a team and/or present a solution to the interviewers. Be courteous, speak up when appropriate, include other interviewees, and do your best to stand out.

Additional Tips

  • When in person, greet your interviewer(s) with a firm handshake and a smile
  • Maintain good eye contact and posture throughout the interview (remember on video that the camera is eye contact)
  • Be yourself and show enthusiasm for the position
  • Be mindful of your nonverbal communication and avoid filler words (i.e., “like,” “um,” “you know,” etc.)
  • Ask for clarification on a question or take a moment to formulate your thoughts if needed. It is better to make sure you understand the question and come up with a thoughtful response than to not answer the question posed to you.
  • Give detailed responses to questions, but don’t ramble on once you have provided an answer
  • Always remain positive….Some questions may get at “negative” topics, but don’t badmouth a former employer!
  • Avoid topics about salary and benefits in the interview – these can be addressed once an offer is made
  • Thank the interviewer(s) for their time, shake hands on the way out and ask for contact info to follow up


School of Human Ecology Undergraduate Career Guide Copyright © by University of Wisconsin-Madison's School of Human Ecology Advising & Career Center. All Rights Reserved.

Share This Book