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What are interviews? What are the various types of interviews employers use? How can you prepare for your interviews? Find out answers to all these top questions and more in this complete guide.

In this guide we explain what interviews are, provide some example interview questions and uncover the key tips you can use to prepare and ace your next interview.

Not sure if you should practice to prepare for your upcoming interview? More than half of all candidates are rejected at the first interview stage. A nationwide recruiter survey also found that 51% of recruiters use interview scheduling software. A further 28% are considering the move.

(Fennell, 2022; Yello, 2020)


  1. What Are Job Interviews?
  2. Types of Job Interviews
  3. How do I Prepare for Job Interviews?
  4. Formal Interviews vs Informal Interviews 
  5. Example Employer Interview Questions
  6. What to Bring to An Interview?
  7. 10 Tips to Pass Your Interview
  8. Questions to Ask in an Interview
  9. Interview FAQs

Without further ado, let’s get started!

What Are Job Interviews?

A job interview is a conversation between an employer and a prospective candidate to determine if the candidate is the best fit for the job. It serves as a means to determine if the candidate aligns with the job requirements and company culture.

A few short years ago, Interviews used to be a two to three-part hiring process. However, in recent times, interviews are the final stage in the hiring process of an assessment centre, after candidates have been assessed and selected through various tests, and in some cases, games

That said, whether they come first or last, job interviews provide an opportunity for the employer to evaluate the candidate’s qualifications, skills, experience, and personality. 

While for the candidate it provides an opportunity for you to get to know your potential employer and ask firsthand questions about the position and organisation.

Did you know? Most organisations conduct some form of interview to recruit in 2022 (77%), the most common interview form being competency-based interviews at 51% (CIPD, 2022).

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Types of Job Interviews

What types of job interviews are there?

There are various types of job interviews that employers can use to evaluate applicants. Understanding how each type of interview differs from one another can help you prepare more effectively.

Below, we highlight and explain the most commonly used types of interviews and what happens during these interviews:

  1. Phone Interviews
    • Just like the name suggests, a phone interview is an interview that is held over a phone conversation. Phone interviews are often used as a preliminary screening tool to narrow down a large pool of candidates. 
    • They are usually brief and may focus on basic qualifications and experience.
  1. In-person Interviews
    • In-person interviews are the most traditional type of job interview and they typically come after a phone interview. In an in-person interview, you meet with a hiring manager in their workplace. 
    • In-person interviews give the recruiter a chance to evaluate the candidate’s appearance, body language, and attitude during the interview.
  1. Video Interviews
    • Video interviews are being used as an alternative to in-person interviews. They can be conducted live or recorded in advance. In a live video interview, the recruiter is in attendance to ask you questions.

In a pre-recorded video interview, the questions are set recorded questions which you will be required to record your answers. Discover more about video interviews with this quick video:

What is a Video Interview? #shorts
  1. Group Interviews
    • A group interview is a meeting-format interview with several candidates and one or two interviewers. They are often used to assess how candidates interact with others.
    • Group interviews may involve group activities or discussions, and can help employers evaluate teamwork and communication skills.
  1. Behavioural Interviews
    • Behavioural interviews are designed to assess how a candidate might handle or respond to specific situations on the job by asking predetermined questions that probe for behavioural patterns such as composure under stress, teamwork, etiquette, mannerisms, etc.
  1. Competency-Based Interviews
    • Commonly abbreviated as CBIs, competency-based interviews are used to evaluate key skills or competencies a candidate is required to possess for a particular position. 
    • This type of interview involves a set of 4 to 8 predetermined questions which focus on past experiences where the candidate has demonstrated the required skills.
  1. Strength-Based Interviews
    • A strength-based interview is an interview that allows candidates to expressly discuss their natural strengths and weaknesses and the workplace circumstances in which they best excel.
    • This type of interview seeks to identify suitable applicants for the position based primarily on their strengths instead of their competencies and experiences.

Discover more about the common types of interviews and the questions asked by interviewers in our complete guide here.

Identify the potential interview questions with our Question Identifier Tool (QIT), included in our Go Essential package, and kickstart your interview practice today.

So how do you prepare for these job interviews? Read on to find out!

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How do I Prepare for Job Interviews?

Preparing for a job interview can increase your chances of success because the more prepared you are, the more confident you will feel during the interview.

Here are some tips we’ve developed to help you prepare for your upcoming interview:

  1. Review the job description for the position. Make sure you understand the requirements and responsibilities of the position you are applying for. This will help you highlight your relevant skills and experience in your answers.
  1. Research the company you are interviewing with and learn as much as you can about them, including their mission, values, operations and recent projects. This will help you to tailor your answers to the company culture.
  1. Prepare answers to common interview questions and practice these answers before the interview. Practice your answers in front of a mirror to build confidence and ensure you are communicating your strengths effectively.
  1. Practice answering sample competency-based interview questions using the STAR Method. Develop a natural structure to your answers that feels comfortable to you.
  1. Practice demonstrating good body language. This is because interviewers are not only taking notes of your answers, but they are also watching your spoken and verbal communication, including your tone and responsiveness.
  1. Bring copies of your resume and other essential documents to the interview, e.g. your portfolio. Have copies of your resume, cover letter, and detailed portfolio with you in case the recruiter asks for them. This will show that you are organised and prepared.
  1. Dress appropriately for the interview. Choose an outfit that is professional and appropriate for the company culture. If you are unsure, a rule of thumb to know is that it is better to dress too conservatively than too casually.

Practice with our Video Interview Tool and nail your technique in recording answers, and answering those critical interview questions for your upcoming interview.

Check out our video below where we highlight top 5 key tips for interviews that will help you prepare for your job interview.

5 Tips How to Prepare for a Job Interview on the day #shorts

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Formal Interviews vs Informal Interviews

There are often two main styles of interviews that are commonly used by employers. These are formal interviews and informal interviews.

What is a formal interview?

Formal interviews: These are more structured and follow a set of predetermined questions. A formal interview involves fewer personal questions, rather it focuses more on the candidate’s skills and experience. Competency-based interviews and strength-based interviews can be classified as formal interviews.

What is an informal interview?

Informal interviews: These are less structured and more conversational in nature. They allow for more open-ended questions and dialogues that give the interviewer a better sense of the candidate’s personality and communication skills.

What are the differences between formal and informal interviews?

Below we highlight the key differences between formal interviews and informal interviews:

Formal InterviewsInformal Interviews
They are structured and follow a set format.They are less structured and consist more of open-ended questions and dialogues.
The conversation is strictly technical and consists mainly of questions about skills and past experience.Conversations are loosely structured and could vary on different topics.
Skills and competency-orientedPersonality and conversational skill oriented.
The dress code is strictly professional.The dress code isn’t strictly professional and may allow for more smart casual wear.
They could involve a panel of people from different departments in the organization.In most cases, they are conducted by one or two recruiters.
Often used for positions that require high professionalism, such as executive or management roles.Often used for entry-level or customer-relation roles.

Essentially, the style of interview used for your application will depend on the nature of the position and the hiring companies preferences.

Discover questions that are likely to be asked in your upcoming interview with our Question Identifier Tool which can help determine if your interview will be formal or informal.

What Style of Interview is Used by Different Industries?

The various types of interviews offer different benefits to both the employer and candidates during the interview process. The nature of the role and the company’s culture can give a hint on whether your interview will be formal or informal.

Below we highlight the type of interview that is likely to be used by employers across several key industries.

Interview StyleIndustry/RolesSkills Assessed
Formal interview– Finance
– Government
– Consulting
– Law
– Problem-solving
– Decision making
– Planning and Organising
– Leadership
Informal interview– Healthcare
– Food Service & Hospitality
– Entertainment
– Fashion
– Communication
– People Management
– Commercial Awareness
– Attention-to-detail

Read on below to find out some commonly used interview questions from top employers that you can use to kickstart your interview preparation. 

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Example Employer Interview Questions

What interview questions do employers use?

One of the best ways to prepare for a job interview is to research the types of questions that a specific employer is likely to ask. While every interview is different, having a sense of what to expect can help you feel more confident and prepared.

Below are some example interview questions from the Big 4 to help you get started.

PwC HR Interview Questions

PwC uses a variety of interview questions across the many interview rounds you can expect. Some of these questions often include:

  1. What motivates you?
  2. What are your long-term career goals?
  3. What is the difference between smart work and hard work?
  4. How do you handle stress and pressure?
  5. How did you deal with an unresponsive teammate?

Deloitte Interview Questions

When applying to Deloitte, you can expect a variety of interview questions during the job simulation and final interview rounds. These often include:

  1. Tell us about yourself and why your profile is a match for this role at Deloitte.
  2. Tell me about a challenge you faced at work and how you overcame it.
  3. What is your biggest weakness?
  4. What makes you a good choice for the role?
  5. Why have you chosen Deloitte over the other ‘Big Four’?

EY Interview Questions

During your EY interview rounds, you can expect motivational and competency-based questions, such as:

  1. Tell me about a time you stepped up as a leader.
  2. What do you think sets you apart from other candidates?
  3. Describe the approach you use to acquire new skills.
  4. What can you bring to EY?
  5. Tell me about a time you dealt with adversity.

KPMG Interview Questions

Your KPMG application process may involve a few rounds of interviews. During these, you can expect competency and behavioural-based questions, including:

  1. Tell me about the time you made a mistake at work and how you handled the situation.
  2. How do you prioritize your tasks and manage your time?
  3. Tell me about a time you had to make a difficult decision.
  4. What does normalisation mean?
  5. What are your thoughts on managerial skills?

Job Interview tip: Practice CBI questions using the STAR Technique. This helps to structure your answers in a captivating order for the interviewer. Read our guide here for more detailed tips on how to answer interview questions.

Watch our video below which explains in simple terms how you can answer the common competency interview question: ‘Tell me about yourself’;

Tell Me About Yourself | How to Answer this Competency Interview Question #shorts

Now that we’ve covered some interview questions and prepared, what should we bring to the interview? Continue reading below to find out!

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What to Bring to An Interview?

Knowing what to bring to a job interview will help you make a great first impression and demonstrate to the recruiter that you are organised and prepared. In this part, we mention essentials you should always consider bringing to an interview to ensure you are prepared.

Here are 7 key things you should bring to a job interview:

  1. Resume and Cover Letter: Bring several printed copies of your resume and cover letter for the interviewer. This shows that you are prepared and have a keen interest in the position.
  1. References: Bring a list of professional references from previous employment or studies with you to the interview. These should be people who can personally attest to your skills and qualifications.
  1. Pen and Notepad: Bring a pen and notepad to take notes during the interview. Taking notes shows the employer that you are attentive and interested in the conversation.
  1. Portfolio: If you have a portfolio of your work, bring it along to showcase your skills and accomplishments.
  1. Any Document Requested by the Employer: If the employer has requested any additional documents, such as certifications or licenses, make sure to bring those as well. Ensure to double-check the email invite!
  1. Questions: Prepare a list of questions to ask the interviewer to show your interest in the company and the position. This can also help you determine if the role is a good fit for you. 

Keep reading below to find a list of top questions that our experts recommend for you to ask in an interview to help you stand out. 

  1. Confidence: Show confidence through your body language and tone of voice. Maintain relaxed eye contact, sit up straight, and speak clearly. Remember, your answers aren’t the only things being measured, your body language and composure are also being assessed. 

Did you know? In an online survey by Harris Poll, 67% of recruiters in the US consider eye contact as a crucial body language they take note of during an interview.L. Hayes, 2018)

Don’t miss our video below for even more body language tips you can use during your job interview.

Top 5 Job Interview Body Language Tips #shorts

Read on to discover more tips for interviews below that will help you ace your upcoming job interview. 

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10 Tips to Pass Your Interview

Now that we’ve gone through different steps of preparation for your job interviews and highlighted some sample interview questions, the next hurdle is acing the interview itself.

To ensure your success during any job interview, here are 10 handy key tips for interviews to keep in mind:

  1. Practice Before the Interview: Always practice your answers before your interview to reduce anxiety. Practice your answers in front of a mirror or with friends until your flow and delivery are the best.
  1. Use the STAR+R and CAR Method: Employers often look for answers using the STAR+R and CAR methods for competency-based interviews. Following this structure allows you to explain your experiences concisely and effectively.
  1. Show Enthusiasm: Demonstrate your genuine interest through your tone and body language. Highlight recent activities and business areas of the company that interest you to show that you are invested in the role.
  1. Dress Appropriately: Dress professionally and make sure your appearance is neat and clean to convey professionalism. Consider the company culture for hints on how to dress, though formal and smart is the typical dress code.
  1. Be On Time: Arrive early to the interview to allow time for any unexpected delays. Be careful not to arrive too early as this can also negatively impact your chances!
  1. Check Your Body Language: Use body language that demonstrates positive and professional behaviour, such as making relaxed eye contact with the interviewer and sitting up straight.
  1. Listen Carefully: Listen carefully to the questions and respond thoughtfully. Nod along and make notes to show you are listening because the interviewer will also be mindful of your non-verbal communication skills.
  1. Be Honest and Authentic: Be honest and authentic in your responses to build trust with the interviewer. Use real examples from your experiences to support your answers. 
  1. Use Specific Examples: Consider having a few specific examples from your work experience or studies that you can use as scenarios to showcase your expertise in the field.
  1. Follow-up: Send a thank-you email or note after the interview to thank the interviewer for their time and express your continued interest in the position.

Ready to take your interviewing skills to the next level? Practice, refine, and boost your confidence using top industry interview questions with our video interview practice platform today.

GF video interview tool

We also recommend that you bring your own questions to ask the recruiter at the end of the interview to help you leave a positive impression. 

Check out the below to find out the top questions you can ask!

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Questions to Ask in an Interview

What questions should I ask in an interview?

An interview is also a good opportunity for you to ask the recruiter any questions you might have about the role or the company. Some people think asking your interviewer any questions is unnecessary or improper. Wrong!

Asking questions during a job interview is a great way to demonstrate your interest in the company and the position. It’s also an opportunity for you to stand out through thoughtful and insightful questions.

Below are some questions you might want to consider asking your interviewer in your next interview:

  1. What are some of the role’s challenges?
  2. How do you measure success and what are your expectations for the first 6-12 months?
  3. What do you enjoy about your job?
  4. Are there opportunities for professional development?
  5. Is there anything about my resume that concerns you?

Discover 5 more questions you could ask in an interview with our short video below:

5 Best Questions to Ask in a Job Interview | Part 2 #shorts

And that brings us to the conclusion! We’ve covered all the basic things you need to know ahead of your job interviews.

You may also consider checking our FAQs section below to find even more answers to frequently asked questions about interviews.

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Interview FAQs

What are 5 tips for a successful job interview?

  • Practice answers to common interview questions beforehand.
  • Be on time.
  • Dress appropriately and professionally.
  • Be confident with your responses and give honest replies.
  • Prepare a few of your own questions in advance.

Practice interview questions with our Video Interview Practice Tool and enhance your interview skills today.

How do I talk about myself in an interview?

When asked to talk about yourself in an interview, discuss the past, present, and possible future of your career. Begin by discussing your current role and a recent accomplishment. Then, talk about your relevant experience. Finally, discuss your future goals and how this position aligns with them.

What is Formal and Informal Interview?

Formal interviews are typically structured and follow a set of predetermined questions. They are often conducted in a professional setting and may involve multiple interviewers. Informal interviews are more casual and may involve a conversation between the interviewer and candidate with less structure.

What should I wear to a job interview?

Consider looking up the company to know their culture, they might have strict dress codes. However, if you are still unsure, aim to wear professional attire that is appropriate for the industry and company culture.

How long do job interviews usually last?

Interviews can range from 30 minutes to several hours, depending on the position, employer, and type of interview. If the interview turns out to be a long stretch, there would be a break in between or you could request a short break if you need to.

How soon can I expect to hear back after a job interview?

When you hear back from an interview will vary depending on the company size. The employer will usually provide a timeline for when you may receive feedback regarding your interview. However, it’s a good idea to follow up with the employer after a week or two.

Practice and Register with GF to ace your upcoming interviews first time

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