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5 Interview Types and How to Ace Them

Tania Khadder | WomenCo.

August 06, 2009

1. The Traditional Interview

What Is It?

You know this interview. I know this interview. We’ve done it a million times. So why are we still so afraid of it?

Interviews — no matter their style — are always tough. With traditional interviews, you need to be able to answer broad-based questions in a very specific, personalized way. And to sound sincere while doing so.

You’ll face questions like, “Why do you want to work here?” and “Tell us about yourself.” The interviewer’s goal is to identify your skills, experience and enthusiasm for the job.

The interviewer will closely follow your resume structure. He or she will probe you about the experience, education and achievements listed.

How to Ace It:

Practice, practice, practice!

Take a look at some of the most common questions from traditional interviews, and write down your answers. And keep in mind that if ever you’re faced with a question that is too broad, ask for clarification. For example, if the question is “Tell us about yourself,” it’s perfectly fair for you to reply with “What about me do you want to know?”

Often, it’s helpful to practice your answers out loud. Find a friend who’s willing to play “interviewer” and go through a mock interview from beginning to end.

Know your resume inside out. Think hard about the accomplishments you list, and be prepared to express what you learned through each.

And as with all interviews, prepare a handful of examples to back up every skill or quality your claim to possess. Real life examples make the difference between a vague, fluffy, might-as-well-be-made-up answer, and the winning response that gets you the job.