Understanding Different Types of Interviews

Understanding Different Types of Interviews

Job interviews do come in different shades/colours and can be so daunting for the unprepared.

Imagine a potential employer invites you for a brief chat but on entering the interview room, 6 pair of eyes glared at you! You just unknowingly walked into a panel interview!


You were invited for an interview and you painstakingly prepared for an oral interview, [you even practiced in front of a mirror] but alas! it turned out to be a written interview?

Anyone faced with any of these scenarios, will spend the first few minutes trying to adjust to reality.

In all honesty, interviews can be unnerving but understanding and knowing how to effectively handle different types/formats of interview can provide a great relief.

Types of interviews

1. Telephone Screening: an employer may give an initial phone call. This is used to reduce number of shortlisted applicants.  Candidates that fail to meet essential requirements can be rejected at this point to save time and resources. Needless to say, that this call is often without prior appointments.

Tips: Be up to-date on your job search records. Be phone courteous. If you are not prepared or your present location is noisy, please ask the caller to call you back. Give a specific time within 24hrs! Refer to your resume and be prepared for the second call!

2. In-Person Interview: This is one-on-one interview. This is the most common form of interview. At this stage; professionalism, right attitude, enthusiasm, and confidence are crucial to success.

Tips; Dress appropriately. Make a great first impression. Study your CV or Résumé. Always put your best foot forward!

3. Selection Interview: This requires answering series of questions including Essays, Multiple Choice Question, Personality tests, Psychometric tests etc. It could be written or computer based. The employer is looking to evaluate; level of intelligence, effective job match and best fit for the role.

Tips; Read the instructions carefully. Try and answer the questions as thoroughly as possible. Be time conscious.

4. Behavioural Interview: This is used to evaluate behaviour, attitude, achievements, character and competences based on previous work or leadership experience. It is based on the belief that past behaviour is an indication of future behaviour.


#1 Tell me about a time that you helped resolve a particularly difficult client issue.  

#2 Describe a situation in which an innovative course of action was necessary?

Tips; Share past (relevant) work experiences that showcase your strength and leaves good impression about you. Use the STAR approach -Situation, Task, Action and Results- What was the situation? What tasks were you given? What action did you take? What was the result or outcome?

5. Luncheon Interview: This is also known as ‘The Meal’. This type of Interview is usually conducted in a restaurant to assess social skill. Here, the employer assesses candidate’s communication and interpersonal skills as well as table manners.

Tips; Order a simple meal. Don’t talk with your mouth full. Remember your table manners. Pay attention. Don’t lose focus of the purpose of the conversation 

6. Stress Interview: The interviewer will do everything to frustrate candidate in order to test candidate’s patience during the interview. Multiple questions can be asked at the same time to evaluate how a candidate will handle stress on the job.

Tips; Exercise patience and take your time in responding to the questions. Don’t take anything personal. Be calm.


7. Group or Panel Interview: This will be done in the presence of three or more people whose main purpose is to evaluate candidate’s fit for the role. It may include other candidates for the position. It gives the employer multiple and objective opinions about each of the candidates.

Tips; Direct your answer to the person who asked the question, but try to maintain some eye contact with all group members. If other candidates are present, introduce yourself and be polite. Volunteer to respond first to a few questions.

8. Work Sample Interview: This gives candidate an opportunity to present, demonstrate or exhibit samples of previous work, projects or skills. This is mostly used for Architect, Arts & Craft professionals etc.

Tips; Master presentation skills and show confidence when describing previous work samples. Practice, Practice, Practice!

9. Peer Group Interview: This type of interview includes potential team members or co-workers who will scrutinize and ascertain candidate’s fit into the team.

 Tips; Maintain eye contact with everyone. Don’t be nervous. Smile, it shows confidence. Avoid the use of ‘I’ when responding to questions. Demonstrate team skills.

10. Case Interview: The candidate will be given a business problem or case study to solve. Candidate’s task is to identify the issues, present his ideas and make realistic recommendations. This is to evaluate candidate’s Presentation, Problem-solving and Communication skills including understanding of business problems.

Tips; Believe in yourself. Read carefully. Polish your presentation and communication skills. Be time-conscious. Know how to differentiate symptoms from the real issue.

11. Video Conference: This is an interview using an online video chat (such as Skype or Google Chat). It allows people to interview from different locations.

Tips; Practice before a mirror or a friend. Relax and try to maintain eye contact with the web cam. Ensure the computer and network connections are in perfect condition.

12 Assessment Centre: This involves a series of exercises given to candidates to evaluate suitability for the job through intense tasks and activities which could last up to 3days. In most cases, it combines different types of interviews- case studies, group work, peer interview, selection, panel interview, peer group and so on. This is to allow employers test inherent skills such as; Team, Presentation, Communications, Problem Solving, Interpersonal, Leadership, Social Skills.

Tips; Be active during group discussion but do not dominate the entire conversation. Compliment another candidate’s response and then build on it with your own thoughts. Volunteer to lead and involve every team member during group exercises, if need be.

Therefore, when next you are invited for an interview and you have no idea of the format, please familiarize yourself with various types of interviews as iterated above. Don’t be caught off-guard!

Going for Job Interview Without Permission???

Going for Job Interview Without Permission???

Going for Job Interview Without Permission???

At some point in our lives we all want to move ahead, test some waters, take on new challenges, seek greener pastures for higher pay or benefits, explore other career paths, maximize opportunity for growth, work close to home, relocate to another city/country or for so many other reasons.

However, when the opportunity to interview comes we are faced with the dilemma of whether to ask or not to ask for permission, especially if we are still actively working.

Should I miss work without stating the obvious reason or just lie my way through??

Come to think of it….

How would you tell your colleagues without someone snitching on you? After all we are in this together.


How can you tell your boss you are going for an interview, without him freaking out?!?!

Anyway, you can tell your boss but….it all depends on the level of rapport you have with him.


But in a case where you report directly to the MD /CEO of the company, how would you ask without sounding like a traitor??

 Many employees have given different excuses

‘I feel sick and I’m on my way to the hospital’ [most common line]

‘I ate something that didn’t agree with my tummy’

‘I have an appointment with my dentist’

‘A close relative just died’

‘I need to attend my son’s open day’

Meanwhile, calling in sick has been misused, especially if you were healthy as a horse the previous day, every employer knows that it’s very likely that you have an interview to attend.

While some will give reasons for not coming to work some will just go AWOL or MIA.

We all know some of our colleagues that have perfected the disappearing act and they always, always, I mean always get away with it.

But for some of us that want to do the right thing and not come out as a blatant liar, how then do we ask for permission???…..

 ~Here are some tips ~

 #1 – If possible, take a 1 day leave out of your annual leave.

#2 – If interview venue is close by; go during your lunch hour.

#3 – Ask to be rescheduled to after working hours or weekend.

#4 – Opt for video interview, e.g; Skype.

#5 – Take permission to resume late or close early because you have personal errands to run or personal issues to attend to.

N.B: if you are given the permission, don’t play dress up -if it is unusual for you to put on a suit on a normal day, the day of the interview should not be an exception, you can always hold the suit in a non-conspicuous way.

#6 – It may not be necessary to ask for permission if your working hour is flexible.

And the extreme,

#7 – Ask for permission. In an ideal environment, your present employer can renegotiate your offer and increase your pay or benefits.

(Please and please only do this if you are VERY VERY valuable to the company or else…your employer will even ask if you need 2 days off to attend the interview. That’s because they will be glad to get rid of you).

 Some will be wondering why you have to keep it as top secret.

Hmmm…..”a bird in hand is worth more than a million in the bush”

Thread carefully you don’t know what the new employer has to offer or whether the terms of employment will be favourable or not. Therefore, it will be wise to keep it under wraps until you have accepted the offer and ready to resume.

 I have seen a case where an offer of employment was withdrawn by the new employer because of a breach in communication between HR department and the hiring department. The appointment letter was given to the wrong candidate!

 Please, don’t get ahead of yourself because of an interview, until you accept the offer of an intending employer, your loyalty is first to your current employer.

Must Use- CV Active Verbs

Must Use- CV Active Verbs

Use active verbs to spice up your CV or Résumé. It is not enough to list job descriptions or job responsibilities on your CV, what will help you create a positive impression and stand out among other applicants is….

…using appropriate active verbs to highlight evidence of your outstanding performance and its impact on the overall business objectives of your employer….

Avoid using passive voice in your CV, it downplays your expertise and capability to effectively handle the role.

Below is an example of achievement in passive/active voice

Passive Voice: In charge of restructuring of loan and recovering criticized assets during remediation exercise. In which 35% was recovered out of the criticized assets and 60% of non-performing loans. 

Active Voice: Spearheaded assets remediation exercise for the recovery of 35% criticized assets and restructuring of 65% non-performing loans.

 You will agree with me that the achievement in active voice is more compelling and captivating.

Beginning accomplishment phrases with active verbs, does not only boost CV but it also, distinguishes key strengths and (measurable) achievements.



  • Managed and supported major active distributors to achieve 141.5% increase in sales volume and 110% increase in revenue within 2years.
  • Drove aggressive sales which increased regional contribution to National sales from 10% to 65% within 1year.



  • Re-launched a major brand and attained 300% increase in sales volume within 6 months.
  • Drove brand profitability by achieving 33% growth in sales (from N6bn to N8bn) and 10% growth in revenue within 2 years.
  • Participated in the development and launch of new brand which increased category market share by 12% within 1year.



  • Led a top-flight team that aggressively won high volume deposit accounts and achieved over 250% growth in the branch’s total deposit within 3 years.
  • Regularized various delinquent accounts in excess of N2.5billion and recovered over N265million loan.



  • Attained over 37% increase in employee engagement levels within 6 months.
  • Maintained a low 1% turnover rate through effective staff on boarding, and close monitoring of new joiners.



  • Recorded 200% increase in footfall ratio (which exceeded historical metrics) within 3 months through introduction of quality customer service.
  • Achieved a quantum leap of 65% increase in customer satisfaction rate within 18 months through effective training of customer service team.


 CV is a life document that should be updated on a regular basis. When next you are updating your CV, remember to liven it up with any of these active verbs;







Many job postings and interview invites are fake, they are just ploy to lure applicants to part with their money and valuables.

A lot of people have had their share of receiving unsolicited job interview invite through text messages, e-mail, phone call and so on.

Many have ignored while some have taken the risk……

Quite a number of applicants have fallen prey of kidnappers, rapists and fraudsters just by honouring a supposed job interview.

I never knew how bad or rampant this was until about 2 years ago, I was recruiting for the role of Business Development Officer for a client in Education Management Industry. As usual, I reviewed all applicants’ CVs and shortlisted some for interview.

I remembered calling one of the applicants and after introducing myself, the company and the client I was recruiting for, the dude just asked me directly;

So, how much should I come with?

The question caught me off guard, I thought I heard wrong.

I said; Pardon???????????

Then he asked again; How much should I come with?

I told him that he doesn’t have to come with any money as that isn’t our model. Just come prepared for the interview and I gave him all necessary information.

I think there should be a way to identify these scammers and beat them to their games but over the years their modus operandi has evolved. It is getting difficult to differentiate between a real job and a fake job. Now, job scammers have valid websites, genuine e-mail addresses, well identified locations and also post job vacancies on popular online job boards.

The big question is ‘how do I identify a fake job posting or interview invite?

It’s so unfortunate that job scammers are getting creative day by day and have outgrown their known tactics.

Job Scam on Social Media

Fake job adverts are all over the social media and means of sending interview invite can be via SMS (text message), Phone call, WhatsApp, LinkedIn, E-mail, Messenger, Facebook etc.

Different methods for different social platform.

Job Scam on LinkedIn;

We are a leading recruiting agency for Oil & Gas firms across the Middle East and we are currently recruiting professionals into 30 different positions. If interested, please comment with your e-mail address. We will review your profile and get in touch with you.

Sadly, over 5,000 people will comment but none will be contacted.

Job Scam on Facebook;

Massive Graduate Recruitment in Nigeria. Please share widely to reach more people.


A top multinational organization in Nigeria is massively recruiting fresh graduates and job seekers for immediate employment. 300 positions available, apply right now!

Please do your due diligence before applying for such roles.

Job Scam on WhatsApp or BBM;

If you have anyone interested in a job at a call centre in a reputable bank. Kindly tell them to come tomorrow for an interview.

Requirement: BSc. Graduate

Salary: N80,000

Venue: Resource IL, Odeku VI.

Time: from 9am..also come with CV….thank you.

Kindly ask for Bose upon arrival.

Very Legitimate

#as received from a reliable source.

Pls rebroadcast

Note that the advert has no specific date for interview.

Job Scam via SMS

Invite for a role you never applied for /a company you have never heard of

  • You have been found suitable for a briefing on Monday 07/11/16 by 9am at AB House, 7890 Ikorodu rd. P67 by ABC Ltd’


  • We invite you for Enterprise Assessment by 10am on Tuesday 14/5/16 at 12, Sun Street, Off Ikorodu road. Palmgroove b/stop. Lagos. Visit our website.

Job Scam pasted on street walls

Daily workers needed.

Salary: N6,000 per day

Call this number….

Beware! Job scammers are all over preying on the desperation of unsuspecting applicants.

Victims of job scam

I spoke with candidates that have fallen victim of this job scam, here are their experiences;

~I heard that a recruitment agency was hiring for different companies so I went there to drop my CV. However, on getting to the venue, I met over 30 candidates and we were all told to sit for written test and oral interview. Afterwards, I learnt that I failed the written test but I was directed to drop my CV with the lady at the reception. At the point of dropping my particulars, the receptionist asked me to pay N200 for application form and was promised that the agency will contact me for other roles. It’s been over 2 years and I haven’t heard a word from the agency.

~I got an interview invite via mail indicating that I have been considered for the role of Customer Service Officer with a Telecoms Company. I honoured the interview invite only to be asked to part with N60,000 training fee. They claimed the payment guarantees a job that pays at least N95,000 per month.

~I received a text message- ‘congratulations you have been selected for a job interview’. At the interview venue, I got to know that it was a Marketing company selling Food Supplement and Therapeutic drugs. During the interview, some people came up with testimonies of how selling the drugs had changed their financial status and blah blah blah. At the end of the whole charade, we were all asked to pay N40,000 for training and registration in order to be part of the network. Though I paid N6,000 as part payment with the hope of paying the balance some other day but after much consideration, I never went back.

I have heard of a situation when the candidate claimed to have no money for the part payment, these scammers asked her to use her ATM card to withdraw!

In as much as I’m not against marketing food supplement or therapeutic drugs or training but it is rather deceitful to invite candidates for a ‘supposed’ interview without divulging full details of the role.

Don’t get me wrong, there are legitimate candidate placement companies that candidates can hire to help secure a job at a fraction of the candidate’s first salary. Needless to say, that both parties agreed to this kind of service.

How to avoid falling victim

#1- If you received a random call, text message, email- please demand for details of the role and the recruiting company. Ask how the company got your contact if you don’t remember applying for the role.

Recruitment agencies may not disclose the name of their client during job posting but every candidate shortlisted for interview has the right to know the name of the actual recruiting company before attending the interview.

#2- Do your background check. Research the name of the recruiting company/recruiting agency. You can also search for the company name on www.nairaland.com. If it is a fraudulent company someone would have mentioned it on that platform. But God forbid if it is a new scammer in town.

#3- If the means of communication was through phone call. Ask for the full name of the caller and check on Social Media – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. The caller should be bold enough to give you his/her full names. Nothing to fear, nothing to hide.

#4- If it is a company, or an email address check to see if it is from the employer’s domain name e.g., HR or Hiring managername@Companyname.com . This may not be effective, there are numerous cases of corporate identity thefts.

#5- If you are asked to part with some money before you get the job. The money can be disguised as; application fee, registration fee, job processing fee, training fee, assessment fee, commitment fee etc. This is most likely, a scam.

#6- Watch out for red flags.

As long as we cannot tag all job vacancies and interview invite as being fraudulent, every job seeker owes himself/herself a duty of doing a thorough background check before attending any job interview….