Interview: Definition, Types of Interview

Interview is a procedure designed to obtain information from a person through oral responses to oral inquiries.

An interview is the way of face to face conversation between the interviewer and the interviewee, where the interviewer seeks replies from the interviewee for choosing a potential human resource.

Definition of Interview

According to Gary Dessler, “Interview is a selection procedure designed to predict future job performance on the basis of applicants’ oral responses to oral inquiries.”

The interview is the most critical component of the entire selection process.

It serves as the primary means to collect additional information on an applicant. It serves as the basis for assessing an applicant’s job-related knowledge, skills, and abilities. It is designed to decide if an individual should be interviewed further, hired, or eliminated from consideration.

Types of Interview

There are several types of the interview;

  1. Unstructured (Nondirective) Interview.
  2. Structured (Directive) Interview.
  3. Situational Interview.
  4. Behavioral Interview.
  5. Job-related Interview.
  6. Stress Interview.
  7. Panel Interview (Board Interview).
  8. One-On-One Interview.
  9. Mass Interview (Group Interview),
  10. Phone Interview

Unstructured (Nondirective) Interview

n unstructured interviews, there is generally no set format to follow, so the interview can take various directions. The lack of structure allows the interviewer to ask follow-up questions and pursue points of interest as they develop.

An unstructured interview is an interview where probing, open-ended questions are asked. It involves a procedure where different questions may be asked to different applicants.

Structured (Directive) Interview

In structured interviews, the interviewer lists the questions and acceptable responses in advance and may even rate and score possible answer for appropriateness.

An interview consisting of a series of job-related questions that are asked consistently of each applicant for a particular job is known as a structured interview.

A structured interview typically contains four types of questions.

  • Situational questions: Pose a hypothetical job situation to determine what the applicant would do in that situation.
  • Job knowledge questions: Probe the applicant’s job-related knowledge.
  • Job-sample simulation questions: Involve situations in which an applicant may be actually required to perform a sample task from the job.
  • Worker requirements questions: Seek to determine the applicant’s willingness to conform to the requirements of the job.

Situational Interview

In a situational interview, you ask the candidate what his or her behavior would be in a given situation. Candidates are interviewed about what actions they would take in various job-related situations. Situational interviews ask interviewees to describe how they would react to a hypothetical situation today or tomorrow.

Behavioral Interview

In a behavioral interview, you ask applicants to describe how they reacted to actual situations in the past.

Candidates are asked what actions they have taken in prior job situations that are similar to situations they may encounter on the job. The interviewers are then scored using a scoring guide constructed by job experts.

This is a structured interview that uses questions designed to probe the candidate’s past behavior in specific situations. This technique involves asking all interviewees standardized questions about how they handled past situations that were similar to situations they may encounter on the job.

The interviewer may also ask discretionary probing questions for details of the situations, the interviewee’s behavior in the situation and the outcome. The interviewee’s responses are then scored with behaviorally anchored rating scales.

Job-related Interview

In a job-related interview, the interviewer asks applicants questions about relevant past experiences.

It is a series of job-related questions that focus on relevant past job-related behaviors. The questions here don’t revolve around hypothetical or actual situations or scenarios.

Instead, the interviewer asks job-related questions such as, ‘‘Which courses did you like best in business school?”

Stress Interview

In a stress interview, the interviewer seeks to make the applicant uncomfortable with occasionally rude questions. The aim is supposedly to spot sensitive applicants and those with low or high-stress tolerance.

Stress interviews may help unearth hypersensitive applicants who might overreact to mild criticism with anger and abuse. It intentionally creates anxiety to determine how an applicant will react to stress on the job.

Panel Interview (Board Interview)

A panel interview, also known as a board interview, is an interview conducted by a team of interviewers, who together interview each candidate and then combine their ratings into a final score.

Here one candidate is interviewed by several representatives of the firm. This technique entails the job candidate giving oral responses to job-related questions asked by a panel of interviewers.

Each member of the panel then rates each interviewee on such dimensions as work history, motivation, creative thinking, and presentation.

The scoring procedure for oral interview boards has typically been subjective; thus, it would be subject to personal biases of those individuals sitting on the board. This technique may not be feasible for jobs in which there are a large number of applicants that must be interviewed.

One-On-One Interview

In a one-on-one interview, one interviewer meets one candidate. In a typical employment interview, the applicant meets one-on-one with an interviewer. As the interview may be a highly emotional occasion for the applicant, meeting alone with the interviewer is often less threatening.

Mass Interview (Group Interview)

The mass/group interview is a relatively new technique in the west and almost unknown in our country. It is a procedure for the discovery of leadership.

Several job applicants are placed in a leaderless discussion and interviewers sit in the background to observe and evaluate the performance of the candidates.

In a mass/group interview, a panel interviews several candidates simultaneously. The panel poses a problem and then watches to see which candidate takes the lead in formulating an answer.

Phone Interview

Employers do some interviews entirely by These can actually be more accurate than face-to-face interviews for judging an applicant’s conscientiousness, intelligence, and interpersonal skills.

Here, neither party needs to worry about things like appearance or handshakes, so each can focus on substantive answers. Or perhaps candidates – somewhat surprised by an unexpected call from the recruiter – just give answers that are more spontaneous.

How Can Interviews Be Administered?

Interviews can also be administered in various ways that are discussed below:

Personal Interview

Most interviews are one-on-one: In which the candidate meets privately with a single interviewer.

Often a well-qualified candidate will pass through a series of such interviews, first with a member of the human resources department, then with the manager in whose unit there is a job opening and finally perhaps with the manager’s superior. The rest of this section focuses primarily on the one-on-one scenario.

Unstructured Sequential Interview

It is an interview in which each interviewer forms an independent opinion after asking different questions.

Structured Sequential Interview

It is an interview in which each interviewer rates the candidates on a standard evaluation form. The top-level manager then reviews and compares the evaluations before deciding who to hire.

The group interview

A number of candidates are interviewed at once.

Generally, they are allowed to discuss job-related matters among themselves while one or more observers rate their performance. This type of interview is usually considered most appropriate in the selection of managers; it can also be used with gropes of current employees to evaluate their potential for supervisory roles.

Panel Interview

One candidate meets with a panel of two or more representative of the firm. One of the panelists may act as a chairperson, but each of the firm’s representatives takes part in the questioning and discussion. This format allows the interviewers to coordinate their efforts and follow up with each other’s questions.

Computer-assisted Interview

The applicant is presented with a series of questions on a video screen to which he/she responds by pressing the appropriate key on a keyboard.

Preliminary experience suggests that the procedure is faster than face to face interview, that applicants are more candid and that it overcomes the problem of lack of consistency between interviewers.

Obviously, this approach cannot assess emotional responses or interpersonal skills. But it has promise as a helpful additional tool in the selection process.

Because of programming and development costs, it appears to be the most practical choice when fairly large numbers of candidates are to be interviewed for a given job.