The Interview

What is it?

  • An interview is the process of interaction between the recruiters or managers of the potential employer and the job candidate to assess whether the candidate is a good match for the position.
  • At the end of the interview process, both the applicant and the employer decide whether their association will be mutually beneficial.
  • Interviews are conducted in different styles and formats.
  • They can be conducted once, or more than once.

Interview Styles

The One-on-One Interview

  • takes place one-on-one between the interviewer and the job candidate.
  • is one of the most common types of job interviews.
  • can be conducted in different formats.

The Panel Interview

  • features evaluation of the candidate by two or more recruiters.
  • allows for different perspectives and opinions regarding the candidate’s answers and attitude during the interview.
  • is intended to limit the effect of any personal bias on the part of the interviewer.

The Group Interview

  • is conducted by interviewing a group of candidates at the same time.
  • is conducted in such a way that a discussion or a given problem is resolved by a group of candidates.
  • is intended to reveal the leadership potential and styles of the candidates.
  • also assesses how the candidates function in a team situation.

The Screening Interview

  • is conducted when a large number of individuals apply for a particular position.
  • is the initial phase of the selection process.
  • is conducted over the telephone or online.

The Lunch Interview

  • is intended to assess the candidate’s social skills.
  • is used mostly in the case middle or upper management positions.

The Phone Interview

  • is generally conducted as a screening interview.
  • is conducted in order to select the most promising applicants for one-on-one interviews.
  • may be conducted in lieu of an initial interview for candidates residing at a distance.
  • can reduce transportation expenses.
  • requires optimal use of oral communication skills since nonverbal/body language does not play a role.

The Conference Interview

  • utilizes digital image communication/video techniques.
  • follows all the rules of the one-one-one interview.

The General Group Information Session

  • conveys in-depth information about the position and the company/organization to all of the candidates.
  • is geared toward the effective management of time by allowing all candidates to learn about the scope and requirements of the position at the same time.
  • is usually conducted before the one-on-one interviews take place.

The Serial Interview

  • features a series of individuals interviewing a candidate one on one, often in a certain order.
  • is conducted either with interviewers entering a room one by one while the candidate stays in the same setting, or with the candidate moving from one setting to another.
  • creates the opportunity to obtain multiple “first impressions” of the candidate; additionally, helps to develop multiple perspectives and opinions concerning the candidate.
  • allows different interviewers to discuss different requirements of the position with the candidate.

Interview Formats

The Behavioral Interview

  • is based on the theory that “the best way to predict future performance is by learning about past performance.”
  • is intended to gauge a candidate’s problem-solving skills with a view toward the future by asking questions about how the candidate resolved problems in the past.
  • Interviews in this format may be conducted using the telephone, panel or one-one-one interview styles.
  • The interviewer asks questions about situations, tasks, actions/attitudes and results to reveal more about the candidate’s command of skills/behavior/competencies required for the position.
  • Delving into experiences of a permanent nature from the immediate past allows the interviewer to foresee behavior in future situations.
  • A candidate who learns about the skills required for the position being applied for, and is prepared to show that he/she possesses them, will have a more successful interview.
  • The candidate will benefit from preparing examples of situations demonstrating teamwork, creativity and problem-solving, communication and organizational skills before the interview.

The Role Play Interview

  • is a very structured interview format in which the candidate is asked how he/she would behave in certain hypothetical scenarios, and thus aims at predicting how a candidate would behave in similar real-life situations in the future.
  • The interviewer may use a point scale with sample answers to grade and evaluate the candidate’s answers.

The Structured Interview

  • combines situational interview questions with questions from various interview styles.
  • Each candidate is asked the same questions, and the answers are evaluated according to a scale with given point values. This interview format is intended to minimize interviewer bias.

The Test/Assessment

  • is a format widely used by recruiters based on standardized tests and/or job simulations.
  • serves the objective of assessing the candidate’s skills/competencies and his/her suitability for the position in question.
  • generally takes place after the screening interview process.

The Stress Interview

  • is an outdated interview format widely used for sales positions in the past, but less commonly encountered today.
  • uses an offensive style of questioning/interaction to see how the candidate behaves under pressure and identify his/her weaknesses.
  • Being aware of the way this interview format works can be helpful, despite the fact that it has generally fallen out of favor.
  • In this format, the interviewer assumes a sarcastic, confrontational style, interrupting the candidate’s responses or remaining silent after the candidate speaks.
  • If a candidate becomes aware that such methods are being used, he/she should take care not to react in an offended manner. Rather, the candidate should request a repetition of the question to make sure he/she heard correctly; should not rush to answer questions quickly; and after responding, should ask the interviewer if the answer was sufficient.

The Case Interview

  • is a format used mostly in consultancy and investment banking recruitment.
  • is intended to evaluate the candidate’s possession of analytical thinking, problem-solving and communication skills, creativity, and the ability to think logically, as well as his/her business knowledge.
  • The candidate first solves the problem given by the interviewer and then presents the solution.
  • The candidate might ask questions regarding the nature of the case or to get more information, but the answers might create more unknowns.
  • Analyzing the problem correctly and then dividing the solution into stages and discussing them in sequence will improve a candidate’s chances of impressing the interviewer.
  • The candidate does not have to find a final resolution to the problem. His/her answers should reveal how he/she would utilize his/her knowledge and skills under actual circumstances.

The Unstructured Interview

  • is a format in which the questions are not predetermined but rather are formulated on the basis of the information in the candidate’s resume.
  • Since a structured interview template is not followed, the interview may proceed spontaneously based on the candidate’s answers.
  • Although it depends greatly on interviewer’s skill and judgment, and on the candidate’s ability to develop a rapport with the former, it can provide a more natural and realistic view of the candidate.

The Partly-Structured Interview

  • is a format that combines questioning techniques from the structured and unstructured interview formats.
  • The candidate answers both predetermined standard questions and questions related to the information in his/her resume.