Interview: Definition, Meaning, Types of Interview (2023)

Interview: Definition, Meaning, Types of Interview (1)

The interview is a commonly used data collection method for hiring employees to interrogate witnesses. We have faced interviews all the time. But can you define and understand its meaning? And can we even tell which types of interviews we faced?

  • Definition of Interview
  • Meaning of Interview
  • 10 Types of Interview
  • How Can Interviews Be Administered?

Definition of Interview

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

Gary Dessler states, “Interview is a selection procedure designed to predict future job performance based on applicants’ responses to oral inquiries.”

An interview is a face-to-face conversation between the interviewer and the interviewee, where the interviewer seeks replies from the interviewee for choosing a potential employee.

Meaning of Interview

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

10 Types of Interview

Ten types of interviews;

  1. Unstructured (Non-directive) 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 (Non-directive) Interview

n unstructured interviews, there is generally no set format to follow so that 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 answers for appropriateness.

An interview consisting of a series of job-related questions 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.
  • Job knowledge questions: Probe the applicant’s job-related knowledge.
  • Job-sample simulation questions: Involve situations where an applicant may be required to perform a sample task from the job.
  • Worker requirements questions: Seek to determine the applicant’s willingness to conform to the job requirements.

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 similar to situations they may encounter on the job. The interviewers are then scored using a scoring guide constructed by job experts.

This structured interview 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 similar to situations they may encounter on the job.

The interviewer may also ask discretionary probing questions for details of the situation, the interviewee’s behavior, 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 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 conducted by a team of interviewers who 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.

Check out our articles on how oral communication is effective and where it fails.

Each panel member then rates each interviewee on work history, motivation, creative thinking, and presentation.

The scoring procedure for oral interview boards has typically been subjective; thus, it would be subject to the personal biases of those sitting on the board.

This technique may not be feasible for jobs where many applicants 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 is almost unknown. 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, the 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 be more accurate than face-to-face interviews for judging an applicant’s conscientiousness, intelligence, and interpersonal skills.

Neither party needs to worry about appearance or handshakes, so each can focus on substantive answers.

Or perhaps candidates – somewhat surprised by an unexpected call from the recruiter – give more spontaneous answers.

How Can Interviews Be Administered?

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

  1. Personal Interview
  2. Unstructured Sequential Interview
  3. Structured Sequential Interview
  4. The group interview
  5. Panel Interview
  6. Computer-assisted Interview

Personal Interview

Personal 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

Several candidates are interviewed at once.

Generally, they can discuss job-related matters while one or more observers rate their performance.

This type of interview is usually considered most appropriate in selecting managers; it can also be used with groups of current employees to evaluate their potential for supervisory roles.

Panel Interview

One candidate meets with a panel of two or more firm representatives. One panelist may act as a chairperson, but each of the firm’s representatives participates 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 interviews, that applicants are more candid, and overcomes the lack of consistency between interviewers.

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

Programming and development costs appear to be the most practical choice when fairly large candidates are interviewed for a given job.

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Merrill Bechtelar CPA

Last Updated: 02/01/2023

Views: 6386

Rating: 5 / 5 (70 voted)

Reviews: 85% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Merrill Bechtelar CPA

Birthday: 1996-05-19

Address: Apt. 114 873 White Lodge, Libbyfurt, CA 93006

Phone: +5983010455207

Job: Legacy Representative

Hobby: Blacksmithing, Urban exploration, Sudoku, Slacklining, Creative writing, Community, Letterboxing

Introduction: My name is Merrill Bechtelar CPA, I am a clean, agreeable, glorious, magnificent, witty, enchanting, comfortable person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.