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Types of interviews

The rationale behind conducting interviews is to provide common ground for interaction between employer and employee to determine suitability between job and candidate. A perfect match results in successful selling of the organisation to the candidate by the employer. The candidate on the other hand, if attracted by the job, has to also convince the employer that he is the right choice.

Each organisation has its own Interview selection process. The type of interview varies based on the level, position and nature of job. Normally, the HR person may carry out a preliminary interview to check out the prima-facie suitability of the candidate. Then the technical experts conduct an in-depth technical interview. Either the behavioral experts or senior persons may see the candidate to evaluate his/her fitment to the overall organisational structure. In this process, he has to meet the authorities from HR, concerned functional heads and finally the person of the highest authority - the CEO or equivalent.

Based on the kind of information the employer is looking for, it is possible to classify interviews into various types. Read on for more information.

  • Preliminary screening interview.

The objective is to collect information so that the employer gets a general description of the candidate and can decide if the profile can be matched with that of the job.

  • Detailed interview

This is a highly focused interview, where the employer attempts to find out the strengths and weaknesses of the candidate, his/her intellectual abilities, motivation, knowledge and other personality factors relevant to the job.

The interview may be structured or unstructured.

In a structured interview, a series of questions click here for more information on questions

has been already decided. It aims in measuring specific skill sets.

Most interviews are unstructured and follow the conversational style, laced with questions aimed at evaluating the candidate’s suitability for the job. The base document for questions is usually the resume of the candidate.

  • One to one interview :

This style is usually preferred during the initial screening process. An executive of HR department may conduct the interview.

  • The group interview :

A group of specialists from HR and Technical areas may form the interview panel. Each member of the panel asks questions from his/ her area of specialisation.

  • Stress interview:

This is usually preferred when the job involves a high amount of stress. The ability of the individual to handle ambiguity and stress is measured. This is conducted only for special jobs where there is a large amount of job stress involved. Example: The post of Industrial Relations Manager in a factory. Click here for more detailed information

  • Behavioral interview :

Here the interviewer asks questions relating to a specific skill that will require the candidate to reflect on past incidents to answer the question. Behavioral dimensions such as his or her values, team work, leadership skills, interpersonal skills are evaluated. It is important to be honest and genuine with answers. Some candidates also talk about learning from past mistakes. In some companies, the HR specialist plays the role of a behavioral interviewer. Nowadays, some companies hire psychologists to do some behavioral interviewing. The choice of questions used will always be in terms of behavioral aspects critical to the job.

  • Final interview :

This is the usually the last stage in the recruitment process. The CEO or Functional Head usually conducts this interview. The candidate would have successfully passed the previous stages of selection. His/her abilities and attitude have been checked in the initial stages of the job interview process. The final choice of selection among the final list of candidates is left to the head or CEO.

In other cases, once the candidate is selected, he/she is asked to interact with the CEO in the form of an informal interview. This may be a mere formality, where the CEO gets to know the candidate and vice versa. This is just to get the final stamp of approval.

The CEO or Founder of the organisation in some cases uses this opportunity to share the values and the vision of the organisation with the candidates.
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