In today’s dynamic business environment, organizations use several methods to connect people’s knowledge, skills and competencies with the responsibilities and duties for a given job. A best practice in this area that is rapidly becoming an industry standard is to run an employee selection test, an assessment that measures an individual’s personality, aptitude and/or abilities.
Interview is the widely used (election method. It is a face-to-face interaction between interviewee and interviewer. If handled carefully, it can be a powerful technique in having accurate information of the interviewee otherwise unavailable. At the same time, if the interview is not handled carefully, it can be a source of bias, restricting or distorting the flow of communication.
Objectives of Interview
- Verifies the information obtained through application form and tests.
- Helps obtain additional information from the applicant otherwise not available.
- Gives the candidate necessary facts and information about the job and the organization.
- Helps establish mutual understanding between the company and the candidate and build the company’s image.
Types of Interviews
Four types of interviews for selection have been identified.
- Preliminary Interview
The interviews conducted to screen the applicants to decide whether further detailed interview will be required are called preliminary interviews. The candidate is given freedom by giving job details during the interview to decide whether the job will suit him.
One of the drawback associated with the preliminary interview is that it might lead to the elimination of many desirable candidates in case interviewers do not have much and proper experience in evaluating candidates. The positive argument, if any, for this method is that it saves time and money for the company.
- Patterned Interview
In this interview, the pattern of the interview is decided in advance. What kind of information is to be sought or given, how the interview is to be conducted, and how much time is to be allotted to it, all these are worked out in advance. In case interviewee drifts, he/she is swiftly guided back to the structured questions. Such interviews are also called standardised interviews.
- Depth Interview
As the term itself implies, depth interview tries to portray the interviewee in depth and detail. It, accordingly, covers the life history of the applicant along with his/her work experience, academic qualifications, health, attitude, interest, and hobbies. This method is particularly suitable for executive selection. Expectedly, depth interview involves more time and money in conducting it.
- Stress Interview
Such interviews are conducted for the jobs which are to be performed under stressful conditions. The objective of stress interview is to make deliberate attempts to create stressful or strained conditions for the interviewee to observe how the applicant behaves under stressful conditions.
The common methods used to induce stress include frequent interruptions, keeping silent for an extended period of time, asking too many questions at a time, making derogatory remarks about the candidate, accusing him that he is lying and so on. The purpose is to observe how the candidate behaves under the stressful conditions – whether he looses his temper, gets confused or frightened.
However, stress-inducing must be done very carefully by trained and skilled interviewer otherwise it may result in dangers. Emotionally charged candidates must not be subjected to further stressful conditions. The candidate should be given sufficient chance to cope with such induced stress before he leaves.
Limitations of Interview
- Interviewers may not have a clearly defined technique developed. This results in lack of validity in evaluation of the candidate.
- There is always variation in offering scoring points to the candidate by the interviewers.
- Interview can help judge the personality of the candidate but not his ability for the job.
- A single characteristic of the candidate found out on the basis of interview, may affect the judgment of the interviewer on other qualities of the applicant. This is called ‘halo effect’.
- The biases of interviewers may cloud the objectivity of interview.
- Finally, interview is a time consuming and expensive device of selection.