Different Methods of Interview

Interview is the formal verbal interaction between interviewer (employer) and the interviewee (candidate), held in order to gain as much information as possible about the interviewee. It is an opportunity for both the interviewer and the interviewee to determine whether the candidate or the post is suitable or not.

An interview is usually set to extract general information like background, experience, achievements, etc about the candidate. Such general information could be easily gathered by interviewing candidates in traditional method. However, researches have shown that traditional interview is only 10% predictive about candidate's response in future job situation.Therefore, modern and structured methods of interview have been designed to examine candidates in depth. Such structured interviews are briefly described below.

1. Behavioral Interview

Behavioral interview is a popular mode of interviewing candidates for job. It is a technique set up by the interviewers to know how a candidate conducts himself / herself in situations that are probable to rise in future. This method of interview is also used to analyze one’s behavior towards others.

During such interview, a hypothetical situation is given to the candidates by the employer and is asked to describe in detail about their response. When candidates starts telling their behavioral story, the interviewer thoroughly examines their statement and identifies a candidate’s specific behavior(s), skills, experiences and abilities.

Aspects assessed by the interviewer during behavioral interview

  • Self-confidence
  • Professionalism
  • Critical thinking
  • Tactfulness
  • Initiativeness

2. Apprentice Interview

apprentice interview

Some companies which are searching for technical employees such as engineers, writers, etc might adopt apprentice interview to evaluate a candidate. It is a technique to analyze whether the candidate can perform their assigned job or not. During such interview, the candidate may be asked to accomplish an actual task.

The trick here is that the interviewers won’t guide the candidate but will allow them to complete the task on their own. This way, the interviewer will not only examine the ability and skill of candidate, but the candidate has a great chance to shine.

3. Puzzle Interview

Software companies like Google, Microsoft, Facebook, etc are excellent examples of companies which have adopted puzzle interview as their interviewing policy. Such interview is designed for interviewing technical employees like programmers, software engineers, etc. The company evaluates performance and determines the problem solving ability and skills on the basis of time taken by the candidate to solve the problem.

However, the companies have also admitted that puzzle solving ability does not fully determine a candidate’s future performance.  

Some examples of puzzle questions are

“How many people are using Facebook in San Francisco at 2:30 PM on Friday?”

“Three ants are sitting at the three corners of an equilateral triangle. Each ant starts randomly picks a direction and starts to move along the edge of the triangle. What is the probability that none of the collide?”

4. Stress Interview

stressful workplace

Anybody would try to avoid stress but stress interview is inevitable. Stress interview is a type of interview which is set to extract answers from interviewee under pressure or stressed condition. Such interviews may be callous or provocative in nature in a sense that interviewer may show less interest or hostile behavior to the candidate.

For example, the interviewer might answer a call, sigh repeatedly, interrupt candidate while answering, etc that might force a candidate to be defensive. Interviewers may get personal as well and might ask questions that are really hard to deal with.

This interview is useful in predicting how much job stress, workload and workplace conflicts can a candidate handle.

5. Case Interview

Case interview is one of the widely used methods of interview in which interviewers provide a case or problem to interviewee to solve. This method of interviewing is usually applied while hiring consultants or employees for investment banks.

At the end of such interview, the interviewer comes up with a thorough report on verbal reasoning skill, presentation and communication skill, commercial awareness  and business skills of the candidate. A case interview can be held singly or in group of candidates. When a case interview is held in group, the interviewer also assesses characteristics like leadership, initiative, self-confidence and persuasiveness. Any interviewer would expect qualities like leadership and persuasiveness but dominating nature is negatively marked.

6. Impromptu Interview

impromptu interview

Every candidate prepares oneself before attending any interview. But impromptu interview is completely different than rest of the interviews. It is the only interview which is unplanned or unprepared.

Usually, such interviews are faced by the interviewee while visiting career fair or other events as a process of job hunt. Companies which take part in career fair at first designs attractive prospectus so that people who visit the fair would read it and and come for interview.  Companies also manage adequate number of interviewers so that prospective candidates are interviewed in a large number. Impromptu interview can also be held informally. For an instance, at dinner at friends’ or relatives’ where their boss are invited.