An interview is a procedure designed to obtain information from a person through oral responses to oral inquires; a selection interview, which we will focus on in this article is â€œa selection procedure designed to predict future job performance on the basis of applicantsâ€™ oral responses to oral inquires.
The interview is only one of several selection tools. The interview is also by far the most widely used personnel selection procedure; for instance, one study of 852 employers found that 99% used interviews for employee selection. The point is that while not all companies use tests, assessment centers, or even reference check, it would be highly unusual for a manager not to interview a prospective a prospective employee. Interviewing is thus an indispensable management tool.
As weâ€™ll see below, experts have criticized the interview for its low validity. However, recent reviews have been more favorable and an interview at least one done properly can be a much better predictor of performance than previously thought and is comparable with many other selection techniques.
Managers use several types of interviews in the work setting. For example, there are selection, appraisal, and exit interviews. An appraisal interview is a discussion, following a performance appraisal, in which supervisor and employee discuss the employees rating and possible remedial actions. When an employee leaves a firm for any reason, HR often conducts an exit interview. This interview aims at eliciting information about the job or related matters that might give the employer leaves a firm for any reason, HR often conducts an exit interview. However, weâ€™ll postpone a complete explanation of these types of interviews, respectively, so we can focus here on selection interviews. We can classify selection interviews according to (1) how structured they are, (2) their â€œcontentâ€ the types of questions they contain and (3) how the firm administers the interviews.
Structured versus unstructured interviews:
In unstructured or non directive interviews, there is generally no set format to follow, so 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. Interviewers for the same job may or may not get the same or similar questions. A few questions might be specified in advance, but theyâ€™re usually not, and there is seldom a formal guide for scoring answers. This type of interview could even be described as little more than a general conversation.
On the other hand, in structured or directive interviews, the question and acceptable response are specified in advance and the responses are rated for appropriateness of content. Mc Murrays patterned interview was one early example. The interviewer followed a printed form to ask a series of questions; such as â€œHow was the personâ€™s present job obtained?â€ comments printed beneath the questions then guide the interviewer in evaluating the answers.
In practice, not all structured interviews go so far as to specify acceptable answers. Some are more structured than others, in other words.
Structured and non-structured interviews each have pros and cons. In structured interviews, all interviewers generally ask all applicants the same questions; partly because of this, these interviews tend to be more reliable and valid. Structured interviewers can also help those may be less to be more reliable and valid. Structured interviews can also help those who may be less comfortable doing interviews to conduct better interviews. Standardizing the administration of the interview also increases consistency across candidates, enhances job relatedness, reduces overall subjectivity (and thus the potential for bias) and may enhance the ability to withstand legal challenge. On the other hand, structured interviews donâ€™t always provide enough opportunity to pursue points of interest as they develop.