An interview is a purposeful exchange of ideas, the answering of questions and communication between two or more persons. Generally, an interview is a process of private meeting conversation between people, where questions are asked and answered, for obtaining information about qualities, attitudes, prospectus etc.
An interview refers to a conversation with one or more persons acting as the role of an interviewer who ask questions and the person who answers the questions acts as the role of an interviewee.
The primary purpose of an interview is to transfer information from interviewee to interviewer. Interviews can be either formal or informal, structured or unstructured. Interviews can be carried out one-to-one or in groups; they can be conducted over telephone or via video conferencing.
There are different meanings of the word “interview”, as different scholars defined the term differently. However, interviews have some basic objectives, which are as follows−
Through interviews, recruiters can verify the information obtained through application forms and tests.
Recruiters can obtain additional information about the candidates which are not mentioned in the application forms or resumes.
Interviews provides an applicant the information and the necessary facts about the job and the organization.
Interviews establish a mutual understanding between the applicant and the organization.
Various researches have proved that organizations that spend more time on recruitment have benefitted greatly in long term. An important thing to do, when you are planning for an interview is to think, whom you are interviewing and what kind of information you want from that person. Hence, you should prepare a list of questions, which you want to ask, prior to conducting an interview.
Interviewing is both an art and a science. Hence, how to interview is a technique that every HR professional should learn and try to implement.
The following five P’s should be taken into consideration in order to ensure effective selection and interviewing −
Prepare − Preparation is the first step of conducting an interview. Prior to interview, the interviewer should make sure that he/she understands the key elements of the job. And the interviewer should go through the resume of the candidate for understanding his/her qualities and efficiencies
Purpose − The interviewer should have knowledge about the purpose of the interview, why he/she is conducting it. The interviewer should project the organization as the best place to work to the interviewee, which helps in selecting the right candidate.
Performance − An interviewer must identify the attitude, attributes, knowledge and skills of the applicants, who are needed for the success of the organization. If the requirement is about special education and technical skills, then hiring high-performing applicants plays an important role.
People Skills − The applicant, who comes for an interview, will not be completely transparent. Hence, it is the job of an interviewer to un-mask the applicant and discover the inner qualities and skills during the interview. This good practice of hiring will help in selecting the right candidate for the organization.
Process − Every interviewer should follow a structured interview process to get better results. A structured process of interview avoids bias and gives equal and fair chance to all the applicants. The best way for accomplishing this process is by using the behavioral based questions and situational questions.
An interview provides an organization the scope to learn more about the applicants, who come for an interview, while the applicants get an opportunity to become more familiar with the demands of a given position. Interviews enable both the parties to exchange information, ask questions and also help in evaluating the potential for establishing a professional working relationship with the organization.
Interviews help in gathering a wide range of information about the applicants’ attitude, feelings and motivations, which in turn help in the decision-making process to hire the right candidates.
The following points explain the importance of conducting interviews −
Interviews help in selecting the right candidate from a group of applicants, who applied for a job.
Interviews are a medium to help collect useful information about potential candidates.
Information given in the application form or resume is very less. Recruiters can ask the candidates to provide an elaborate explanation during the interview.
A good interviewer gives good impression about the organization, which in turn increases the goodwill of the organization.
Interviews also help in promotions and transfers of the candidates, as per the requirements of the organization.
Interviewing candidates is the final stage in the recruitment process. Hence, to find the right person for a specific position, there should be a proper process, that has to be followed for the right results.
An ideal interview process for selecting the right candidates is as follows −
Determine the requirements of the job. Conduct a thorough job analysis.
Prepare a specific job description and a job specification.
Make a plan − how and where to find qualified candidates.
Collect and review applications and resumes and from them, select the most potential and qualified candidates for further proceedings.
Interview the shortlisted candidates based upon the job description and specification.
Verify the candidates’ background with the references provided by them.
Following such an interview process, the HR department can hire the best possible candidates for a vacant job position.