An unstructured interview is an informal chat where the interviewer will talk to interviewees about a broad range of issues. The purpose of the interview is to make the candidate feel comfortable and have a free flowing conversation. However in practice this form of interview is rarely used, as it is not effective in determining a candidate’s suitability. Group interview is commonly used, where an employer interviews a number of candidates together. It involves giving them a problem to solve to determine their communication and teamwork skills. The important issue is the group achieves their goal.
Observers may assess candidates through a number of factors such as contribution to discussion, leadership skills, reaction to other members and work ethic to achieve the group goal. To be successful the candidates should listen to others ideas and consider time factors. The disadvantage with group interviews is an applicant’s performance is often subject to influence of behaviour of peers. Performance interviews occur when a business wants to test performance on particular aspects. These interviews usually occur in sales related performance positions.
In some interviews tests are given for literacy, numerous, computing or driving. A presentation interview occurs where candidates prepare and deliver a presentation. Interviewers usually give candidates the opportunity to choose their own topic. Most presentations are between 5-10 minutes; candidates may use visual aids such as overheads, handouts or power point. A telephone interview is similar to a structured one however there is no face-to-face contact. This type of interview is very rarely used however some companies use it as an initial screening method to save time.
These interviews are brief and contain questions based on the selection criteria. After usually draw up a shortlist to arrange a structured, face-to-face interview. Bratton and Gold ( 2003) Interviews may not be suitable for all applicants due to a number of factors. Naturally, they get nervous and stressed affecting performance. Candidates may under perform due to shyness, mood, and lack of confidence. At group interviews candidates may feel intimidated as performance is subject to influence of behaviour of peers.
An interview alone is not suitable to judge whether or not a candidate is suitable as there is usually a time restraint therefore does not allow assessment of all key aspects of the position. The interview process is difficult to document in order to compare the suitability of candidates and assessment is subjective, judgement being based on individual’s opinions and experience. Some candidates may be excellent at tackling interviews however may not be so good at the job. It’s important to select candidates using a range of selection techniques instead of relying on just one.
Bratton and Gold ( 2003) On the other hand, interviews allow both parties to have interactive discussion to clarify any misunderstandings. Allowances can be made for individual’s underperformance when assessing. Interviews can be video recorded to allow reference back to stop the judgement being based on one individual’s opinion. Distance can be overcome by filtering through online aptitude tests or video conferencing. Psychometric tests may be used to test candidate’s honesty and commitment. Real situation interviews may be used to test technical ability.
Group assessment may reveal leadership qualities, teamwork /communication skills. Interviews may reveal weaknesses that can be overcome by specific training courses.
Bratton and Gold 2003, Human Resource Management Third Edition, published by Palgrave Macmillan Dave Hall, Rob Johns, Carlo Raffo, Lan Chambers and Dave Grey, (2004) Business Studies, Third Edition, British Library Cataloguing David Lines, Lan Marcouse ;Barry Martin (2000), The complete A-Z Business Studies handbook Third Edition, odder ; Stoughton Ian Marcouse(1999), Business Studies, Stoughton ; Sloughton