You have put out an advertisement for an open job position and have screened through hundreds of applications. Some of them were qualified for the job and had the experience, but you are yet to make a final decision. Common concerns such as the fitting in with the work culture, salary discussions and future appraisals run through your mind as you prepare yourself to schedule an interview later in the week.
Though interviews are usually seen as a candidate’s examination of getting the job, they can be equally stressful for the recruiter. Every candidate and hiring manager come with their sets of demands, which make it challenging to predict and execute effective interviews.
In the course of your recruiting career, you should be familiar with the six types of interview as part of the hiring process. You should prepare for each type, and we are ready to assist you with simple techniques that would contribute to an efficient interview process. Each type of interview is suited for a particular candidate, recruitment stage, employer, business and the industry. Depending on what is best for your organisation and the kind of open job position advertised, here is what you need to know about recruiting candidates with the right interview process:
1. Individual interviews
Individual interviews are by far the most common, practical and efficient forms of interviewing. They allow the recruiter and applicant to know each other on a personal level, leading to organic conversations. Usually reserved for when the employer is serious about a particular candidate, they are held at the workplace itself. Brief the interviewers about multiple candidates and build a standard to select the right person for the job.
As a hiring manager, you can check their body language as you have a real conversation with each other. Though there is no ideal duration time for an interview, an engaging one usually lasts between forty-five minutes and an hour.
- You can ask questions about the candidate’s CV and gauge their interest in the open position
- You can build a rapport with them
- Suitable if you have already interacted over the phone or video
- You can assess the candidate’s commitment through their answers and body language
- Face-to-face interviews are time-consuming and expensive
- Only a seasoned recruiter can point out the signs of an interested candidate
- Interview bias can influence your decision
- There is nobody to evaluate the recruiter’s performance
2. Telephone interview
Telephonic interviews are a second ideal procedure for recruiting candidates, as they are quick and convenient and let you know if the candidate is suitable for the job. You can only know so much from a CV, and a candidate’s direct answers on the call would supplement their achievements as put on paper.
These types of interviews are suited for a larger number of candidates, open positions involving telephonic communication and lack of time in the recruitment process. They are especially preferable for out-of-station candidates, as you can call them for a face-to-face interview after you have found them suitable. Also, it presents a more objective portrayal of them as you cannot see them through the phone.
Generally, a decent telephonic conversation should last about half an hour with a five-minute warm-up time. It is considered to be a good sign if a potential candidate keeps you engaged for more than thirty minutes.
- You can filter out the weaker candidates at the beginning
- It is faster, cheaper and less hectic than a personal interview
- You can evaluate candidates in remote locations
- Possible interruptions such as background noises, other calls and poor network
- More likelihood of scheduling an interview outside working hours
- Difficulty in evaluating the candidate’s body language
- Challenging to build a rapport
3. Video interviews
Of course, a video interview is an excellent alternative to telephonic interviews – think, FaceTime, Google Hangouts or Skype. Contrary to the previous option, the employer and candidate can see one another, which adds professionalism and weight to the conversation. They are helpful when you have to interview candidates in remote locations and need to make a quick decision in time. Smartphones and tablets make the interview procedure flexible, but personal computers are better for group interviews.
One-way video interviews involve candidates answering questions on video after preparation, while two-way video interviews work with both the employee and candidates conversing live. The former allows candidates to perform effectively, and employers can watch and analyse them in their time and convenience. On the other hand, though two-way interviews need coordination, they give an insight as to how the candidate responds to real-time questions in a personalised manner.
The duration of a video interview can vary from half an hour to an hour. However, you might face similar issues as with telephonic interviews – poor internet connection, weak signal and background noises.
- It is faster, cheaper and less hectic for the recruiter and candidate
- Ease in assessing candidates in remote locations
- You can filter out weaker candidates at the beginning
- You can check for a genuine interest in the position
- Possible interruptions due to poor internet connection, background noises and weak signal
- Difficult to understand body language
- Challenging to form a rapport
- Need to look attentive, professional and spontaneous
4. Group interviews
Though rather unheard of in most cases, group interviews are used for recruiting candidates as well. They work in two ways – you can ask the same questions as in a personal interview but to the whole group. Candidates would compete to give the answer, which would be followed by group activities. This is one of the ideal types of interview if teamwork, response to stress and competition are essential to the open position.
Ideally, group interviews last between forty-five minutes and one hour. On the other hand, when combined with group activities, they take more time to organise and execute.
- You can evaluate teamwork, interpersonal and competitive skills among candidates
- It is faster and generates spontaneous answers
- You can assess all the candidates at a time
- Slightly more pressure on the individual
- Would be unsuitable for some candidates
- Difficult to bond with candidates, especially those who work individually
- Challenging to manage multiple candidates
- Requires more staff
- Dominant/louder personalities would suppress others
5. Panel interviews
Contrary to group interviews, panel interviews involve recruiters from your organisation interviewing a single candidate. Commonly seen at college placements, these types of interviews can be in-person or video interviews. Recruiters can get responses directly from the candidate directly, but the answers can be difficult to measure on a single scale.
Each recruiter has a different style of taking an interview. Hence, prepare questions beforehand to fulfil a particular aim in mind. One of the major objectives of panel interviews is that recruiters can form an objective opinion of the candidate by noticing different strengths, weaknesses and characteristics. This type of interview is especially important, if the appointed person will report to several people or if the open position is for an advanced role or as an ending stage of the hiring process.
Panel interviews usually last around forty-five minutes, which helps you decide if the candidate is suitable for the position.
- Less chance of personal discrimination
- Possibility for in-depth discussions
- Opportunity to compare opinions and make notes
- The recruitment team can make a decision
- Less experienced interviewers shall get support
- The candidate can get to meet relevant seniors
- Interviewers can get complacent
- Possible interruptions and disagreement
- Candidates could get overwhelmed
6. Assessment days
Similar to examinations, assessments are used to evaluate huge groups of candidates at a time, to test them for certain skills. Commonly used for graduate employers, such types of interviews are ideal for assessing candidates with no work experience. They are hosted on a particular day or throughout the week as a first step of the recruitment process.
- Examine several skills at once
- Minimal legal risks
- More time to know the candidates
- Brings on the competition
- Interview all the candidates in a day
- Promote spontaneous answers
- Difficult to effectively execute the strategy
- Need for focus and extra staff
- Difficult to form a rapport with candidates
- Undue pressure on some candidates
- Dominant personalities can suppress others
- Chances of neglect
Examples of assessment interviews include individual interviews, group activity, presentations, case studies, psychometric tests and social tests.
Ultimately, there is no one perfect way to recruit an ideal candidate. The best way to learn is to explore your options and choose the type of interview that suits the hiring manager, enterprise and candidate. With a well-planned interview process, you will present a great first impression to your candidates from the beginning itself. Therefore, you can work your way to a fulfilling interview and recruit potential talent.