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What Types of Interviews Does Your Organization Conduct For New Hires?
Organizations conduct many different types of interviews throughout employees’ career journeys. From second interviews meant to learn more about the candidates who made a positive impression the first time you met them to exit interviews when an employee leaves, we have quite a varied menu of tools at our disposal. However, today’s focus is on those interview types that recruiters conduct to assess new candidates for hire. You probably know all of them, but it never hurts a quick reminder! So let’s see the most common types of job interviews we usually conduct when evaluating job applicants.
10 Types of Interviews Used for Hiring
As a rule of thumb, professional recruiters and hiring managers always combine interviews with other pre-employment assessment tools, all part of your customized hiring system. We have talked about such systems before, so we will focus on the most popular job interview types and their value in finding the talent you seek.
I. Job Interviews Types by Design
As we all know, when we meet candidates and prepare to have lengthy conversations with them, we can conduct three types of hiring interviews:
1. Structured Interviews
During a structured interview, the recruiter starts with a small chat to ease the candidate and then continues with a series of pre-defined questions. The recruiters use the same question list for all candidates. They note down answers related to job requirements, aptitudes, abilities, and assets the applicant can bring into the organization.
2. Unstructured Interviews
These interview types do not follow a scenario or question list. They resemble free-flowing conversations with the candidate. Recruiters choose things to talk about with the applicant based on the candidate’s resume or previous answers. Unlike structured interviews, unstructured ones represent a way to evaluate an individual’s organizational fit.
3. Semi-Structured Interviews
A semi-structured interview is a combination of the previously mentioned ones. It can start as a free-flowing conversation so the recruiter can get to know the candidate better. The discussion usually takes the shape of a friendly chat focusing on organizational culture, personality traits, etc. Next, the conversation can become more formal, with the recruiter asking the pre-determined questions.
All these job interview types have their pros and cons, similarities and differences. If you want to learn more about them, let us know, and we will offer them a dedicated guide!
II. Job Interview Types by Content
One of the first things to know is that the following types of interviews can take a structured, semi-structured, or unstructured form, although we advise against the last one. As you can probably figure out, behavioral interviews usually take a “looser” shape, one answer eliciting a cascade of subsequent questions and answer, often leading away from the main topic.
While you can embrace this practice from time to time, you need structured behavioral interviews as well. It is why some of the largest companies use candidate scorecards. Practice proved they boost recruiting performance significantly.
1. Competency-Based Job Interviews
A competency-based interview is a traditional type of structured interview focusing on the candidates’ job-specific skills, technical competencies, work experience, etc. If you remember our guide on conducting a project manager job interview, we gave a few examples of competency-based or job-related questions.
With this job interview type, we try to determine if a candidate is a good fit for our organization regarding specific job skills, knowledge, tool usage, experience, and so on.
2. Behavioral Job Interviews
We have talked about behavioral interviews and their questions many times before. Their purpose is to help us learn how a candidate managed specific situations in the past. When we conduct this interview type, we expect applicants to recount an anecdote and formulate a clear response. If a candidate uses the STAR Method to answer behavioral interview questions, it is all for the best. It means they did their homework and have the interviewing experience.
Behavioral interviews offer recruiters a lot of freedom with the structure and list of questions. We can focus on hot topics, such as teamwork, conflict management, leadership, client support, stress management, interpersonal skills, and more.
We should always make correlations between the candidates’ answers and their test results on personality & behavior tests.
3. Puzzle Interviews
The puzzle interview is the one we talked about when we offered you a short guide of tough questions to ask candidates. As we said, our purpose is not to learn how many pianos there are in New York but to learn more about candidates’ mental processes, problem-solving skills, and the ways they deal with a challenge.
4. The Case Interview
This interview type is a hybrid between a job-specific interview and a simulation. We offer candidates a business problem that they have to solve: “How can Company X increase double its profits in the next three years.” It is a highly specific interview type used mostly when we hire experts in various fields.
Organizations want candidates to show their skills, not simply tell about them. You assess business personality here, problem-solving skills, reasoning, technical knowledge, and more. Once a staple of hiring business consultants, investment bankers, financial officers, etc., now this interview form is present in tech companies, NGOs, marketing agencies, etc.
All these interview types have their pros and cons. Hiring managers usually conduct one or more of these types in the first session. Puzzle and case interviews have rigid structures, while behavioral and job-specific ones can sometimes take the shape of a semi-structured discussion.
III. Job Interview Types by Form of Organization
It is a given that some of the most successful interviews are the ones conducted face-to-face with the candidate in one-on-one discussions. However, times they are a-changing, to quote a famous song, we also have to adapt to our new reality. Moreover, some jobs and roles require the presence of more than just one recruiter. So let’s see the next different job interview types differentiated by how we organize and conduct them!
1. Phone Interviews
Phone interviews are becoming increasingly popular, given the circumstances. The good part is that you can use a structured or semi-structured format, mix in job-specific, behavioral, and even some quirky questions, note down the answers, and so on. The bad part is that you miss a lot from your interaction with the candidate. Phone interviews are for fast screening, but they are common practice.
Please take a look here at our guide on the best phone interview questions to ask applicants. However, before you pick up the phone, make sure you don’t unintentionally tap into illegal questions, as conversations over the phone are tricky.
2. Video Interviews
If we cannot see candidates in person and phone interviews don’t reveal all we need to learn, then video calls and conferences are the next best thing. They work very well, and we have plenty of technological means to make them happen. You might miss out on some non-verbal communication over the Internet, but they are here to stay.
3. Panel Interviews
Some companies sometimes conduct panel interviews where a candidate has to answer questions from a group of representatives. You can have hiring managers, executives, and even employees in such a panel. Of course, it is common sense to ask one question at a time and leave the candidate time to answer. We employ such tactics for highly sensitive positions in a company. Usually, the representatives have the task of asking specific job-related questions, behavioral and puzzle questions, etc.
We are sure you are familiar with all these types of interviews used for hiring new employees. Now it is time for you to share your opinions and experiences! What are the most common job interview types conducted in your organization? What do you think works best? Do you have some suggestions or advice for our recruiting community? We’d love to hear your thoughts on this matter!
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