What Is an Interview? – Types of Interview


There are numerous definitions for what interviews are. We will discuss what is Formal Interview in this article. If you’re not careful, you confuse yourself and start berating yourself about your decision to use a search engine or a dictionary to find out what it means. So you applied for a job, an internship position, or you are a student seeking admission, and you open your mail to see “invitation to interview.” Sounds like you?  Well, you don’t need to fret; it’s one of those stages that need to happen before you are guaranteed a spot as a worker, intern, or student. It can also mean different things to a job seeker and a person looking to hire. Funny as it may sound, job seekers see it as one of the mountains they have to surmount for them to get what they want. While a person who wants to hire – hiring manager – sees it as an avenue to know the person behind the CV or resume – their attitudes, temperament, qualifications, skills, and many other things that a resume and an email would have masked about the potential employee. So how do we define Interviews?

Definition of Interview

An interview is an organized conversation between two parties – someone or a group of people looking to hire and seeking a position. Usually, interviews happen between a company/business, whether it is a large, medium, or small scale enterprise. The two parties sit down together to have an in-depth conversation to determine if an individual is fit for the position they have applied to; this is more than a definition, but put, an interview is an organized and comprehensive conversation between two parties to determine if the person being interviewed is a fit for the Interview. All interviews are organized and not formal because it brings about some particular aesthetics that we would discuss when it is formal.

Purpose of an Interview

I have highlighted some of the reasons people set up interviews, but we would elaborate on them here. There are avenues where you would be interviewed, and some of these avenues are:

  1. Academic Avenues: some schools require you to sit down and be interviewed by the admission officers before guaranteed admission into the school. Some schools still do this while some others don’t anymore.

  2. Business Avenues: business owners and even the government require you to pass an interview stage before moving to the next step of consideration for the position. Businesses and enterprises as little as a coffee shop or a book stand would conduct different types of Interview to find out who their potential employee is and if they are fit for the job they are applying for in terms of their qualifications, skills, and other requirements of the job.

  3. Promotion Avenues: this is quite explanatory. Anyone who qualifies for promotion must be interviewed to ensure they are fit for the new position and ready to take on the mantle.

  4. Evaluation Avenues: This happens when an organization or its management wants to get information about the performance of its workers. The direction interviews them one after the other with questions about their work and what they have achieved.

  5. Disciplinary Avenues: this only happens when misconduct has been recorded. The management is trying to determine what caused it, if it happened, and the next step in addressing the misconduct.

The purpose of an interview is divided into two categories.

  1. How is it essential to the company and its hiring manager? And;
  2. How is it essential to the Person to be interviewed?

How is it Important to the Company and Its Hiring Manager?

  1. Do you have what it takes to do the work: the hiring manager would have interactive questions based on the qualifications and the skills you possess that would allow you to do the job efficiently and effectively.
  2. How well does the position suit you: they ask questions about teamwork and your ability to cope with other people in a work environment to determine if you would fit in with the other employees.
  3. Are you going to do the work: questions about your readiness and willingness to steer the company forward would be thrown at you.

How is it Important to the Person to be Interviewed?

  1. It allows you to talk about your experience and describe your skills. It will enable you to open yourself up and show what you do and how it can benefit the company even if they can’t see it yet.
  2. Allows you to show how your interests align with the country’s interests and how your skills are the best to go with it.
  3. It allows you to know the structure of the organization as well. This gives you a chance to get to know the organization and a good fit for you.

Earlier I mentioned that businesses and enterprises would conduct different interviews to determine if a candidate is a good fit. So what are these different types of interviews?

Types of Interviews

Generally, there are two basic types of interviews, and these primary interviews have different branches to form different other kinds of discussions. The basic types of Interview are:

  1. Informal Interview:
    • This type of interview hasn’t taken any form of structure, and it can happen anywhere in the world. People have conducted interviews by inviting people to dinners, lunch dates, and many other places that don’t show the structure of an organization. Informal interviews are also called unstructured interviews because it doesn’t have a laid-out design of questions, it is primarily conversational. Some of the examples of these interviews are
      • Lunch Interviews
      • Dinner Interviews 
      • Tea Interviews
      • Ice Cream Interviews
    • These kinds of interviews get their names from the places where they happen. Still, they are also very unique in that their duration is always concise because the amount of concentration in these places is always low. Hence, the interviewer only focuses on getting to know about the candidate and nothing more.

  2. Formal Interview
    • These are interviews in more organized, more structured environments, usually in the official office space of the organizations. There are also various types of formal interviews which are:
      • Personal Interviews: also known as the one-on-one Interview. This is an interview that involves just two people, the interviewer and the interviewee (the person being interviewed.)
      • Group Interview: here, several candidates are interviewed at the same time. They do this by giving them topics for discussion and are then assessed based on theirs.
      • Structured Interview: this is the most formal type of formal Interview. It deals with creating a structure of questions that are used for all the candidates. Sometimes it has been used as a synonym for formal interviews because it is the most standard type.
      • Behavior-Based Interview: these are interviews that are meant for analyzing the candidate’s abilities that are up for consideration based on their previous experiences and work history.
      • Problem or Task Solving Interview: this deals with giving the interviewee question or tasks to be completed; it could involve a checklist, questioners, or just plainly writing an essay. Problem-solving and behavior-based Interviews are used together with some other types of formal Interviews to assess a candidate accurately.
    • Formal Interview is the most popular Interview in the world, and the different types under it are used together to get the maximum effect.
What Is an Interview? – Types of Interview

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