Which Type of Interview Is Best for Your Company?

3 min read · 7 years ago


As technology and the hiring process evolve and become more personalized, companies are developing more unique strategies to fill their talent needs. One such strategy revolves around interviews: Jobvite’s 2015 survey of more than 2,000 job seekers found that companies are using a variety of methods to communicate with candidates.

Related: How to Conduct an Interview Effectively

From the traditional phone interview, to video interviews and the more casual lunch interview, each type serves a purpose. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to hiring talent, and hiring strategies vary depending on the needs of the employer.

Here’s a breakdown of the many interview formats and how they can meet different needs:

1. In-person interview

The traditional in-person interview is still the type most commonly used during the hiring process. Among job seekers surveyed by Jobvite, 61 percent have experienced the face-to-face interview.

Bringing each candidate in, however, can be time-consuming and present scheduling conflicts on both ends. As a result, face-to-face interviews are best for companies with a smaller pool of applicants and positions where only one person needs to conduct the interview.

2. Phone interview

Phone interviews allow employers to quickly screen and cut down a long list of candidates. They are easier to schedule than in-person interviews and are usually more brief.

During the conversation, candidates clarify any questions the interviewer might have about their resume or experience. The interviewer can also explain the position in greater detail to gauge a candidate’s interest before bringing him or her in for an in-person interview.

Phone interviews are the best option for larger companies with a high volume of applicants. Employers can quickly whittle down their list of potential hires and get basic questions out of the way before investing more time and energy in a candidate.

Related: 7 Interview Questions To Help You Hire Superstars

3. Capability test interview

Determining hard skills can be difficult during the hiring process. Employers largely base their decisions on what the applicant tells them, and many job seekers stretch the truth to get the job.

In a survey of more than 2,000 U.S. hiring managers and human resources professionals conducted by CareerBuilder in May and June 2014, 58 percent said they had caught job seekers lying on resumes – embellished skills being the most common lie employers found.

What can employers do? Consider using capability tests within the interview process when hiring employees for a specific skill set.

4. Lunch or drinks interview

An interview over lunch or drinks is both practical and personal. Employers can save time and eliminate scheduling conflicts because they use the lunch hour (or happy hour) instead of office time.

These interviews are also less formal than traditional interviews, so candidates may feel more comfortable opening up and showing their personalities. Employers can choose to conduct the interview discretely or bring the existing team along to determine how the candidate will fit in and work with everyone.

An interview over lunch or drinks further helps companies that place high value on company culture and team dynamics. This type of interview can also help select candidates who will perform well when interacting with clients or representing the company at industry or other key events.

5. Panel interview

A panel interview gathers multiple executives and managers to interview one candidate as a group. Using a panel can help to speed up the hiring process and be more convenient for the candidate – instead of coming back for several rounds of interviews with different people, this individual can have one interview and be done with the process.

With multiple people giving their opinions afterward, the panel interview can also help to eliminate bias and choose the best candidate for the position.

Panel interviews often best serve startups or other small companies with multiple hands-on founders or executives. For startups especially, choosing the right candidate for a small or new team is critical.

However, these interviews are probably not the best option for those who hire a high volume of entry-level employees, as they can be overwhelming and may scare off fresh talent.

Related: 25 Wacky Interview Questions That Work

6. Video

Video interviews are newer to the hiring game, and most candidates are less comfortable on video than they are in person.

Among nearly 400 global job seekers surveyed by Software Advice for a 2015 report, 67 percent of those who had never experienced a video interview said they preferred a phone interview. However, 47 percent of those who had experienced a video interview said they preferred the method over phone interviews.

Video interviews allow companies to avoid scheduling conflicts but are less familiar to most job seekers. This type of interview may be best for companies with a remote, telecommuting or freelancing workforce, as it will allow them to interview any candidate from anywhere with a more face-to-face feel than a phone interview.

Which interview format does your company use? How does it meet your needs? Let us know in the comments section below.

Related: 8 Clumsy Mistakes to Avoid During the Hiring Process

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