You have posted your open role, screened resumes, and narrowed down applications to a qualified pool of candidates.  Now it’s time to schedule interviews.  What type of interview and style should you use?  Below are some interview styles to consider before meeting with the candidate.  Knowing ahead of time how you want to conduct the interview will improve your ability to find the best fit in the most efficient manner.  Remember, your time as the interviewer is valuable, but so is the time of the interviewee.

Interview Type

  • Video/Skype
  • In person
  • Lunch interview
  • Panel

Interview Style

  • Structured – A structured interview is a more formal type of meeting. It can take place as a one-on-one interview or a panel interview.  Many times, it kicks off with an “icebreaker,” likely a more light, open ended question.  Following the introduction, the interviewer will give some insight into the company, its history, and a more depth explanation of the role.  Lastly, the interviewer will ask some pre-determined questions.  The benefits of a structured interview is that it allows the interviewer to stay on task with a set agenda.  However, a structured interview may not always give the best insight into how a candidate will handle the day-to-day tasks of the role.
  • Unstructured – An unstructured interview is one with a more conversational approach. The interviewer will likely ask open ended questions.  With this type of interview, it is easy to get off track so the interviewer needs to take extra care to keep the conversation on point.
  • Behavior based – This type of interview focuses on asking interviewees about past experiences. Phrases such as “tell me about a time when” and “how did you handle”, are common with this approach.  This type of interview has become popular as many interviewers believe it gives good insight into how a candidate will handle a situation based on past experience.

Written By: Karen House