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Effective Interview Techniques: Advantages and Disadvantages of Various Interview Approaches

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The interview is one of the most important steps in the talent acquisition process. Here you can determine whether an applicant is a good fit for your company and the position to be filled or not. But how do you ensure you have an effective conversation?

A personal conversation with an applicant is not the only option for an interview. There are a number of different interview techniques, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. Today we will briefly discuss each one.

Before we do that, however, there are some caveats. First, we will not discuss informational interviews, as this technique is primarily respondent-focused. Second, we will focus on interview techniques rather than interview formats - for the most part, the interview types discussed here can be applied equally to in-person, virtual, and telephone interviews.

After that has been clarified, the advantages and disadvantages of the individual forms of conversation follow.

1.Panel interviews

In a panel interview there is more than one interviewer. Typically, the committee consists of the hiring manager and several decision makers related to the position being filled. Although they are occasionally led by a single person, they are usually a group effort.

Advantages of panel interviews:
  • Each interviewer may cover a different aspect of the applicant assessment.
  • Diverse interview groups reduce the likelihood of a hiring being influenced by personal bias.
  • Candidates gain a more complete picture of the company and its culture as they meet multiple decision makers.
  • For positions that require multiple interviews, this technique can save time by concentrating the interviews.
Disadvantages of panel interviews:
  • One person can dominate the conversation, meaning others don't get a say.
  • Panel interviews can be intimidating for potential applicants.
  • Because more people are involved, they are more difficult to coordinate and plan.
  • It can lead to a decrease in overall productivity as several managers are away from their usual workplace.

2. Personal interviews

The one-to-one conversation is one of the most proven and simplest methods. The applicant meets with a single interviewer, typically for up to an hour, during which they are asked a series of questions about their background, experience and what they will bring to the new position.

Advantages of one-on-one meetings:
  • More efficient than other forms.
  • Extremely flexible - the interviewer can conduct the interview at their own discretion.
  • They are usually cost-effective because they do not require the participation of many participants.
Disadvantages of one-on-one meetings:
  • They are susceptible to individual bias.
  • It can be difficult for an inexperienced interviewer to get an accurate assessment.
  • Not well-suited to a hiring process that requires input from multiple stakeholders.

3.Competency-based interviews

A competency-based interview consists of a structured series of questions designed to determine whether or not an applicant has the skills required for a job.

Advantages of competency-based interviews:
  • Allows interviewers to directly evaluate applicants based on their skills.
  • Reduces personal bias through objective comparisons.
Disadvantages of Competency Based Interviews:
  • Can make it difficult to get to know an applicant on a personal level.
  • Often overemphasizes previous achievements.
  • May favor candidates who overstate their own performance while presenting an unnecessary challenge to those who do not have great self-confidence.

4.Technical interviews

Technical interviews are similar to competency-based interviews in that they measure an applicant's knowledge and skills. The main difference is that technical interviews are more focused on solving problems. Instead of answering questions, applicants may be required to complete a task, an assessment, or a series of tasks.

Advantages of Technical Interviews:
  • They can be easily automated.
  • Removes human bias from the interview process.
  • Can easily be combined with other interview types to achieve a more comprehensive and holistic approach.
Disadvantages of Technical Interviews:
  • They generally do not take into account real-world environments and scenarios.
  • They are only suitable for certain industries and functions (IT, technology, software development, design, etc.).

5. Behavioral-based interviews

A behavioral interview is like a less structured competency-based interview. It is intended to help a company assess an applicant based on their personality in a professional context - how they think, act and react.

Advantages of behavioral interviews:
  • More convenient and accessible for applicants.
  • Allows interviewers to get a better idea of the applicant's personality.
  • Helps determine whether an applicant is a good cultural fit for a company.
Disadvantages of behavioral interviews:
  • Requires a lot of time for training and preparation of the interviewers.
  • Candidates can easily prepare in advance, which can affect the authenticity of the interview.
  • The questions are very detailed and open-ended, which can make the conversation last much longer.

6. Group interview

While a panel interview consists of several interviewers, a group interview usually involves several applicants being interviewed by a single interviewer.

Advantages of group interviews:
  • Efficient because multiple applicants can be assessed at the same time.
  • Interviewers can see which candidates work well with others.
  • They provide information about who fits well into the company culture.
  • Shows who works well under stress.
Disadvantages of group interviews:
  • A sense of competition can arise, affecting the accuracy of the interview process.
  • It can easily happen that you lose control of the conversation.
  • Certain candidates can dominate the conversation even though they are less qualified.
  • The questions you can ask are limited.

7. Assessment days

An assessment day is a multi-stage, very complex interview process with several interview partners and candidates. It usually consists of a series of exercises, tasks and presentations, which often ends with a conversation.

Advantages of assessment days:
  • Allows for a more accurate and reliable assessment of applicants.
  • Distinguishes between similar candidates.
  • Gives applicants an insight into the company and the position.
  • Allows interviewers to assess employee performance “in the wild.”
Disadvantages of assessment days:
  • Costly and time consuming.
  • May deter applicants with less dominant personalities who may feel oppressed or overlooked.
  • Incredibly challenging to execute as it requires extensive training and expertise.

Ultimately, there is no universal “best” interview style. Each has its own pros and cons, and an interview that works in one scenario may not work in another. The best advice we can give you is to choose the technique that gives you the most comprehensive picture of each applicant's skills, abilities and personality. Remember that you don't have to choose just one style.

Did you know that IceHrm recruitment module lets you schedule interviews with candidates with just a few seconds?

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