Interviewing is one of the most crucial parts of the recruiting process. Understanding the art of conducting interviews can make the hiring process smoother and help you hire suitable candidates. There are many types of interviews, each suitable for different occasions. For example, the interview style may differ by career field, the position's seniority, and the interviewer's skillset. 

This article will help you understand the different interviewing styles and the best scenarios to use them.

What are the Different Interviewing Styles?

The interviewing style you should use should depend on the role and your skillset. Using the right interviewing technique can help you make more informed hiring decisions. Here are the three most common styles of conducting interviews:

1. The Conversational Interview

The most common interviewing style is conversational. This is a form of an unstructured and informal interview where interviewers skim through participants’ CVs and ask questions in an ad-hoc manner rather than referring to a pre-set question bank. The benefit of the conversational style is that it puts candidates at ease and can help them open up about their experiences and reveal their personality traits. 

The conversational style of interviewing is not without limitations. Hiring managers should avoid relying on them as a predictive tool of candidates’ performance as conversational interviews have lower predictive validity than structured interviews. Instead, you can ask candidates to take an aptitude test for better reliability and combine these scores with an interview to understand the candidate’s character and values.

Another way to improve your conversational interviews is to prepare questions, even if the tone is informal. Having standardized interviews allows you to assess the quality of answers you receive and compare candidates objectively. FloCareer’s interview structuring solutions can help you create a unique and relevant question bank, helping you conduct consistent and bias-free interviews.

2. The Direct Interview

During direct interviews, the hiring manager presents candidates with straightforward questions. Direct interviews involve more structure than the conversational interview style and they may even lead to interview anxiety. 

However, the direct interview also has many perks , e.g., interviewees will be unlikely to veer off-topic as the interview is timed and focused. These interviews are also suitable for assessing the candidate's character, skills, area of interest, and attitudes.

The Direct Interview


How to make the most of direct interviews? 

The biggest drawback of this interview is that it makes interviewees nervous. This anxiety can show up in their interview as them blanking out on responses, general rigidity, and not getting enough room to voice their thoughts. 

To prevent this, interviewers should choose open-ended questions which give candidates enough room to share their insights and experiences without feeling cornered. In addition, if you seek candidates with specific skills, you can give your candidates an opportunity to demonstrate their skills.

Seeing how well applicants answer situational questions — questions asking how they would respond to a hypothetical scenario — is predictive of their job performance. Finally, going for ‘past behavioral’ questions, which sound like ‘Tell me about a time when…’, are also strongly predictive measures.

These measures asked through open-ended questions will likely make for a robust direct interview assessment for your next hire.

3. The Behavioral Interview

As findings from the behavioral school of psychology made their way into the workforce in the 1970s, the outcome was the behavioral interview of today. This style analyzes a candidate’s past performance more precisely than asking a few questions. 

So, instead of asking what candidates would do in specific scenarios, behavioral interviews try to revisit situations candidates found themselves in and, more importantly, what they did to make the most of those scenarios.

The Behavioral Interview


Such interviews go into detail to assess the course of action taken by the individual and the insights they gleaned from the situation. Behavioral interview questions might also probe the emotional state of candidates, especially during a stressful work situation. 

Based on how candidates evaluate their performance, the interviewer can understand their efficacy in managing stressful situations or circumstances requiring skills like creativity, problem-solving, or critical thinking. 

How to make the most of behavioral interviews:

Ensure that you design questions to deal with the issues presented by the situation rather than confuse the applicant. Listening skills are essential to know when to probe deeper into an applicant’s retelling. 

Asking questions like ‘what made you do that?’, ‘how did you get around that problem?’ and ‘what was going through your mind?’ can help you get more insight from the responses candidates give. You can also delve into bad situations to gauge whether candidates have reflected on what they could've done better. 

4. The Structured Interview

A structured interview is a standardized and objective interview format where each application is asked the same set of questions in the same order. The candidate’s responses are then evaluated using a predetermined scale, allowing the hiring manager to compare applicants with each other in an unbiased way. 

There are many benefits of the structured interview: asking structured questions related to a candidate’s background  is predictive of the candidate’s job performance. In addition, by streamlining the recruitment efforts, they help hiring managers save time spent preparing for each interview. Moreover, since they reduce unconscious hiring bias, they can help businesses create more diverse teams.

How to make the most of structured interviews:

Creating an appropriate interview structure is key to evaluating candidates successfully. FloCareers’s army of over 3,000 freelance interviews uses analytics and insights to create the right question bank for your team to use. Moreover, FloCareer’s Live Interview Platform lets you incorporate coding assessments and scenario-based tests into the interview process, helping you evaluate the applicant’s skills and find the best hire.

5. Technical Assessment

What better way to judge an applicant than by seeing them in action, right? While all the other techniques take care of the cultural and behavioral fit, it’s crucial to also see their coding ability live. This also allows you to test for logic and to see whether they are up to date with the newest coding practices.

Our interview as a software service helps you integrate technical assessments as part of your recruiting process. We’ve a large database of technical questions that we ask candidates and they’re expected to either write down or whiteboard the solution. If you prefer, we also allow you to use an integrated development environment as part of the tests.

Conducting Effective Interviews With FloCareer

The interviewing style that works for one person might not work for another, so testing the different types can help you understand what works for you. Note that interview styles can vary based on the roles you are hiring for. 

Ensure that you aren’t forcing any styles to fit a situation; instead, pick the style according to the situation. Some interviewers might find that blending all the styles works best for them.

Assessing skills fairly and transparently is a crucial component of good interviewing, and FloCareer has the best tools to help you do this. From interview structure curation to the live interview platform, our products and solutions enable you to make better hires effectively and efficiently.