The past year has witnessed massive volatility in the job market. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, a record 47.8 million employees quit their jobs in 2021– a sharp increase of 12 million from the previous year.
This era is now called The Great Resignation, an unprecedented mass exodus from the workforce. A Harvard Business Review article argues this is not a short-term disturbance due to the pandemic; rather, the resignation trend has been ongoing for years.
According to a PwC survey, one in five respondents said: “they are extremely or very likely to switch employers.” Additionally, “Retaining these employees will require more than just pay; fulfilling work and the opportunity to be one’s authentic self at work also matter to employees who are considering a job change.”
This uncertainty is costly. For employers, additional costs of searching for new employees and training them can adversely impact profit margins. For employees, irregularities in salary and the burden of finding a new job can impose a financial, social, and mental burden.
Interviews are an effective vetting process, both for the employers and the employees. Interviews are crucial to assess a candidate’s suitability for a job and ensure their profile aligns with the company requirements.
Hence, a rigorous interview process can help reduce the likelihood of resignations and friction between the employer and the employee. Moreover, selecting an appropriate interview (both the content and the format) for your specific context is vital.
This article will discuss different job interview formats to help you make an informed choice regarding what interview suits your job requirement and company the best.
Types of Interviews – Based on Content
In general, interviews can be divided depending on their content and format. The content of the interview answers the “what,” whereas the format answers the “how.” Regardless of which method you use, you should be making a note of the candidates following interviewing techniques like STAR. Candidates following the STAR technique will answer your question in the following order:
- Situation - give a brief introduction of the task/set the stage
- Task - speak about their role in the problem
- Action - explain their individual actions
- Result - speak about the results of their actions and how it helped the firm
You can mix and match the content and the format to create an interview process that best suits your requirement. Broadly, the content can be divided into technical interviews and behavioral interviews.
Out of the box thinking
As part of this interviewing style, interviewers ask candidates questions that are something they didn’t expect. The aim is to put them on the spot while yet not being too nosey or intrusive.
It helps you filter candidates who can think on their feet. One of the best out of the box questions is one that Tyler Cohen writes about in his book, Talent. He goes on to say asking a candidate what browser tabs they have open at the point can give you an indication of your candidate’s interest and passion.
While many interviewers ask candidates questions like what do you like doing apart from work, asking them a unique question about their current browsing tabs is likely to put them on the spot and warrant a true answer.
As the name suggests, a technical interview verifies the candidate's technical prowess or “hard skills.” Of course, the technical questions change depending on the industry or the business function.
For example, for an analytics role, you might want to verify a potential employee’s ability to work with data and their proficiency with various software. Similarly, for a finance position, you might want to make sure the candidate understands the multiple technicalities of the financial markets.
Technical interviews are especially important for freshers who do not have work experience to back their skills. Some technical interviews are fairly generic and include standardized tests to test the candidate’s mathematical, logical, and verbal abilities.
Moreover, technical interviews tend to be structured and unbiased – most candidates are asked similar questions. This reduces the chances of any biases influencing the interviewer’s opinion of the candidate.
Lastly, technical interviews are the most effective when conducted by someone skilled at assessing candidates, such as FloCareer’s 3,000+ technical interviewers who have already conducted north of 300k+ interviews.
On the other hand, a behavioral interview assesses a candidate’s “soft skills.” The primary concern is to ensure that the candidate’s behavior, personality, and character align with the job requirements or the company culture in general. For example, certain high-stress and low work-life balance jobs, such as investment banking and management consulting, require candidates to demonstrate grit, resilience, and quick thinking.
Not everyone has these character traits; hence it is vital to ensure that the candidate is the right fit. Aligning candidates’ personalities with the job is the best way to reduce the chances of resignation.
Judging an individual’s soft skills is highly subjective and has greater chances of biases impacting the interview's opinion. This is primarily because the questions are not objective or have “yes” and “no” answers. Typically, candidates are questioned on their past experiences, activities, how they deal with problems, and their leadership qualities.
The exact focus on the technical and behavioral skills depends on the job and the candidate. For example, while a candidate may not necessarily have all the technical skills required, their behavior may demonstrate that they’re quick and committed learners or a good fit for the company culture.
Types of Interviews – Based on Method
You can combine technical and behavioral interviews with the following methods to create a process that best works for your firm.
This was traditionally the most common method of interviewing candidates. However, with companies moving to a remote or hybrid format, a number of teams have done away with this interview strategy. Besides the inconvenience to candidates (which will inevitably lead to a drop-off in applicants for positions), this format also has a much higher cost associated with it.
Group interviews are typically conducted with multiple candidates applying for the same position. Depending on the type of questions asked, interviewers can get a sense of the candidate’s technical and behavioral skills.
It also allows employers to assess how a candidate interacts with others in a group setting – are they cooperative or competitive? This allows employers to hire according to the specific requirements of the job.
Group interviews are also efficient as they allow interviewers to evaluate multiple candidates at once. It is especially useful if one position has various openings. However, group interviews can be impersonal and make it difficult to get to know a candidate in detail.
Panel interviews are conducted by multiple interviewers. One job may require multiple skills; hence, a panel of specialized interviewers can assess a candidate based on their individual expertise. In addition, it introduces candidates to various stakeholders at different levels of management. Multiple perspectives can reduce the bias of a singular interviewer, making the process fairer.
However, a panel of interviewers can be quite intimidating, which can adversely impact a candidate’s performance. It can also be time-consuming and inefficient, especially if different interviewers have conflicting opinions about the candidate.
A remote interview involves interviewing a candidate over a video or phone call. The candidate does not need to meet the employer physically. While this trend has always existed, it has become immensely popular after the pandemic as firms increasingly reimage themselves as remote workplaces.
The biggest advantage of this method is the flexibility – you can interview candidates across the world. It also reduces the financial and temporal costs of conducting an interview, allowing you to interview more candidates in the same time frame.
The Bottom Line
Given that employees are quitting at an all-time high, it is crucial to use structured interviews to ensure you hire the best talent. At FloCareer, we have put together 3,000+ interviewers who have a wealth of experience conducting interviews without hiring biases. They are ready and willing to help you hire the best talent for your company.