Interview ApproachAnyone can construct an impressive resume and a mission aligned cover letter. So, the question is, what type of interviewing approach will hit all of the bases and assist in guaranteeing a confident, team-wide dance party as soon as the candidate commits to the position?

The most commonly used interviewing techniques include: Traditional, Group, Behavior-Based, and Panel interviewing styles. This article will explore the pros and cons of each, leaving it to you to decide which practice best fits your company’s needs.

Traditional Interviewing

As the most common interview style for an interviewer or interviewee to participate in is the Traditional approach. At some point during our navigation through careers changes, we have all encountered in this type of interview. The traditional interview is typically characterized by its one-on-one structured approach. Although this practiced interview can take place in person or over the phone, the conversation remains relatively consistent.  A candidate engaged in a traditional interview should anticipate customary prompts and questions such as, “Tell me about yourself.” “Why should we hire you?” “Why did you leave your last job?”

This interviewing strategy seems to be a straight-shot to getting the job done, right? Well, as we touched on previously, there are pros and cons to all talent acquisition techniques. Traditional interviewing has been an easy way to get the job done. It allows you to give applicants a chance to elaborate on their experiences listed on their resume. Conversely, this is also one of its cons. What are you really getting out of a traditional interview? Sure, the candidate comes prepared. But is the candidate showing up too prepared a problem? A traditional interview gives the chance for a candidate to rattle off rehearsed responses. It is also proven to be guilty of doing little to assess character. Additionally, this approach becomes redundant as it gives limited space for candidates to stand out among the next person in line.

In a LinkedIn published article, 5 New Interviewing Techniques You Should Start Using, author Gregory Lewis refers to traditional interviewing as “Old-School.” He also states choosing this approach puts you at risk of being left behind in relation to more innovative techniques. We all want to win top-talent for our employers and feel confident in making the right hiring choice. Don’t take yourself out of the running by resisting change, explore what other approaches have to offer!

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Group Interviewing

Unlike the traditional approach, group interviewing allows for hiring managers to weed out the noise and identify the leaders of the bunch by interviewing multiple people at the same time. This type of interview is best practiced when an employer is searching for a candidate to fill an assertive, leadership role in the company. In order to tame any potential chaos caused by numerous interviewees grasping for your attention, you must have a strict structure to ensure the process runs smoothly. Suggestions on how to stay on track with this approach that are useful include: Creating an agenda, and creating an environment that is a conversational discussion in nature.

An instant win from practicing the group interview approach is the ability to pin point the leaders in the group. This style also allows reveals the candidates who stand out for their ability to work well in a team. You are able observe at what standard they treat their “competitors”. Conversely, a disadvantage of orchestrating this interview is the lack of anonymity for the candidates. Additional deterrents are present as result of the interview being more impersonal than alternative approaches. Group interviewing is not beneficial in filling all positions; some overpowering candidates may cause for others to slip through the cracks.

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Panel Interviewing

Not to be confused with group interviewing where one employer engages in the screening process of a number of candidates, panel interviewing is characterized by multiple interviews questioning a single candidate. This technique is used to gather the perspectives of various executives and team leads when the open position is for a key part in the company’s processes. A powerful advantage highlighted by this approach is the ability to save time in hiring the perfect fit for your company. Once you are able to pull qualified candidates into your pipeline, the time it takes to hire in your desired candidate should not be prolonged. Panel interviewing eliminates the need for follow-up interviews because all perspectives and judgement are gathered right off the bat.

Panel interviewing is time efficient. Its collaborative approach allows for your current team to be satisfied with the new hire decision. This sounds ideal, right? The downside to this practice lies with the candidate. Being in front of a panel could create a great deal of stress. Trying to navigate through a rapid questioning process could provoke confusion within the prospective hire. Consequently, the stress and potential confusion can be a hindrance blocking their ability to perform at their highest capability.

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Behavioral-Based Interviewing 

Behavioral-Based interviewing is arguably the most essential approach to get to know the interviewee because it allows you to observe for the candidate would react in an employment-related situation. It is easy for applicants to brag about their accomplishments on their resume and through traditionally asked questions. The real test is if they can apply their claimed skills to the company and position they are competing for.

Advantages of this approach may be embedded within the questions asked during the interview. Examples of these conversation starters are “Have you ever completed a difficult task with limited guidance?” Or “What would you do if you had conflict with a coworker you are collaborating with on a project?” These questions allow for the candidate’s soft skills such as their critical-thinking and problem-solving abilities to shine. As discussed in a previously released VIZI Blog, Why Soft Skills Matter In Hiring, soft skills often substantially impact employee success and retention. Therefore, it is paramount to lean into an approach that celebrates opportunity for soft-skill evaluation.

On the other hand, this approach is sometimes viewed as unprofessional and messy. While engaging in the behavioral-based process, it may become difficult to switch gears into a structured assessment to evaluate how well qualified the candidate is.






Final Thoughts

The interviewing process is not a “one size fits all” article of clothing for your company. Your interview approach should be a decision that is shopped around for before committing to one single technique. All roles in the company and prospective candidates are unique in their requirements and skills. So, let’s treat them that way! No one ever said you can’t create your own interviewing style to best fit your circumstances. Take your favorite parts of each of these practices and many others. Put yourself in the candidate’s shoes. Spend a day with an employee who is excelling in the role currently to understand what the position entails. Redefine your interviewing process.