Interviews (Employment Testing)

Interviews vary greatly in their content, but are often used to assess such things as interpersonal skills, communication skills, and teamwork skills, and can be used to assess job knowledge.  Well-designed interviews typically use a standard set of questions to evaluate knowledge, skills, abilities, and other qualities required for the job.  The interview is the most commonly used type of test.  Employers generally conduct interviews either face-to-face or by phone.  (For more information on this topic, see the article entitled, Effective Employee Interviews).

Advantages of Interviews

  1.  Are expected and accepted by many job applicants.
  2.  Provide an opportunity for a two-way exchange of information.
  3.  Provide a measure of skills such as oral communication skills not measured via paper and pencil or computerized tools.
  4.  Have been demonstrated to produce valid inferences for a number of organizational outcomes, if properly developed and administered (see the article on Effective Interviews).
  5.  Can reduce business costs by identifying individuals for hiring, promotion or training who possess the needed skills and abilities.
  6.  Are typically less likely to differ in results by gender and race than other types of tests.

Disadvantages of Interviews

  1.  May be affected by different kinds of rating errors and biases by interviewers.
  2.  Are often more time-consuming to administer than paper and pencil or computerized tools.
  3.  Maybe practically less useful when a large number of individuals must be evaluated because of administration time.
  4.  Can be costly to train interviewers.
  5.  May be difficult to keep interviewers calibrated and the interview process standardized.
  6.  May lead to individuals responding in a way to create a positive decision outcome rather than how they really are (i.e., they may try to positively manage their impression or even fake their response).

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