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Which Job Interview Technique is Right for Your Job Opening

written by: Alison Moxley•edited by: Jean Scheid•updated: 1/16/2011

As a hiring manager, you may wade through tons of resumes and conduct scores of interviews. Are your job interview techniques effective? Should you use a new method of screening candidates? Survey the best techniques to land your best team member here.

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    With the influx of qualified candidates seeking employment, you may conduct many interviews. It is important to distinguish between job interview techniques that are best suited for choosing candidates and those that are less effective.

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    The Traditional Interview

    With the influx of qualified candidates seeking employment, you may conduct many interviews. It is important to distinguish between job interview techniques that are best suited for choosing candidates and those that are less effective.

    • The Traditional Interview - This is your standard, one-on-one, question and answer technique for job interviews. In the traditional interview, managers use standard questions that are meant to determine the candidate's suitability for the position. The candidate provides information about their past positions, their problem solving abilities and examples of their job competence.

    Pros: A standard template works for all candidates, making this an efficient and easy technique

    Cons: Candidates often memorize answers in advance and tell the interviewer what they think they want to hear.

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    The Behavioral Interview

    • The Behavioral Interview - The behavioral interview is a preferred job interview technique of candidates who would act in a position of decision-making or high responsibility. The interviewer presents a scenario in which the candidate is expected to offer a solution. This type of interview is common among interviews for firefighters, those in the medical field and counselors.

    Pros: The interviewer has a clear picture of how the candidate will handle complex situations and problem solve.

    Cons: The behavioral interview has to be custom tailored to each candidate and the interviewer must be able to craft questions on the spot to match the interviewee's answers.

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    The Group Interview

    • The Group Interview - The group interview is a job interview technique that allows the manager to interview several candidates at the same time. This is beneficial for the manager that wants to observe how the potential hires work in groups.

      Does one candidate dominate the conversation, interrupting and drowning our the others? Expect that he will act in the same manner when dealing with clients. Is the candidate silent, not offering anything to the conversation? This person may not be right for a sales position. A group interview is a great way to observe your potential hire 

    Pros: The group interview can be somewhat more relaxed for the candidates. Often, they focus more on each other than the interviewer. This allows the manager to observe them in a more natural state.

    Cons: For positions that don't require teamwork, this job interview technique may not be an accurate indication of their skills. These interviews are not suitable for people who work independently like graphic designers, programmers and writers. In addition, some candidates may not feel confident about speaking in public.

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    Lunch / Meal Interviews

    • Lunch/Meal Interviews -
    During the meal interview, the manager treats the candidate to a meal and the position is discussed. The introduction of food often causes the candidate to relax and reveals more about his background, training and personality. This is an especially effective method for positions that require socializing with clients such as sales. Your sales representative should be able to use proper etiquette and use proper hosting techniques as not to offend potential clients.

    Pros: The meal interview is a more relaxed atmosphere, and the interviewee will often let their guard down. The manager can observe their social skills as well as their qualifications for the position.

    Cons: This job interview technique is not suitable for all positions. An applicant for a IT (information technology) position may not be the best dinner companion, but may be excellent at programming. The manager should make sure the meal interview is appropriate for the job being offered.

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    So which job interview technique really works best? Most managers will tell you that a hybrid of techniques works best for their firm. For the receptionist position, a traditional interview consisting of basic questions may suffice. For the sales position, they opt for the meal interview. A behavioral interview may be best for their loss prevention team candidates. The group interview works best for the marketing team. Avoid cookie cutter interviews. Examine the best job interview techniques and choose the right one for your company.

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    Image Credit

    Photo credit: (MConners) - http://morguefile.com/archive/display/645119