Everything you need to know about interview in human resource management. The interview is the heart of the employment process. Interviewing is considered to be the most useful selection method.

The interview is a conversation with a purpose. According to juices Michael, “An interview is a face to face, oral observational and personal appraisal method.” Its aim is to provide the candidate with information about the job and the company and also to give the candidate a favourable impression of the company.

Selection interview, also known as employment interview, is a formal, in-depth conversation conducted to evaluate the acceptability of candidates for employment. Its aim is to discover those aspects of an applicant which may not be disclosed by other methods.

According to Scott and others, “an interview is a purposeful exchange of ideas, the answering of questions and communication between two or more persons.” It is a conversation with a purpose and the purpose may be “to get information”, “to give information”, and “to make a friend”.


It is, in short, an attempt to secure maximum amount of information from the candidate concerning his suitability for the job under consideration.

Learn about:- 1. Introduction to Interview 2. Meaning and Definition of Interview 3. Objectives 4. Principles 5. Qualities of Interviewer 6. Guidelines 7. Techniques 8. Limitations 9. Measures.

Interview in HRM: Meaning, Definition, Objectives, Guidelines, Techniques and Limitations


  1. Introduction to Interview
  2. Meaning and Definition of Interview
  3. Objectives of Interview
  4. Principles of Interviewing
  5. Qualities of a Successful/Good Interviewer
  6. Guidelines for Effective Interview
  7. Interview Techniques
  8. Limitations of Interview
  9. Measures to Make Effective Employment Interview

Interview in HRM – Introduction

The interview is the heart of the employment process. Interviewing is considered to be the most useful selection method. The interview is a conversation with a purpose. According to juices Michael, “An interview is a face to face, oral observational and personal appraisal method.” Its aim is to provide the candidate with information about the job and the company and also to give the candidate a favourable impression of the company.


There are three purposes that may be served – obtaining information, giving information, and motivation. It is widely used not only in employee selection but for placement, orientation, appraisal, disciplinary action exit or separation, counselling and general problem-solving. The final selection is party based on the performance of the candidate in different test and party on his performance in the final interview.

The candidate has to appear before the interviewer or a group of interviewers. The candidate’s overall personality is judged in the interview. But it has been criticised because of the scope for bias.

In general term, interview is a conversation with purpose and depending on the objectives of interview, it can be of different types — post performance appraisal interview, exit interview, problem-solving interview, and selection interview. However, here, we shall take only selection interview and other types of interview will be discussed at relevant places.

Selection interview, also known as employment interview, is a formal, in-depth conversation conducted to evaluate the acceptability of candidates for employment. Its aim is to discover those aspects of an applicant which may not be disclosed by other methods.


Information provided by application form and various selection tests has its own relevance but it has limitations too. For example, now-a-days, organizations place more emphasis on how a candidate matches with organizational culture besides job matches. The former type of matching can be gauged through interview.

Interviewing the candidates is an important aspect of selection procedure. The final selection is partly based on the performance of the candidate in different tests and partly on his performance in the final interview. In the interview, the candidate has to appear before the interviewer or a board of interviewers.

The candidate’s overall personality is judged in the interview. The interview may last for 10 to 20 minutes or even more. Various questions are asked from the candidate in order to judge his ability, knowledge, capacity and so on. Interviewing technique is used in all companies and in the case of all categories of staff to be recruited.

Interview in HRM – Definitions Given by Eminent Authors: Bingham Moore and Gustad; Scott and Jucius Michael

Interview means a conversation between interviewer and interviewee aimed at assessing the potentialities for a job. It is a two way communication between the candidate and the interviewer. In simple words interviewing means “deliberate active listing with a purpose to draw the other person out, to discover what he really wants to say and to give a chance to express himself freely”.

An eminent author defines an interview as “a conversation with a purpose” and the purpose may be to “get information”, “to give information” and “to make a friend”.

Bingham Moore and Gustad has defined the term interview as under –

“An interview is a conversation directed to definite purpose other than satisfaction in the conversation itself. There is give and take between the interviewer and interviewee and much of the interaction between these two is carried on by gestures, postures, facial expression and other communicative behaviour. Even the words acquire a variety of meanings and values as they are spoken with different reflections and in different context. All of these are means of communication – the spoken words, the gestures, the expressions, the reflections- contribute to the purposeful exchange of meanings which is the interview”.

In other words “An interview is an attempt to secure maximum amount of information from the candidate concerning his suitability for the job under consideration”.

An interview may be defined as a systematic and scientific process used in the employee selection which helps to acquire needed information with regard to the candidate’s capabilities and his interest, aptitude and knowledge required for the job and also to provide him the requisite information about the concerned organisation through face-to-face communication, thus creating a feeling of trust and confidence in the mind of the prospective candidate.


According to Scott and others, “an interview is a purposeful exchange of ideas, the answering of questions and communication between two or more persons.” It is a conversation with a purpose and the purpose may be “to get information”, “to give information”, and “to make a friend”. It is, in short, an attempt to secure maximum amount of information from the candidate concerning his suitability for the job under consideration.

According to Jucius Michael, “An interview is a face to face, oral, observational and personal appraisal method”. Usually, it is used as a means of getting the required information from the candidate. It also involves giving information that will help the applicant make up his mind about the company.

Interview in HRM – 9 Main Objectives Used in Personnel Selection

When used in personnel selection, some of the objectives of interview are:

1. To get an opportunity to judge on applicant’s qualifications and characteristics as a basis for sound selection and placement. On the basis of the information obtained about the family background, training, educational and other qualifications, personality, characteristics, aptitude, interests and skills of an applicant — the interviewer tries to arrive at as impartial a decision as possible.


He may decide to hire him, to reject him or to pass him on to another step in the interview if it is not the final one. This type of interview is referred to as selection or placement interview.

2. To give an applicant essential facts about the job and the company (nature and hours of work, medical requirements, opportunities for advancement, special hazards, employee benefits and services, company policies, etc.) in order to enable him to decide intelligently whether he should or should not accept the employment. The interview is generally a non-reciprocal relation between the individuals concerned.

3. To establish a rapport, or a feeling of mutual understanding and confidence, between the personnel department and the applicant who is to be employed.

4. To promote goodwill towards the company whether the interview culminates in employment or not. The goodwill is generated by unfailing courtesy to the interviewees, by providing them with vocational literature, pamphlets, by offering constructive suggestions, and by showing interest in them.


5. Interviewing is an invaluable tool of disciplinary action, grievance handling and relations with unions.

6. To solve problems such as when counselling a student conferring with a career guidance person or discussing a grievance with a superior. Such interviews are information-gathering or fact findings meetings; but their main purpose is to solve a problem. Such interviews are also termed as counselling interviews.

7. To get a real feel of the candidate, observe his appearance, mannerisms, confidence, and typical ways of reacting to questions of various sorts.

8. To find out why an employee is leaving the company and seeking job elsewhere. Such interviews are called exit or termination interviews.

9. Despite the fact the interviews are often regarded as costly, inefficient and non-valid procedure for selection purposes, they are widely used because the psychological tests and application blanks to not give correct information about the candidate as a real flesh and blood human being.

Richard Calhoon observes – “The interview makes three unique contributions to the selection process. First, it is the only way to see an applicant in action – how he looks, his manner, his bearing. Second, it is the only way to witness how he interacts and how he responds; his way of thinking, the effects of his personality on another. Third, it is perhaps the best way to get at the ‘will do’ features of a performance – motivation, initiative, stability, perseverance, work, habits, and judgements. The so- called ‘can do’ aspect can be examined by application, test and reference checks. An important by­product, unique to the interview, is the opportunity it affords to the management to identify with the applicant a factor that can be quite helpful for a new employee’s ultimate success.”


Under the ‘can do’ factors, Dr. McMurray includes these elements – appearance, manners, education as required by the job, intelligence, ability to solve problems, experience in the field knowledge of the project, physical conditions and health.

Under the ‘willdo’ factors are listed character traits, viz., stability, industry, willingness to work, perseverance, ability to get along with others, loyalty – that is, identifying with employer – reliance, that is, standing on one’s own feet and making one’s own decisions, and leadership.

Besides, ‘motivation factors’ are also taken into consideration. These are vigorous, initiative and drive, need for income, need for security, need for status, need for power, need to investigate, need to excel, need for perfection, even the need to starve.

For assessing ’emotional maturity,’ the factors to be taken into consideration are- freedom from dependence, regard for consequences, and capacity for self-discipline, freedom from destructive tendencies and freedom from wishful thinking.

Thus, in brief, selection interviews give a chance to personally “size up” the candidate, and to pursue questioning in a way that tests cannot. They give an opportunity to make judgements on the candidates’ enthusiasm, and intelligence and they give an opportunity to assess “subjective aspects” of the candidate – facial expression, appearance, nervousness, etc. Interviews, in other words, are a very patent screening tool.

Interview in HRM – 12 Important Principles Mentioned by Bingham and Moore: Experienced and Trained Interviewers, Privacy, Receptions of the Interviewees & a Few Others

Interviewing is a universal tool utilises in any selection procedure. The primary object of interview is to determine the suitability of applicant for the job. Interviewing is an art. Successful interviews follow established principles in matching man and his qualifications to the job requirements.


Bingham and Moore have mentioned the following principles of interview:

Principle # 1. Expert, Skilled, Experienced and Trained Interviewers:

The interviewers must possess the ability and skills required for interviewing the candidates. They should be expert, skilled, experienced and trained for interview. They should be familiar with the interview requirements or nature of the job, background of the organisation and industry which they represents.

They should be well-versed in Behavioral Science, which helps them to Judge the different personality traits of the candidates. They have to get them prepared for interviewing by making a list of questions based upon the job specifications.

Principle # 2. Provide Privacy and Ample Time:

Full privacy should be provided for conducting the employment interview. There should be no disturbances, obstacles, phone calls, noise, visitors. Specific and healthy atmosphere should be deliberately created for interview purpose. Ample time should also be given for interview to the candidate during the interview.

Principle # 3. Proper Reception of the Interviewees:

All the interviewees should be warmly welcomed and be treated nicely. A warm reception of the interviewees help to create a favourable impression in the mind of the candidate appearing for the interview.

Principle # 4. Comfort and Ease:

These help the interviewee feel at-ease and willing to give you the facts about himself. The interviewers must be straight forward and frank rather than clever.

Principle # 5. Skilful and Tactful Questions:


The interviewers should ask the questions in a simple language, understandable to the applicant. Never argue or interrupt or change the subject abruptly. They should not ask leading (which gives clues or hints to the answer) or tricky questions, because one of the objectives of interview is to seek more and accurate information about the candidate.

The interviewers must respect the interest of the candidate. Direct and personal questions should be asked tactfully. The interviewer should try to get the relevant information and also answer candidate’s questions also.

Principle # 6. Do not “Oversell” the Job Opportunities:

This means indirect disclosure that the organisation is in need of the services of the candidate Even if the candidate is the right person for the job, the organisation should not beg to him. On the other hand the interviewer should use his skill to impress the candidate in such a way that he himself accepts the job. The feeling that the candidate is obliging the organisation by accepting the job should never be created in the mind of candidate.

Principle # 7. Be Courteous towards the Candidate:

The interviewers should adopt a courteous approach towards the candidate and let him feel at home, so that she/he can say everything about her/himself with an open and free mind.

Principle # 8. Encourage the Candidate to Talk:

Give full opportunity to the candidate to talk more and there should not be much talking by the interviewers. The interviewer must avoid the temptation of too much talking and should give ample opportunity and encouragement to the candidate to talk more and in details about himself. The best interview is usually one in which the interviewers talk the least.

Principle # 9. Attentive and Patient Listening:

The interviewer must listen attentively and patiently to the interviewee during the interview. He should not divert his mind elsewhere during the interview, though the candidate may or may not be to their satisfaction. The interviewer should not impose upon the candidate, his own opinion, viewpoints and beliefs. The information from the applicant can be elicited only when the interviewer give him a patient, prolonged and skilful hearing.

Principle # 10. Objectivity in Decision Making:


The interviewer should understand the interviewee’s point of view and has to keep himself away from the bias, prejudice, personal judgement and whims. He must rely on the principle of objectivity rather than subjectivity. There should be a scientific process and methodology of testing and interviewing the candidates.

Principle # 11. Closing the Interview:

The interview should be concluded at the point of time when the interviewer becomes sure collecting adequate information about the candidate and that he has judged the personality traits as required. At this point the interviewer should stop the interview extending his thanks to the candidate for the interest he exhibited towards the organisation.

Principle # 12. Rational Selection:

After the interview is over, the chairman and members of the interview committee have to arrive at a specific decision with regard to the final selection of the candidates for the jobs to be filled-in. The interview board should be very rational in this. Their decision should based on the performance of the candidates and the information the board has collected during the course of interview.

Such decision should be conveyed to the concerned candidates in a clear-cut and simple language along with the terms of employment by timely sending them the appointment letters. Every interview should be result oriented. The interview programme should be scientifically implemented for this which ultimately helps in the final selection of the most suitable, competent and right employees for the jobs in the organisation.

Interview in HRM – Qualities of a Successful Interviewer

Researches have more or less clearly shown that effectiveness of any interview depends upon several personal qualities of the interviewer. A good interviewer must have abilities to evaluate specific as well as overall abilities of the applicant and this is rather a difficult job as ability to evaluate specific traits may differ from the ability to make overall evaluation.

However, a successful interviewer should have the following characteristics:

1. He should usually be an elderly person (say above 40 or 45), more mature in outlook on life, slightly or moderately egoistical, and not too much extrovert.

2. He must be socially detached which makes it possible for him to make more accurate judgement of others.

3. He should have slightly more than average intelligence, emotional maturity, interest in human beings and their behaviour, sportsmanship and well-adjusted life.

4. He should have extensive acquaintance with people similar in age and occupation to those whom he interviews.

5. He should be a man with a genuine feeling of warmth and affection so that he is able to establish rapport quickly with any individual, however, nervous he may be.

6. He should be a man who has been fully trained in the art of interview, and who knows what the special weaknesses of this method are and how to avoid them; and also the person who is focused on continually refining his method and asking questions in the light of his experience.

His other qualities are:

1. He should read standard literature and current books, periodicals and pamphlets, bearing on the art of interviewing and on the larger field of personnel management.

2. He should be well informed and up-to-date where legislation on employment is concerned.

3. He should be a member of one or more professional management organisations which serve as clearing houses for personnel information organisation. At the least, he should attend the conferences sponsored by these groups.

4. He should have an experimental and open-minded attitude towards tests and other devices which are developed to assist the interviewers in the selection of personnel.

5. If he has little or no formal educational background or training in personnel work, he should cure this deficiency by taking courses/coaching in psychology, personnel management, general management, public relations and other subjects bearing on his work.

6. The interviewer must have a thorough understanding of the organisations, of the relationships between departments and jobs, the objectives of the organisation, job content, and worker requirements; and he should have a good understanding of the organisation’s employment policies and procedures.

7. He should be receptive and sensitive to the way his behaviour affects others.

8. He should have a working knowledge of such topics as individual differences, personality dynamics, motivations, frustrations, abilities, attitudes, and other human traits.

By continuing to improve in these and other ways, he not only recognises “the challenges of his art”, but goes a long way towards meeting that challenge.

Interview in HRM – Essential Guidelines Undertaken for Selection of Candidates

Interview is most complex of the selection techniques, because the validity of the results achieved by interview is dependent upon several factors, which are related to planning of the interview, practice of interview by the interviewer, and to the personality characteristics of the interviewer. Therefore, there are certain obvious essential guidelines which should generally be followed, if interview is to serve as an effective tool of selection.

These are:

1. Understand the Requirements of the Job:

Interviewers should be of a certain status, standing and experience. They should know the requirements of the job for which interviews are conducted, and be familiar with the background of the organisation and industry which they represent.

They should possess a working knowledge of such topics as individual personality, difference, dynamics, motivation, frustration, attitudes, abilities, aptitudes and human traits, and should be sympathetic and impartial.

2. Possess Requisite Skills, Training and Experience:

Skilful interviewing is an art and like all other arts, requires training and experience. It is learnt better by practice than by reading a book. However, the necessary techniques and knowledge about the subject matter may be collected from current books, periodicals and pamphlets bearing on the larger field of management.

3. Look into Relevant Data Carefully:

The interviewers should not begin the interview without thoroughly studying the relevant data about the candidate from the application blank, and the tests and preliminary interviews through which he has gone before. The interviewers should clearly understand what the job entails and what its requirements are.

This will help them to avoid putting too much weight on irrelevant information and will help them reduce the chances that all candidates are compared with an erroneous “stereotype.” By making available to interviewers extensive information about the job to be filled (such as that provided by detailed job descriptions and job titles), reliability of employment selection decision can be increased.

4. Find Out Important Traits that a New ‘Hire’ Must Have:

The interviewers should know what traits are more accurately assessed during interviews and others. These include “intelligence”, “personal relations aptitude” and especially “motivation to work.”

Assessment of personal qualities like sincerity, ability to present ideas, emotional balance, friendliness, responsiveness, courtesy, etc., cannot be checked at all because they are characteristics which can be validated after a long acquaintance with the applicant and not in a few minutes’ encounter in an interview.

5. Examine Important Factual Information before Forming an Opinion:

The coverage of factual information should form the main objective of the interview. Such a coverage is of greater value than any attempt to search for personal qualities.

It should emphasise on:

(a) Reliance of education to the job specifications;

(b) Reasons for the gap in educational and employment history of the applicant;

(c) Reasons for choosing special courses in schools and colleges;

(d) Division or grades obtained and academic achievements; reason for failure;

(e) Likes and dislikes for each job;

(f) Information regarding domestic, health, financial and other problems, if any;

(g) The condition of the job and work the applicant expects.

6. Avoid Focusing Attention on Notorious Time Wasters:

The time of the interview should not be consumed in collecting routine information, which can be conveniently gathered from application blank or verified from the applicant’s former employer or from his school, institution, records and documents, certificates, etc.

7. Look at the Forest, Not the Individual Trees:

The interview should be diligently delimited, for it is often the only feasible way of eliciting the required information about the candidate, and it enables the interviewers to view the total individual and to appraise his personal appearance, comments, attitudes, mannerisms, motivations, interests, adjustments, temperament and other personal attributes.

8. Take an Objective View and Avoid Prejudices of All Kinds:

An interview should be made more reliable and more valid, i.e., the interviewers should guard against being unduly prejudiced or coloured by their own personality or pet theories. Their own feelings and standards, irrespective of job requirements should not be allowed to influence them, nor should their feelings about religion or community, affect their judgement. It is desirable that the decision should be fair and impartial.

Bias, prejudices, personal likes and dislikes, preferences and general impression of the candidate should not be allowed to interfere with the process of decision-making. The interviewers should accentuate the positive qualities in a candidate rather than give undue weight to negative ones.

9. Allow the Candidate(s) to Open Up Freely:

The candidate should be allowed to talk extensively so that he may unburden himself to the point at which nothing important or relevant is left unsaid, and a fair assessment can be made of his ability. Generally, 25 to 30 minutes are sufficient for semi-skilled or skilled applicants. For high level jobs — managerial, technical, sales — an hour or more may be required.

10. Listen, Listen and Listen to What Others Say:

An interviewer should avoid too much talking. “A good working ratio for an interviewer is to talk for not more than 25 per cent of the time and to listen for 75 per cent of the time.” The best interview is usually one in which the interviewer talks the least. Information from the applicant can be elicited only when the interviewer gives him a patient, prolonged and skilful hearing.

11. Do Not Rush to a Conclusion Too Quickly:

The interviewer should refrain from passing too quick a judgement before all die relevant facts have been gathered and evaluated. He should avoid derogatory comments and refrain from any revealing facial or verbal expression, he should not voice criticism or moralise. Rather, he should attempt to show understanding and smoothly pass on to another topic when any unfavourable information is uncovered or if the applicant is unable to answer a question.

12. Give Courteous and Respectful Treatment to Job Applicants:

If the interviewer is to be objective in decision-making, he must be careful to correct irrational feelings of a negative or positive kind. Hostility or nervousness on the part of the applicant may be minimised if he adopts a healthy attitude that the former has not come for the interview with a “begging bowl” in his hand. It is important for him to realise that his organisation needs a talented person just as much as the applicant wants a good job.

13. Leave a Good Impression on Job Applicants:

The interviewer should try to do some selling during the interviews. He should be aware of the fact that the interviewee is also evaluating him. Interviewees form overall impressions of the “goodness” or “badness” of an interviewer and this in turn may affect their decision to join or not to join the company. Therefore, the interviewer should try to give good impression about himself and of the company he represents.

In the words of Wendell French, “Good interviewers are those which take the many needs of the interviewee into account of security, belonging, esteem, wholeness and self-actualisation. Orderly proceedings, cordial relationships, avoidance of unnecessary, ego-damaging events, and an understanding of the process are ingredients in the best interviews.”

An applicant who is kept waiting unduly, treated rudely, insulted or given no information is likely to display a defensive behaviour, such as anger or humiliation which would seriously affect the friendly atmosphere at an interview.

Interview in HRM – Most Commonly Used Interviewing Techniques: Preliminary, Patterned, Non Directive, Stress, Depth, Group and Panel

The most commonly used interviewing techniques are briefly discussed below:

Technique # 1. Preliminary Interview:

It is also called screening interview. The purpose is to decide through mutual information sharing whether a comprehensive interview is desired. In this interview, besides providing information about the job and the organisation, preliminary information is sought on past work experience, education and motivation people who, Sometimes, involve people from the areas where the applicant is finally going to be placed. This is usually done for jobs that are technical in nature.

Technique # 2. Patterned Interview:

In this kind of interview what is to be asked is already structured and hence they are called structured interviews Patterned interviews are a combination of direct and indirect & questioning of the applicant in conjunction with the application blank and is considered to be much more accurate than less standardised interviews.

Technique # 3. Non Directive/Unstructured Interview:

In This interviewing technique there is a minimum use of direct question. Questions that can yield ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answers are avoided and instead broad general questions are asked in the interview.

Such questions help in revealing the applicant real personality. It is felt that the more the applicant is allowed the freedom to talk about himself, the more he will reveal his personality as it really is.

Technique # 4. Stress Interview:

It is a deliberate attempt to create tension and pressure to observe how an applicant performs under stress. Stress is induced by not allowing him to complete his answers or too many questions are asked in quick succession. Some may react in a mature way by keeping their cool and yet try to answers the questions, others might lose their cool and react sharply. The most important advantage of this interview is that it helps to demonstrate important personality or characteristics which would be difficult to observe in tension-free situations. Such interviews are useful in jobs where emotional balance is a key requirement.

Technique # 5. Depth Interview:

The purpose of depth interview is to get total information on an applicant in order to develop a comprehensive profile based on in-depth understanding of his personality. Its major advantage, of course, is in getting a complete and details understanding of the applicant. Its major drawback is the cost in terms of time. In any case it is not a usual method of selection.

Technique # 6. Group Interview:

In this interview, groups rather than individuals are interviewed. A topic of discussion is assigned to the group of applicants and their performance is evaluated by the observers. The observers’ main focus is to see whether any one of the applicants assumes leadership how this is done, and how it is accepted by other members of the group.

Technique # 7. Panel or Board Interview:

Interviewing candidates by a single person may not be effective as he cannot judge the candidates in different areas/skill. Hence, most organisations invite a panel of experts, specialized in different disciplines, to interview candidates. The great advantage of this interview is that it helps to coordinate the collective judgment and wisdom of members of the panel. This type of interview is done usually for supervisory and managerial positions.

Interview in HRM – 2 Major Limitations: Ineffective Interview Process and Common Errors in Evaluation

Interview, as an instrument for selection, contributes immensely in selection provided it is used effectively. However, during the interview process, some pitfalls develop and if effective methods are not adopted, the interview may easily vitiate the whole selection process resulting in selection of unfit candidates.

Often, we see criticism of interviewing for different positions particularly in Government departments and public sector enterprises. This is due to the fact that an interview can be used as manipulating device to choose some at the cost of others. Apart from this, there are two sets of pitfalls that may take place in an interview- ineffective interview process and common errors in evaluation.

1. Ineffective Interview Process:

An interview does not contribute much if ineffective process is adopted in conducting it. For example, various studies have shown that the following types of defects appear in an interview process-

i. Interviewers start interview process without developing rapport with interviewee and the result is that he is not properly probed to elicit relevant information.

ii. Often, interviewers do not have right type of skills and aptitude for conducting interview. Therefore, their evaluation is not accurate.

iii. Interviewers do not plan their likely action in advance and, therefore, tend to flounder looking for clue.

iv. Questions are not framed properly with the result that either they are not relevant to the job concerned or not properly understandable to the interviewee.

v. In the interview process, more emphasis is given on putting a large number of questions which are disproportionate to time available. This creates more confusion to the interviewers as well as the interviewee.

2. Common Errors in Evaluation:

Even if interviewers adopt effective interview process as well as they are not biased for any particular candidate, there are some common errors that occur in the evaluation process during an interview. These errors emerge because of the psychological process operating in interviewers.

Some of the common evaluation errors take place because of the following factors:

i. Impression Management:

Impression management is the act of influencing performance evaluation by portraying an image that is desired by the interviewers. Because of this act, the interviewers may form an opinion about the candidate, known as first impression. This impression affects the outcome of interview of the candidate.

Thus, if a candidate can say or do something that is viewed favourably by the interviewers, that candidate may be viewed more favourably for the position.

ii. Halo Effect:

Halo effect occurs when the interviewers judge all the traits of an interviewee based on the judgement of a single or a few traits which may be perceived either positive or negative. This positive or negative trait influences the evaluation of other traits. Often, it is said that interviewers frame their opinions about the interviewee in the first few minutes and in the remaining period, they seek information to reinforce these opinions.

Halo effect is more marked in three conditions:

(а) When the traits to be judged are unclear in behavioural expressions;

(b) When the traits are not frequently used by the interviewers; and

(c) When the traits have moral implications.

iii. Stereotyping:

Stereotyping occurs when the interviewers judge a candidate on the basis of the characteristics of the group he belongs to. Such stereotyping may occur based on the interviewee’s schooling pattern, cultural background, caste and religious background, and family background. Judgement based on the group characteristics turns to be wrong in many cases.

iv. Projection:

Projection error arises when an interviewer expects his own qualities, skills, and personality traits in an interviewee. Based on this projection, he tends to rate those higher who possess these characteristics than those who do not. If the characteristics possessed by the interviewer are not relevant for the job under consideration, wrong selection is likely to take place.

Interview in HRM – How to Make Employment Interview Effective? (Measures)

Interview is one of the most important techniques for selection of candidates, its adoption is necessary. However, it can make significant contribution only when adequate measures have been adopted to overcome various pitfalls in interview.

Though it is not possible to make an interview perfectly unbiased, completely objective, and comprehensive information searching technique, following measures may contribute to make interview more effective-

1. There should be proper planning before the interview. Planning may include determination of who conduct interview, what way it will be conducted, on what basis the candidate is to be evaluated, and how much weightage will be given to interview in the total selection process. Preparation on these lines will avoid ambiguity and confusion in interviewing.

2. There should be proper setting for conducting interview. The setting is required both of physical and mental nature. The physical setting for the interview should be comfortable and free from any physical disturbance. The mental setting should be one of rapport between the interviewer and the candidate.

The interview should not start unless the candidate is composed and overcomes mental stress of the interview. It is a well-known fact that the candidates feel nervous the moment they enter in the interview room. They may react badly about any showing of surprise or disapproval of their clothes or manner. In such a case, there may not be proper evaluation of the candidates.

3. When the candidate feels at ease, the interview may be started. At this stage, the interviewer obtains the desired information and may provide the information sought by the candidate. The interviewer can solicit important personal information if he demonstrates a basic liking and respect for people.

He should ask questions in a manner that encourages the candidate to talk. He should listen to carefully when the candidate is furnishing the information. This gives an impression to the candidate that the interviewer is quite serious about him and he will do his best.

4. The interview of the candidate should be closed with pleasant remarks. If possible, the interviewer should give an indication about the likely end of the interview. Saying ‘thanks’, ‘good wishes’, or similar things carries much better impression about the interviewer.

5. Immediately after the interview is over, the interviewer should make an evaluation of the candidate. At this stage, the things are quite fresh in his mind. He can give remarks about the characteristics of the candidate or give grade or mark as the case may be. This will help the interviewer to make a comparative evaluation of all candidates easily.