Formal Interview and Informal Interviews

Formal Interview and informal interviews are the two main types of interview which in themselves are very wide ranging topics.

Formal Interview

1. Formal Interview

A formal interview is the most common type of interview and the setting should be in a quit environment such as office or boardroom where there are no distractions. The interviewer can be one or more or there can be a group or panel of interviewers. Questions should be pre-planned, structured,rated, and time constrained.

Some types of formal interview techniques include:

  1. Behavioural: These interviews are past related, i.e., asking the candidate to provide specific examples of how they behaved or reacted when something specific occurred in their past work roles.
  2. Situational: On the country, situational interviews are future related,i.e., asking the candidate to provide specific examples what they would do if a specific work related situation arose.

Formal interviews are held in a formal atmosphere, i.e., in the employment office by the employment officer with the help of well-structured questions. The time and place of the interview are stipulated by the employment office. In this type of interview, all the formalities and procedures like fixing the value, time,panel of interviewers,opening and closing,intimating the candidates officially, etc., are strictly followed. The course of the interview is pre-planned and structured, in advance, depending on the job requirements. The questions and items for discussion are structured and experts are allotted different areas and questions to be asked. There will be very little room for the interviewers to deviate from the questions prepared in advance in a sequence.

Advantages of Formal Interview

  1. This type of interview is really the verbal, face-to-face delivery of a questionnaire. Because every interviewee has been asked the same questions and their responses are limited to the same range, the result is data which can be presented in quantitative form. It can them be analysed for trends and statistical correlations.
  2. It tends to be positivist sociologists who see the formal interview as having major advantages, particularly in terms of creating data which is high in reliability.
  3. Pre-coded questions make it relatively simple to analyse the data on computer.
  4. The minimal role of the interviewer in this type of interview reduces the risk of ‘ interviewer effect’.
  5. In practical terms, the formal interview is also quicker and cheaper to complete.

Dis advantages of Formal Interview

  1. Subjective evaluation are made.
  2. Decision tend to be made within the first few minutes of the interview with the remainder of the interview used to validate or justify the original decision.
  3. Interviewers form stereotypes concerning the characteristics required for success on the job.

2. Informal Interview

The setting or place of the interview is usually less formal such as away from an office environment e.g., in a coffee shop. The benefits of an informal interview setting may contribute to the candidate feeling more relaxed which may assist them to respond to interview questions more openly. The disadvantage of an informal setting may include factors such noise levels and/or distractions.

The interview questions in an informal interview are less structured and have a ‘flow on’ effect within the conversations topic unfolding accounting to the interviewees responses. The interviewers may commence with a less formal ‘break the ice’ question with the intention of lessening any associated stress or pressure for the candidate with the aim of drawing out more honest and open responses. It is advisable for the interviewer in an informal interview to pre-plan questions that are relevant and specific to the information they are seeking from the candidate. Effective note taking is essential for utilising closed or open questions appropriately with the consideration of keeping the time, especially if there are more candidates to interview.

Advantages of Informal Interview

  1. Gain knowledge about the positions that will help you decide whether or not the job is suited for you;
  2. You become aware of the trajectory of how a particular person landed to his/her job;
  3. You build a relationship with someone who may eventually help you to get a job in the position or company.

Disadvantages of Informal Interview

  1. Time consuming.
  2. Lacks reliability.
  3. In terms of an unstructured interview it would lack structure.
  4. Untrustworthy in terms of the procedure.