The effectiveness of interview process for an employee

This paper attempted to find out the Effectiveness of Interview process for an Employee Selection Method. This manuscript reviews the literature in order to summarize, integrate, and evaluate the many ways interviews can be structured. The use of valid selection methods is an important prerequisite for good selection decision making .This review is focused on interview’s effectiveness as one of the selection method. From the point of view of organisation interview decides the future employee where a lots of responsibilities lies for the organisation to select the right candidate. However interview is one way of several ways to recruit human resources and its validity and reliability needs to be accurate.

Chapter gives a description of introduction of the topic, literature review and methodology to carry out the research. It set up two objectives that are to identify the strengths and weaknesses of interview technique and to find out the recommendation and suggestion to remove the flaws of interview. Most selection devices including interview are made on the basis of predictions about how well an applicant will perform, the usefulness of these predictions is determined by two main factors – their reliability and validity (Sparrow, 1994 ). These are the fundamental requirements for any selection method. Suggested by Travor (1999) The structure, validity, reliability and predictive power of structure and unstructured interview have been analysed, investigated through the researchers` comments, suggestions and theory of personality.

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Finally step-by-step details on how both of the interview methods differ in predicting accurate job performance is presented by personality theory, job analysis etc. A key findings of this analysis in the chapter 4 is that unstructured interview is less valid and reliable as it does not focus on the behavioural based analysis to predict the job performance where structured interview is more valid and accurate as it is based on scientific and theoretical analysis using job analysis, scoring guide, and predictive questions. Through the analysis in this report, suggestion and recommendation has been made to make the interview more effective and eliminate the interview errors.

A Harvard University study reports that 80% of turnover can be blamed on mistakes made during the employee selection and hiring process.

Employee selection process is very important for every Organisation. If an organisation makes the wrong selection decision it will employ an individual who is not going to meet the organisation’s expectations of an entrant at the level. Selection and assessment is fundamentally concerned with the prediction of job performance and prediction necessarily implies the existence of predictors. There are several types of selection methods or predictors.

There are more combinations and ways for selection system. Interview is a two way process -with the candidate assessing the organisation as well as the other way around. For years occupational psychologists have argued that interviews are among the worst methods of selection that organisations can use to choose its employees.

Dipboye (1994) has suggested that the interview has no unique content: it is simply a method of collecting information .Nevertheless , in order to research to proceed there is a generic definition for interview as : “The employment interview is defined as an interviewer-applicant exchange of information in which the interviewer(s) into the applicant’s (a) work-related knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs); ( motivations; (c) values; and (d) reliability, with the overall staffing goals of attracting, selecting and retaining a highly competent and productive workforce. ” (Eder, 1999)

According to Sparrow (1994) the rationale of the interview to be a selection process are as follows:

To collect information in order to predict how well the applicants would

Perform in the job for which they have applied, by measuring them against predetermined criteria.

To provide the candidate with full details of the job and organisation to

Facilitate their decision-making Sparrow (1994).

The use of valid selection methods is an important prerequisite for good selection decision making .This research is focused on interview `s effectiveness as one of the selection method. From the point of view of organisation interview decides the future employee where a lots of responsibilities lies for the Organisation to select the right candidate. However interview is one way of several ways to recruit human resources and its validity and reliability needs to be accurate.

We believe that most applicants are more interested in being hired, to examine this belief it is wise to consider the two kinds of errors take place in the interview and their impact on the applicants and organisation. The errors are false rejection by which applicants should have been hired but overlooked due to weaknesses in selection method and the other errors is false hire by which organisation lose their valuable time and money in hiring wrong applicant.

The line manager interest in selection process thus starts with the consequences of bad hires .If the Organisation chose the wrong person through the wrong selection method .it brings a loos for the whole organisation.

There is a number of diversified pressures for the organisation to devote more attention to the efficiency and validity of the selection system. Hence organisation and applicants both share the interest in selection accuracy. That’s why satisfying selection process is very prerequisite for the decisions of interviewee and the Organisation. Therefore it is very important to justify the validity and accuracy of interview technique as a selection process.

As a student of business studies and employee of various organisations I have this study challenging to explore how this method is valid. As organisation sometimes compensate the cost of hiring wrong person it is very important to research on this topic.

There are several different types of selection interview for the employer to consider.

The structured or patterned interview

Unstructured or traditional face to face interview

The semi structured interview

The situational interview

As interview devices are made on the basis of predictions about how well an applicant will perform the usefulness of these predictions is determined by two main factors their reliability and validity (Sparrow, 1994).

Reliability is a measurement concept widely used in the psychology of assessment .It refers to consistency of a method, its capability of delivering the same or similar scores for the same individual at different times and with the different assessors (O’Neil, 1990)

1.1 Aim

It’s very much difficult to find a skilled and talented worker without an effective interview. But how could we say that the interview was effective enough to choose the right candidate? An interview is will be successful and effective by selecting the right candidate for the right job.

On the basis of two theoretical aspects as reliability and validity the aim of this research is to identify the values of the interviewing method and view of interview practices and phenomena to aid the organisation, employers and personnel practitioners.

The reason to carry out the research is to find out why interview is used for most of the selection where there are several ways of selection method. , to determine the effectiveness of interview as a whole .and to identify flaws of the interview method and find out how interview could be made more effective so that organisation can choose the right future employee.

In this research it has been argued that if the interview technique is an effective method for selection process, how much it is valid and reliable. Hence the title of the research is “The Effectiveness of Interview process for an Employee Selection Method”.

1.2 Objective

Up to the time of 1989 the general consensus in the literature was that the interview was a poor selection device, tolerated primarily because it was the only personal opportunity for applicants and interviewers to exchange information with one another. .

In this research the objectives are to find out the effectiveness of interview like their advantages, disadvantages, how valid and reliable they are , their strengths and weaknesses. Before all of them it is a general objective to find out why traditional interview is still used widely .which has been produced at the beginning of objective – 1

In the second objective to eliminate the flaws of interview of both unstructured and structured interview and to make interview more effective recommendations and certain changes have been suggested.

Therefore the objectives of this research are:

1. To determine the advantages and disadvantages of unstructured interview.

2. To evaluate schemes on how to ascertain perceived changes to make interview method more effective.

Chapter 2
Research Methodology
2.1 Purpose

In this chapter research methodology is described to find out the way of the analysis of the topic “The Effectiveness of Interview process for an Employee Selection Method”. First of all, literature review of several concepts relating to Recruitment process and the in depth description of the total process.

2.2 Positivist Research

As described by Orlikowski & Baroudi (1991) Positivists generally assume that reality is objectively given and can be described by measurable properties which are independent of the observer (researcher) and his or her instruments. Positivist studies generally attempt to test theory, in an attempt to increase the predictive understanding of phenomena (Orlikowski & Baroudi, 1991).

2.2.1 The Positivist Paradigm: Theories, Propositions, Hypotheses and Hypothesis Testing

A paradigm is a set of beliefs about the nature of social reality, that is, the nature of the

“world” and the individual’s place in it (Guba and Lincoln 1994). Guba and Lincoln note that a paradigm has three dimensions: · What is the form and nature of reality (the ontological question)? · What is the relationship between the researcher and what can be known (the epistemological question)? · How does the researcher find out whatever they believe can be known (the methodological question)? It is critical to remember that paradigms are assumptions that are not subject to proof. They are human constructions that are neither right nor wrong: proponents must argue for their utility (Guba and Lincoln 1994).

The positivist paradigm has the following positions with regard to the three dimensions:

1. An objective reality is assumed which can be systematically and rationally investigated through empirical investigation, and is driven by general causal laws that apply to social behaviour. This is sometimes called naA?ve realism (the ontological position) (Guba and Lincoln 1994).

2. The researcher and the phenomena being investigated are assumed to be independent, and the researcher remains detached, neutral and objective. Any reduction in independence is a threat to the validity of the study, and should be reduced by following prescribed procedures (the epistemological position) (Shanks & Parr, n.d).

3. General theories are used to generate propositions that are operationalised as hypotheses and subjected to empirical testing that is replicable. Hypotheses should be testable and provide the opportunity for confirmation and falsification. This is the essence of the scientific method (the methodological position) (Shanks & Parr, n.d).

In the following discussion about theory, proposition, hypothesis and hypothesis testing we assume a positivist position.


A theory is a system of ideas that abstracts and organises knowledge about the social world (Neuman 2000). There are many types of theory including implicit (preconceptions, biases and values etc.) and explicit theory (sets of organised concepts and their interrelationships) (Miles and Huberman 1994). There are highly abstract theoretical frameworks, and focused mid-range theories more suited to empirical work (Neuman 2000). For empirical studies conducted using a positivist, deductive case approach mid-range, explicit theories are relevant. Dubin (1978) notes that this type of theory has three main elements:

· A set of well-defined concepts (or units);

· Laws of interaction (or interrelationships between the units);

· A boundary within which the theory holds.

2.2.2 Propositions

Predictions about the world are made using propositions, that is, conclusions that may be deduced logically from the theory. Propositions link the values of units. Propositions in the viewpoint development theoretical framework will therefore link specific values of viewpoint representation with specific values of viewpoint development role. Dubin (1978) notes that the most usual form of propositions is the “if aˆ¦ then aˆ¦” format. Darke (1997) identifies two propositions in her study:

· If representation techniques are informal or semi-formal then they are used during the

requirements acquisition viewpoint development role.

· If representation techniques are semi-formal or formal then they are used during the

requirements modelling viewpoint development role (Darke, 1997).

2.2.3 Hypotheses

A hypothesis is an empirically testable statement that is generated from a proposition. Terms in propositions belong to the abstract world of theory. Each of the terms must be assigned an empirical indicator. These empirical indicators are then substituted into the proposition to form a corresponding hypothesis. Once hypotheses have been generated they may be used in empirical studies (Ullah, 2010a).

2.2.4 Hypothesis Testing

Hypotheses are tested by comparing their predictions with observed data. Observations that confirm a prediction do not establish the truth of a hypothesis. The deductive testing of hypotheses involves looking for disconfirming evidence to falsify hypotheses (Lee 1989). Falsified hypotheses are then refined based on the reasons for falsification and subjected to further empirical testing.

2.3 Quantitative or Qualitative method

Qualitative methods approach has been used in this current research. Qualitative research involves the use of qualitative data, such Qualitative data such as open- ended responses, interviews, participant observations, field notes, & reflections (Johnson & Christensen, 2008). On the other hand Quantitative data based on precise measurements using structured & validated data-collection instruments (Johnson & Christensen, 2008).

2.4 Data collection method

In order to analyse and gather the information of the research mainly primary and secondary data both were used.

2.4.1 Primary data

“According to Collis and Hussey (2003) in phenomenological approach the interview questions are unstructured or semi- structured in pattern not closed questions like positivistic approach. The plan is that the researcher will prepare semi-structured questions that are helpful to take maximum information from interviewees because in closed questions it is possible that some important information will be ignored. In semi-structured interviews the researcher has an opportunity to probe various areas and to raise specific queries during the semi-structured interviews (” (Ahmad, 2008)

In this research, interviews were used as the source of primary data to find how the Effectiveness of Interview process for an Employee Selection Method. The reporter conducted several meeting with some renowned Recruitment agencies and different organisations to gain the practical view of the total recruitment emphasizing the Interview process.

2.4.2 Secondary data

Secondary data are those that have been generated by others and are included in data-sets, case materials, computer or manual databases or published by various private recruitment organisations, Universities and public organisations or government departments (e.g. National Skills Task Force, Employers Skill Survey, Statistical Report) (Ullah, 2010a).

Chapter 3
Literature Review

According to Ullah (2010) the growing importance of good employees poses a challenge to the HR managers. The selection process of today’s HR managers is becoming multifarious and exigent. Unquestionably the overall aim of the selection process is to spot the candidates who are appropriate for the vacancy or wider requirements of the HR plan. ‘Interview’ has been used as a ‘significant selection method’ by HR managers. The interview is the most applicable method in determining an applicant’s organisational fit, level of motivation, and inter-personal skills (Stevens, 1997 cited Ullah, 2010).

An interview is a specialised form of adaptation conducted for a specific task-related purpose (Whetton & Cameron, 2002). The primary objective of interview is to predict whether a candidate will meet the performance expectation on the job (Camp et al, 2001).

The increasing competition for skilled and talented workers calls for effective interview. But what actually makes an interview effective? An interview is regarded as effective when it can provide its purpose, i.e. selecting the right candidate for the right job (Ullah, 2010).

Human resources should be considered as a significant organizational asset. In this context, the application of the appropriate strategies for its development, can lead to the improvement of the corporate performance both in the short and the long term. Recruitment and selection are core areas of human resource management but are frequently discussed in a prescriptive manner. They are not simply techniques for filling jobs – they are also levers for organizational change, sustaining employee commitment and achieving high performance. The recruitment process is both costly and lengthy, and when a mistake is made it can be catastrophic for the organization and the individual involved (Dale, 2006).

Few line managers are given formal training at recruitment processes and poor interviewing skills can cost a company both cash and customers. This book enables managers and HR professionals to master essential recruitment skills and develop an effective interviewing technique. Shsckleton ( 1991) found that interviews ( traditional or unstructured method ) were used widely . In Britain 93% and 94 % in France although there was a striking contrast in the number of interviews used in the selection process.

In 1980 the economic change and pressure renewed interest to focus on interview productivity and growing evidence suggested more reliable and validated interview technique , Orpen (1985) and weekly & Gier (1987).

There are two reasons why this study concentrates here only on unstructured / traditional interview compared to structured interview because -After1989 the quest for a more reliable, standarasied interview form was reaching fruition .The growing evidence of structured interviewing techniques like situational interview yielded more reliable and valid ratings of applicant suitability than did unstructured interview ( Janz, 1982 ; Hellervik & Gilmore, 1986 ; Orpen, 1985)

Structured interview appears to have greater validity than do unstructured interviews, further understanding of structured interviews would seems to have a greater payoff in terms of practice and unstructured interviews may differed greatly from study to study in terms of the questions asked . (Eder & Harris, 1999 ).

Since it is the interviewer’s responsibility to find the right candidate for the job, it is crucial that the interview is well designed. To be fit for the purpose the interview must be sufficiently demanding but, at the same time, respectful of the candidate. This book not only provides interviewers with tried and tested readymade interview questions, but also enables them to conduct fair and searching interviews. This book gives clear idea about Interview techniques and questions to ensure that the best person is recruited for the job and also includes numerous interview questions and recruitment advice (Hackett, 1998).

This book gives idea to ensure any individuals for choosing better people for the organization – more efficiently. It provides step-by-step guidance on techniques and procedures from the initial decision to recruit through to the critical final choice. Helpful advice is included on: aˆ? drawing up job descriptions, employee specifications and assessment plans aˆ? setting up the interview aˆ? using different interview strategies and styles aˆ? improving your questioning and listening skills aˆ? evaluating the evidence to reach the best decision (Arvey & Campion, 1982).

Interviews are now so widespread that it is difficult to think of a single profession where they are not used. As such, the ability to conduct interviews effectively is considered essential in any professional’s repertoire of skills. This new edition of “Effective Interviewing” provides detailed coverage of the methods and techniques currently in practice and speculates on the future of interviewing (Dale, 2003).

Chapter 4
Analysis and Findings

In the previous Chapter, the research methodology, described how the information, theories and concepts were collected in order to analyse the findings with the comparison between unstructured and structured interview.

4.1 Criteria to choose Interview:

Bolton (1999) described three main criteria as the tools to choose a selection method. They are;



Social interaction

4.1.1 Cost

1990 potential benefits of the selection stages must be weighed against their cost. Like travel cost, materials cost , staff costs , and time cost . It is useful to focus on contextual information that is worth being guided by cost – benefit considerations in order that the effort involves gathering the information can be balanced against its usefulness within the organisation .Traditional interview cost less than structured interview as it does not necessitate straining , specialists , can take place anywhere etc .

4.1.2 Time

The more stages the more time it takes to carry them out. Correspondence with and repeated visits by candidates are time consuming. Eder (1999) asserted that, structured interviewing techniques are likely to take more time than the unstructured interview. The need for a carefully documented job analysis may seem superfluous to a hiring manager who has supervised employees in the positing for many years. Saving time may become the justified fact to busy manager when they find to ask all applicants a standard set of questions wasteful and unjustified.

4.1.3 Social process

Even if the interview were thoroughly repudiated, it probably would not be abandoned; there seems to be certain human curiosity, which can be satisfied in no other way than seeing each other. Stewart (1996) explained that, the past few years the managers complained on HR staff that structured interview is an unwanted control over their independence to use a core set of questions. In today’s more informal business atmosphere a structured interview seems out of place. Managers may resist using structured interview . Indeed another reason for popularity of the conventional interview is that it does give the interviewee the occasion to ask questions (Eder 1999).

From the above comparison the following advantages are stated:

Through the interview face to face conversation is possible.

It is more cost effective

The Interviewer and the Interviewee need not to get training, easy to adapt.

Interview can be used for almost all types of vacancies.

The Interviewer can assess the interpersonal communication skill of the Interviewee.

It can be used to meet wide range of information to recruit a candidate outside the job associated requirements.

It can be arranged many different substantial locations.

Through this process the managers can test for personal attitudes, abilities and potentiality of the candidates.

4.2 The factors that affect the interview outcomes:

Motowidlo (1992) proceeds to offer various factors such as degree of control over one’s behaviour that may affect the relationship between intentions and behaviour. Applicant may answer, as the interviewer will be happy to hear. Motowidlo (1992) believes that when behaviour is completely controlled by the employee, intensions will be less predictive of future than the past which also suggests that situational interviews are less predictive than the behavioural.

Apart from the trait limitation according to Schermerhorn Jr et al. (1996) the prediction could be inaccurate if there is any type of factor takes place affecting or influencing the applicant’s reply.Through a common theoretical framework an integration of the findings may be reached.

Applying this theory, this assumption can be matched with other biases leads both parties to make dispositional attributes when they are not appropriate. Thus in the case of interview from a candidate’s perspective the candidate may attribute interviewer’s behaviour wholly to personal characteristics which could original or may generalise the recruiter’s behaviour and behave accordingly. Interviewers signalling hypothesis can be seen as an impact to affect the outcome of interview and interfere interviewees` behaviour.

Thus interviewer’s behaviour can control the interviewee and have a bad impact on the outcome of the selection process, which means it could cause wrong prediction and lower validity and reliability.

Some evidence suggests that racial biases may be introduced in the traditional interview

process because of the stereotypical views interviewers have of personalities on the basis of interviewee’s attitude analysis without scientific evidence and conducting the interview without objectivity that decreases the employer’s ability to discharge its burden of coming forward with admissible evidence that ” clearly sets forth ” a non-discriminatory reason for its rejection of the plaintiff (Eder , 1999)

4.3 Comparison between the traditional and Modern Recruitment method:

According to Michigan State University Study (1995) “

4.3.1 Traditional Recruitment Methods Are Too Subjective, cause

Most employers use a combination of application, interviews, resumes and employment reference checks. These methods are best described as subjective.

Traditional recruitment methods are highly vulnerable to data distortion or falsification.

Resumes are often exaggerated or falsified.

Interviews are greatly influenced by “first impressions, appearance halo effects or chemistry”.

References are usually groomed or coached.

Subjective recruitment and hiring methods provide useful, but limited information.

4.3.2 Modern Recruitment Methods Offer a More Objective Approach

Modern recruitment methods use on-line applications and interviews, integrity screenings and executive profile assessments, job matching and background verifications.

The information collected is highly accurate and reliable.

Objective recruitment and hiring methods make your hiring process more defendable to any EEOC and ADA challenges.

Screenings and profiles are not as vulnerable to faking or distortion and halo effects.

Validity indicators on assessments help to verify the authenticity or candor of the candidate’s responses.

4.3.3 Research Shows the Relative Value of Different Hiring Methods

Interviews alone

14% accuracy

Reference Checks + Interviews

26% accuracy

Behavior-based Personality Assessment + Reference Checks + Interviews

38% accuracy

Abilities + Personality Assessment + Reference Checks + Interviewing

54% accuracy

Values – Interests + Abilities + Personality Assessment + Reference Checks + Interviews

66% accuracy

Personal Attributes – Job Matching (job benchmark) + all of the above

75% accuracy” (Michigan State University Study, 1995)

4.4 How to improve Interview technique

Most of the typical interviews are comparatively unstructured. Structure approach are used where every candidates face the absolutely the same questions and situations to solve such a situation where the job position required. To make interview reliable and more valid the combination of two method like -using recommended structure, assessment test, references check, panel of interview, interviewer training may increase the reliability and validity of interview, it may appear to be useful but properly controlled comparisons of scores with measures of work performance may show that an apparently less relevant test has higher predictive validity (Hossain, 2010).

4.5 Summery tips for Interviewing

Regan and Dean (2010) summarised the key tips for the Interviewing technique by the following: “

aˆ? Structure the interview, have an agenda and inform the candidate so they can manage the employer’s expectations.

aˆ? Be clear about what the organisation is looking for – in terms of experience, personality and skills and prepare questions to assess the candidates’ suitability.

aˆ? Prepare questions based on areas on the CV which the interviewer would like to investigate.

aˆ? Select a comfortable professional location, free from interruptions.

aˆ? Review the CV and the job specification again prior to the interview.

aˆ? Set all the objectives on which to asses all candidates.

aˆ? Start with the brief history of the company.

aˆ? place the interviewee at easy and comfortable situation where the applicant is out of nervousness.

aˆ? Allow sufficient time for interviews – if any changes happened let the candidate know the duration is shortened, as it was informed before.

aˆ? If the company is looking for any specific skills or attributes devise relevant questions to cover the job position, let the candidates be asked specifiaclly.

aˆ? Ensure candidates leave with a good impression of the Interviewer and the company, even if they are not right for this role there may be others in the future.

aˆ? Summarise at the end – check to see all candidates questions are answered, and let them know the next steps.

aˆ? Record the answers and the responses” (Regan and Dean, 2010).

3.2.1 Structure There are several ways to structure the interview .The recommendation of the form of structure set out in table given below:

Chapter 5
Conclusion and Recommendation

The hiring decisions you make are some the most important investments into your organization’s future. Don’t leave it to chance!

The task of HR managers does not complete just after the interview session. The post-interview activities are vital for them. At least they should verify the background investigation of the potential employee before finally offering the job. Background investigations, or reference checks, are inte

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