Types of interview

An interview is a conversation or exchange of ideas between two parties (interviewer and interviewee) in order to obtain valuable information.

Based on this, there are several types of interviews that can be classified according to the scope in which they are carried out or the way in which they are conducted. In all cases, what is sought is for the interviewee to present data or ideas that will help the interviewee to make certain decisions: select a candidate for a job, decide which is the most appropriate medical or psychological treatment or publish a journalistic note.

Interview types according to knowledge area

There are several types of interviews according to their scope:

Work interview

These are the interviews that are carried out in the personnel selection processes, in order to find the most qualified candidate for the requested position, according to the needs of the company.

In this type of meeting, the coach is usually a Human Resources specialist, who will be in charge of knowing a little more about the life and work experience of the candidate. On the other hand, the person who aspires to the position must demonstrate that he has the technical and human capacities to assume the role to which he is applying.

There are multiple methodologies to apply in these cases, but mostly they are usually face-to-face interviews and an atmosphere of relaxation for the applicants is usually sought.

When a candidate is selected, he can be called for other interviews with who his superiors are going to be; otherwise, you will only have one interview and it will be the recruiter who will inform you that your process has been successful.

Psychological interview

Psychological interviews are used to collect data about the patient’s life and his reasons for consultation. The more openness and honesty there is on the part of the patient, the psychologist will have a more complete view of the situation and can draw up a successful strategy.

Psychological interviews may vary depending on the stage of the patient psychologist relationship, but in general terms a first interview is required to determine the reason for consultation and explore vital aspects that allow a better understanding of the patient’s context.

When the process is finished and it is considered that the patient can be discharged, a final interview will be held in which his current situation will be established.

Clinical interview

A clinical interview is a conversation between a doctor and a patient, in which the first will address the patient’s medical history through a series of questions. This information will be vital for the specialist to determine if medical treatment is necessary, perform a particular exam or if it should be referred to another specialty or health center.

Journalistic Interview

It is the dialogue that a journalist maintains with a person or group of people in order to obtain data of interest for a journalistic investigation. In this sense, the interviewees can be recognized people who are consulted on matters of public interest or their own trajectory, but they can also be people who, without having relevance in public life, have valuable information, knowledge or testimony about a recent event

Types of interviews according to their structure

Depending on the methodology that is applied, the interviews can be of three types:

Open interview

Also known as a free interview, it is one that is characterized by the absence of a questionnaire. It is a more relaxed dialogue, which allows the interviewee to feel more confident and that their answers are more spontaneous and fluid.

Structured or closed interview

In this case, the interviewer has a questionnaire or series of specific questions that will allow him to address different aspects of the interviewee in a more efficient way. This type of interview is widely applied in the personnel selection processes, due to its practicality.

Mixed interview

It is a mixture of the previous two. In these cases, a part of the interview is carried out as a common conversation, and at some point closed or specific questions are asked.

Types of interview according to the means of communication used

Face-to-face interviews

As the name implies, they require the presence of the interviewer and the interviewee. When it is a job interview, it is usually in the offices of the company that is doing the search.

The clinical and psychological interviews take place in the specialist’s office or in the emergency room, while the face-to-face interviews for journalistic purposes are a bit freer: they can be done in the offices of the media, in the interviewee’s house, on the street or in a neutral place, like a cafe or a public space.

Telephone interviews

They are those that are carried out by telephone and are common in the recruitment processes because they allow the coach to make a first contact with the applicant before summoning him to a face-to-face interview. In the journalistic field, they can be a resource when circumstances prevent a face-to-face encounter, but it is not recommended.

Email Interviews

In this case, it can be forms sent by email to collect data that will be used in an investigation, but they are not usually as common in other areas, since there is no complete assurance that the responses will be generated by the requested person.

Video Call Interviews

These types of interviews are a very useful resource today, because it allows face-to-face contact between the parties involved without the inconvenience generated by distance and travel to the meeting point.

Characteristics of the interviews

Although the types of interviews differ from one another depending on the scope of application and the objectives to be achieved, there are some common characteristics that should be considered by both the interviewer and the interviewee:

  • An interview requires at least one interviewer and one interviewee.
  • The interview must have a definite objective.
  • The interviewer must generate a cordial space so that the interviewee feels comfortable. In this sense, good manners, education and courtesy help to reduce the tension that the situation may generate. This applies in all cases, except in stress interviews, in which the opposite effect is sought.
  • An interview should be preceded by a little research. In the case of job interviews, the candidate is expected to know the company’s trajectory. In the same way, in journalistic interviews it is necessary to know a little about the history or circumstances of the interviewee or news to ask pertinent questions.
  • Journalistic interviews can be face-to-face and, in particular cases, by telephone or video call.
  • Job interviews can be face-to-face, by phone, by mail or by video call.
  • In the psychological and medical interviews the face-to-face interview prevails, for obvious reasons. However, advances in telemedicine have made it possible to have direct communication with health personnel regardless of distance, thanks to video calls or medical applications. This is especially useful in cases of primary medical care or of patients with difficulty moving.