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An interview is essentially a structured
conversation Conversation is interactive communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to be in relation with") is "an apparent answer to the painful divisions between self and other, private and public, and inner tho ...

conversation
where one participant asks
question A question is an utterance which typically functions as a request for information, which is expected to be provided in the form of an answer. Questions can thus be understood as a kind of illocutionary act in the field of pragmatics or as specia ...

question
s, and the other provides answers.Merriam Webster Dictionary
Interview
Dictionary definition, Retrieved February 16, 2016
In common parlance, the word "interview" refers to a one-on-one conversation between an ''interviewer'' and an ''interviewee''. The interviewer asks questions to which the interviewee responds, usually providing information. That information may be used or provided to other audiences immediately or later. This feature is common to many types of interviews – a job interview or interview with a witness to an event may have no other audience present at the time, but the answers will be later provided to others in the employment or investigative process. An interview may also transfer information in both directions. Interviews usually take place face-to-face and in person but the parties may instead be separated geographically, as in
videoconferencing Videotelephony, sometimes also referred to as video teleconference or videoconferencing, comprises the technologies for the reception and transmission of audio signal, audio-video signals by users in different locations, for communication betwee ...
or
telephone interview Telephone interviews are often conducted by employers in the initial interview round of the hiring process, this type of interview allows an employer to screen candidates on the candidate's experience, qualifications, and salary expectations perta ...
s. Interviews almost always involve spoken conversation between two or more parties. In some instances a "conversation" can happen between two persons who type their questions and answers. Interviews can be unstructured, free-wheeling and open-ended conversations without predetermined plan or prearranged questions. One form of unstructured interview is a focused interview in which the interviewer consciously and consistently guides the conversation so that the interviewee's responses do not stray from the main research topic or idea. Interviews can also be highly structured conversations in which specific questions occur in a specified order. They can follow diverse formats; for example, in a
ladder interviewA ladder interview is an interviewing technique where a seemingly simple response to a question is pushed by the interviewer in order to find subconscious In psychology Psychology is the science of mind and behavior. Psychology includes th ...
, a respondent's answers typically guide subsequent interviews, with the object being to explore a respondent's
subconscious In psychology Psychology is the science of mind and behavior. Psychology includes the study of consciousness, conscious and Unconscious mind, unconscious phenomena, as well as feeling and thought. It is an academic discipline of immense sc ...
motives Motive(s) or The Motive(s) may refer to: * Motive (law) Film and television * Motives (film), ''Motives'' (film), a 2004 thriller * The Motive (film), ''The Motive'' (film), 2017 * Motive (TV series), ''Motive'' (TV series), 2013 * "The Motive", a ...

motives
. Typically the interviewer has some way of recording the information that is gleaned from the interviewee, often by keeping notes with a pencil and paper, or with a
video Video is an electronic Electronic may refer to: *Electronics Electronics comprises the physics, engineering, technology and applications that deal with the emission, flow and control of electrons in vacuum and matter. It uses active d ...

video
or
audio Audio most commonly refers to sound In physics Physics (from grc, φυσική (ἐπιστήμη), physikḗ (epistḗmē), knowledge of nature, from ''phýsis'' 'nature'), , is the natural science that studies matter, its Motion ( ...
recorder. Interviews usually have a limited duration, with a beginning and an ending. The traditional two-person interview format, sometimes called a one-on-one interview, permits direct questions and follow-ups, which enables an interviewer to better gauge the accuracy and relevance of responses. It is a flexible arrangement in the sense that subsequent questions can be tailored to clarify earlier answers. Further, it eliminates possible distortion due to other parties being present. Face to face interviewing helps both parties to interact and form a connection, and understand the other.Snap Surveys
Advantages and disadvantages of face to face data collection
Retrieved April 27, 2018
Further, face to face interview sessions can be more enjoyable.


Etymology


Contexts

Interviews can happen in a wide variety of contexts: Employment. A
job interview Employment is the relationship between two parties Image:'Hip, Hip, Hurrah! Artist Festival at Skagen', by Peder Severin Krøyer (1888) Demisted with DXO PhotoLab Clearview; cropped away black border edge.jpg, 300px, ''Hip, Hip, Hurrah!'' ...

job interview
is a formal consultation for evaluating the qualifications of the interviewee for a specific position.Dipboye, R. L., Macan, T., & Shahani-Denning, C. (2012). The selection interview from the interviewer and applicant perspectives: Can't have one without the other. In N. Schmitt (Ed.), The Oxford handbook of personnel assessment and selection (pp. 323–352). New York City: Oxford University. One type of job interview is a
case interviewA case interview is a job interview A job, employment, work or occupation, is a person A person (plural people or persons) is a being that has certain capacities or attributes such as reason, morality, consciousness or self-consciousness, and ...
in which the applicant is presented with a question or task or challenge, and asked to resolve the situation. Candidates may be treated to a
mock interviewA mock interview is an emulation of a job interview A job, employment, work or occupation, is a person A person (plural people or persons) is a being that has certain capacities or attributes such as reason, morality, consciousness or self-co ...
as a training exercise to prepare the respondent to handle questions in the subsequent 'real' interview. A series of interviews may be arranged, with the first interview sometimes being a short ''screening interview'', followed by more in-depth interviews, usually by company personnel who can ultimately hire the applicant. Technology has enabled new possibilities for interviewing; for example,
video telephony Videotelephony comprises the technologies for the reception and transmission of audio Audio most commonly refers to sound In physics Physics (from grc, φυσική (ἐπιστήμη), physikḗ (epistḗmē), knowledge of nature, ...
has enabled inteviewing applicants from afar. Psychology. Psychologists use a variety of interviewing methods and techniques to try to understand and help their patients. In a
psychiatric interview The psychiatric interview refers to the set of tools that a mental health worker (most times a psychiatrist or a psychologist but at times social workers or nurses) uses to complete a psychiatric assessment. The goals of the psychiatric interview ...
, a psychiatrist or psychologist or nurse asks a battery of questions to complete what is called a
psychiatric assessment A psychiatric assessment, or psychological screening, is the process of gathering information about a person within a psychiatric service, with the purpose of making a diagnosis Diagnosis is the identification of the nature and cause of a certain ...
. Sometimes two people are interviewed by an interviewer, with one format being called
couple interview A couple interview (or joint couple interview, or more broadly conjoint interview, joint interview or dyadic interview) is a method of qualitative research Qualitative research relies on data obtained by the researcher from first-hand observatio ...
s. Criminologists and detectives sometimes use
cognitive interviewThe cognitive interview (CI) is a method of interviewing witness, eyewitnesses and victims about what they remember from a crime scene. Using four memory recall, retrievals, the primary focus of the cognitive interview is to make witnesses and victim ...
s on eyewitnesses and victims to try to ascertain what can be recalled specifically from a crime scene, hopefully before the specific memories begin to fade in the mind.Memon, A., Cronin, O., Eaves, R., Bull, R. (1995). An empirical test of mnemonic components of the cognitive interview. In G. Davies, S. Lloyd-Bostock, M. McMurran, C. Wilson (Eds.), Psychology, Law, and Criminal Justice (pp. 135–145). Berlin: Walter de Gruyer. Marketing and Academic. In
marketing research Marketing research is the systematic gathering, recording, and analysis of qualitative and quantitative data about issues relating to marketing Marketing is the process of intentionally stimulating demand for and purchases of goods and ser ...
and
academic research Research is " creative and systematic work undertaken to increase the stock of knowledge". It involves the collection, organization and analysis of information to increase understanding of a topic or issue. A research project may be an expa ...
, interviews are used in a wide variety of ways as a method to do extensive personality tests. Interviews are the most used form of data collection in
qualitative research Qualitative research relies on data obtained by the researcher from first-hand observation, interviews, questionnaires (on which participants write descriptively), focus groups, participant-observation, recordings made in natural settings, docum ...
. Interviews are used in marketing research as a tool that a firm may utilize to gain an understanding of how consumers think. Consumer research firms sometimes use
computer-assisted telephone interviewing Computer-assisted telephone interviewing (CATI) is a telephone Statistical survey, surveying technique in which the interviewer follows a script provided by a software application. It is a structured system of Microdata (statistics), microdata col ...
to randomly dial phone numbers to conduct highly structured telephone interviews, with scripted questions and responses entered directly into the computer. Journalism and other media. Typically, reporters covering a story in
journalism Journalism is the production and distribution of report Image:Hurt Report cover page.png, 220px, Example of a front page of a report A report is a document that presents information in an organized format for a specific audience and purpose. ...

journalism
conduct interviews over the phone and in person to gain information for subsequent publication. Reporters also interview government officials and political candidates for broadcast. In a
talk show A talk show (or chat show in British English British English (BrE) is the standard dialect A standard language (also standard variety, standard dialect, and standard) is a language variety that has undergone substantial codification ...
, a radio or television "host" interviews one or more people, with the topic usually chosen by the host, sometimes for the purposes of
entertainment Entertainment is a form of activity that holds the attention and interest In finance Finance is the study of financial institutions, financial markets and how they operate within the financial system. It is concerned with the creatio ...

entertainment
, sometimes for informational purposes. Such interviews are often recorded. Other situations. Sometimes college representatives or alumni conduct college interviews with prospective students as a way of assessing a student's suitability while offering the student a chance to learn more about a college. Some services specialize in coaching people for interviews. Embassy officials may conduct interviews with applicants for student visas before approving their visa applications. Interviewing in legal contexts is often called
interrogation Interrogation (also called questioning) is interviewing as commonly employed by law enforcement officers, military personnel, intelligence agencies, organized crime syndicates, and terrorist organizations with the goal of eliciting useful informa ...

interrogation
.
Debriefing Debriefing is a report of a mission or project or the information so obtained. It is a structured process following an exercise or event that reviews the actions taken. As a technical term, it implies a specific and active intervention process th ...

Debriefing
is another kind of interview.


Blind interview

In a blind interview the identity of the interviewee is concealed so as to reduce interviewer bias. Blind interviews are sometimes used in the software industry and are standard in orchestral auditions. Blind interviews have been shown in some cases to increase the hiring of minorities and women.


Interviewer bias

The relationship between the interviewer and interviewee in research settings can have both positive and negative consequences. Their relationship can bring deeper understanding of the information being collected, however this creates a risk that the interviewer will be unable to be unbiased in their collection and interpretation of information. Bias can be created from the interviewers perception of the interviewee, or from the interviewee's perception of the interviewer. Additionally, a researcher can bring biases to the table based on the researcher’s mental state, their preparedness for conducting the research, and the researcher conducting inappropriate interviews. Interviewers can use various practices known in
qualitative research Qualitative research relies on data obtained by the researcher from first-hand observation, interviews, questionnaires (on which participants write descriptively), focus groups, participant-observation, recordings made in natural settings, docum ...
to mitigate interviewer bias. These practices include
subjectivity Subjectivity in a philosophical Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, such as those about existence Existence is the ability of an entity to interact with physical or mental reality Reality is the sum ...
, objectivity, and reflexivity. Each of these practices allows the interviewer, or researcher, the opportunity to use their bias to enhance their work by gaining a deeper understanding of the problem they are studying.


See also

*
Repertory grid The repertory grid is an interviewing technique which uses nonparametric factor analysis to determine an idiographic measure of personality. It was devised by George Kelly (psychologist), George Kelly in around 1955 and is based on his personal con ...
interview *In research **
Telephone interview Telephone interviews are often conducted by employers in the initial interview round of the hiring process, this type of interview allows an employer to screen candidates on the candidate's experience, qualifications, and salary expectations perta ...
**
Computer assisted telephone interviewing Computer-assisted telephone interviewing (CATI) is a telephone Statistical survey, surveying technique in which the interviewer follows a script provided by a software application. It is a structured system of Microdata (statistics), microdata co ...
**
Interview (research) An interview in qualitative research Qualitative research relies on data obtained by the researcher from first-hand observation, interviews, questionnaires, focus groups, participant-observation, recordings made in natural settings, documents, and ...
**
Knowledge transfer Knowledge transfer refers to sharing or disseminating of knowledge and providing inputs to problem solving Problem solving consists of using generic or ad hoc Ad hoc is a List of Latin phrases, Latin phrase meaning literally 'to this'. I ...

Knowledge transfer
** Online interview ** Mall intercept interview **
Qualitative research Qualitative research relies on data obtained by the researcher from first-hand observation, interviews, questionnaires (on which participants write descriptively), focus groups, participant-observation, recordings made in natural settings, docum ...
interview **
Structured interviewA structured interview (also known as a standardized interview or a researcher-administered survey) is a quantitative research Quantitative may refer to: * Quantitative research, scientific investigation of quantitative properties * Quantitative an ...
**
Unstructured interview An unstructured interview or non-directive interview is an interview Some interviews are recorded for television broadcast An interview is essentially a structured conversation Conversation is interactive communication Communicati ...
*In journalism and media **
Interview (journalism) A journalistic interview takes the form of a conversation between two or more people: interviewer(s) ask questions to elicit facts or statements from interviewee(s). Interviews are a standard part of journalism and News media, media reporting. In ...
**
Talk show A talk show (or chat show in British English British English (BrE) is the standard dialect A standard language (also standard variety, standard dialect, and standard) is a language variety that has undergone substantial codification ...
*In other contexts ** College interview ** Reference interview, between a librarian and a library user


References

{{Authority control Survey methodology