'The interview is a social ritual expected by all participants, including applicants. It is such a 'normal' feature of filling vacancies that candidates for a job would be extremely surprised not to be interviewed at least once.' (Alan Price, 2004, p.415, Human Resource Management in a Business Context, Thomson Learning.

In his Effective Interviewing (2002, p.3, Kogan Page) Robert Edenborough observes that:

'The interview as such is perhaps just a specialised form of what humans spend large proportions of their time doing, ie talking to one another by means of questions and answers. Although specialised interviews are common. They are themselves a sufficiently significant part of human interaction that interviewing skills may be regarded as a set of fundamental life skills, practised with varying degrees of effectiveness but found at every turn.'

Price (2004, p. 415) goes on to distinguish between informal and formal interviews. Many employers invite applicants for informal interviews prior to the main selection procedure. These interviews are useful for information exchange, particularly in the case of professionals. They provide the opportunity to discuss the full nature of the job, the working environment, prospects for further development and promotion. Candidates who decide the job is not for them can elect to go no further.

Formal selection interviews, he contends (p.416), can be defined as 'a conversation with a purpose' but notes that, more often than not, 'purposeless chat' would be nearer the mark. However, there is no denying that 'it is a form of social interaction in which the interviewer is engaged in active person perception of the interviewee.'

Edenborough (2002) provides a summary of definitions and origins of the interview and concludes that despite its ancient roots and common usage, the use of the term for selection and recruitment is relatively modern. He makes the observation that 'it is absent from many dictionaries prior to the 1960s, even though modern interview practice pre-dates that period by many decades. (p.4)'

Feature Articles

Types of interview
All job interviews have the same objective, but employers reach that objective in a variety of ways. One strategy for performing your best during an interview is to know the rules of the particular game you are playing when you walk through the door.

Be Ready to Answer the Top 10 Job Interview Questions
The answers that you provide to the questions during the interview will demonstrate what the employer is most interested in: your confidence, skills, and knowledge of the job.

Interviewing Like a Pro in Five Easy Steps
It's an inescapable fact that interviews are the "make or break" factor on whether one lands the job.

So, why don't you tell me about yourself?
The most frequently asked interview question. It's a question that most interviewees expect and the one they have the most difficulty answering.

Art of the Interview
First-hand tips for making a slam-dunk first impression at the company you want to work for

Standard Questions
Standard interview questions might not seem difficult, but your answer to each should be polished and sharp. Craft responses and practice them before your interview so that they roll off your tongue when you face the interviewer.

Difficult Questions
You think the interview is going well. Then the interviewer lifts her head from her notes and, pen in hand, asks: what are your weaknesses?

The Behavioral Style Interview
In an effort to find the perfect employee, recruiters have embraced behavioral style interviews as their interview of choice.

Now, Do You Have Any Questions?
The way you approach the Q&A session will have a direct impact on the interviewer's perception of you. Based on the questions you ask, a judgment will be made in regard to how interested you seem to be in working for the company.

How to Ask for the Job
Most candidates are intimidated to ask for the job because they are afraid of a "no" response. But there are a few ways you can broach the subject without actually saying, "Can I please have the job?"

Jobs and careers
Thinking of changing your career or getting your first job. Start here with HRMGuide.

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