There are many methods used to interview candidates for a job position, but the most common method is face-to-face interviews, conducted one-on-one or as a panel. Both forms are very common in interviewing, but when interviewing as a panel, there is much greater investment of time and man hours. So why is it that ono-on-one interviews are so common?
One-on-One Interviews – the advantages
Doing a one on one interview with a potential candidate has many advantages. Firstly, the candidate or interviewee might feel comfortable in one on one interviews and speak more openly and give more information in terms of open-ended questions. One on one interviews may provide a relaxing, less formal environment for the candidate so they may feel less self-conscious.
The interviewer has the opportunity to obtain detailed information about the candidate’s feelings, perceptions and opinions along with asking more detailed questions and clarifying ambiguities and pressing on for full answers or following up on incomplete answers. The interviewer may also use precise wording and tailor it to each candidate and clarify certain questions as requested by each candidate. Also, questions can be delved into deeper until the interviewer gets a full sense of what skills the candidate can provide for the job position.
Information in a one on one interview is detailed and systematic. The interviewer has the opportunity to observe the candidates facial expressions and body language which in turn will give the interviewer a clearer indication of the candidates true, honest feelings and thus can pass a clearer and stronger judgement of the candidate as they are face-to-face and thus present real time advantages. The use of these social cues (i.e. voice, intonation, body language, facial expressions) can give the interviewer a lot of information that can be added to the verbal answers given by the candidate.
There is also no significant time delay between question and answer; the interviewer and interviewee can directly react on what the other says or does. Moreover, one on one interviews involve only one interviewer which frees other senior staff members to concentrate on running the business. Lastly, one on one interviews give each candidate and equal chance to prove that they have the required skills and experience for the job.
One-on-One Interviews – the disadvantages
Along with the advantages, there are various disadvantages to one on one interviews. One on one interviews give only one person from a company the opportunity to hire the best candidate in their opinion. Which means all other staff members in the company have no say as to how good this candidate is and if in fact they are the best candidate for the job.
One on one interviews do not provide the best environments to test the candidate’s ability to face critical situations such as a panel interview might. One on one interviews can also be very costly and time-consuming; the interviewer has to review all applications, design and prepare interview questions, set up interview times with the best eligible candidates, do the interview, analyze each candidates skills after the interview, provide feedback to other staff members, and finally pick the best suited candidate.
On top of all this, the interviewer has to take into consideration all of the ethical and legal issues and requirements involved when conducting an interview. Furthermore, different interviewers may understand and regard a candidate in various ways, thus a good candidate for one interviewer may be the worse candidate according to another interviewer.