Types of Interviews

Researchers have identified different types of interviews categorized according to purpose. These include information-giving interviews, information-getting interviews, persuasive, problem-solving, counseling, employment, and complaint interviews. Other types of interviews common among but not limited to work settings are performance reviews, reprimand interviews, stress interviews, and exit interviews.

  • Information-giving interviews are interviews in which the interviewer is the one giving the information. For instance, doctors provide information to their patients before a procedure.
  • Information-getting interviews are interviews where the interviewer seeks to gather information from the interviewee. These include polls, surveys, and interviews conducted by researchers, news writers, and broadcasters.
  • Persuasive Interviews aim to influence the interviewee’s opinions or preferences. Sales interviews, for instance, persuade customers to purchase their products or services.
  • Problem-solving interviews are conducted when the interviewer and the interviewee work together to solve a problem. For instance, an employer and an employee may ask each other’s opinions and suggestions to a work-related issue.
  • Counseling interviews are interviews in which the interviewer, who is usually an expert in the field (counselor, lawyer, accountant, etc.), provides information regarding an interviewee’s or a client’s problem.
  • Job interviews are interviews conducted by employers to assess the skills and qualifications of a candidate for employment. At the same time, the job candidate also asks queries regarding the job. The exchange of information subsequently determines whether the candidate and the employer are a good fit.
  • Complaint interviews are interviews in which a company representative (interviewer) seeks to acquire information from a complaining client or customer to attempt to resolve the problem about a product or service.
  • Performance reviews are interviews that monitor the performance of subordinates in a professional setting. The evaluation of the strengths and weaknesses aim to improve the over-all performance of the organization.
  • Reprimand interviews are interviews that are conducted when an employee’s performance is unsatisfactory or when an employee has committed misconduct amongst other employees. A reprimand interview must be conducted in a supportive climate for it to be effective.
  • Stress interviews are interviews often conducted by police officers and lawyers which put the interviewee under pressure through rapid-fire questioning, deliberate distortion and misinterpretation of answers, and the use of nonverbal gestures. These are also used in job interviews which aim to assess how an interviewee would respond under pressure especially if the job entails working in a highly stressful environment.
  • Exit interviews are commonly given in academic and professional settings where an individual leaving the institution provides information and gives his or her evaluation to improve the institution’s environment, practices, and policies. The responses in exit interviews are considered more honest and insightful as the interviewee is already leaving the organization.