Pros & cons of different interview formats

Pros & cons of different interview formats
Last Updated: October 11, 2023

What is an Interview format?

An interview format is a method of conducting a job interview so that employers may efficiently analyze candidates skills, experience, and qualifications. The decision to structure an interview in a given format is based on several criteria. An employers choice of interview format can be influenced by the employment industry, specific role needs, and company policies.



Comparing the Pros and Cons of Different interview formats


In general, an interview is a formal meeting between an interviewer and an interviewee during which the former asks questions and the latter response. This procedure is mainly used to get to know one another and select and recruit the best candidate for a position.


There is no one-size-fits-all approach to conducting an interview. For example, how do you decide which interview format or a combination of formats to use when there are so many new technologies and possibilities available? The obvious drivers are cost and time, but one should not overlook candidate experience.

Candidate Experience

How the interview is conducted and the interview experience impact how the interviewed candidates perceive the organization. Take, for instance, an interview format where you are asked to record your interview responses on video and sent them to the employer. You save time and money through this approach. Whether or not a candidate is hired, a great experience during the recruiting process translates to a positive impression of the firm.


A closer look at different interview formats

Both employers and candidates value the interview process. So, how do various interview styles fare? Is there a better format for the interview?


Phone Interviews



Prescreening candidates via phone interviews are a quick and cost-effective method. Candidates can take the call from a familiar location of their choice, which might help alleviate some initial anxiety. They can also have information in front of them while chatting, such as the company website or a job description. If an applicant appears to meet the requirements but lives a long distance away, you can save money by doing a phone interview before incurring significant travel expenses.



A lack of body language and facial expressions can make the situation harder to read for both sides. It is not easy to judge how attentive someone is during a telephone interview. You wont see them frown they disagree with something you have said. You cant see them smile or see any facial or body expressions. Short time slots also make it challenging to build an in-depth conversation. Though they are quick, Telephone interview should never be a substitute for final face-to-face interviews. The call could be interrupted by other calls, background noises, or even bad signals.


Video Call Interviews

There are two types of video interviews; One-way and Two-way live virtual. The first type allows an employer to send a list of questions to candidates, who then record and email their responses. The second is a real-time interview that resembles an in-person interview. This method is a quick and easy technique to create a shortlist of qualified candidates to invite for face-to-face interviews.


Video interviews can be done using platforms such as Skype, Zoom, Facetime, Google Hangout, and so on.



Its worth mentioning that video interviews provide many of the advantages of phone interviews, such as eliminating travel time and costs and the ability to convey visual features. Remote candidates who are unable to travel to the interview place can be screened using video calls. A video interview can be as efficient as an in-person interview. What is required is the right technology and sufficient internet connectivity. Employees may also want to purchase the best microphone for interviews to have clear sound with no surrounding noises. Video interviews, unlike phone interviews, allow you to get a sense of the candidates energy and how they present themselves. Thus, video call interviews are an excellent replacement for phone interviews. Also, they are convenient for candidates who are employed since they do not need to take time off work to attend an interview.



While virtual interviews are preferable to phone interviews.When communicating with someone, body language accounts for 55% of the message that is deduced. Many hiring managers can tell if someone is qualified for a job just by looking at them as they walk in the door. Also, both sides reliance on technology can lead to unanticipated technical issues that can disrupt or distract from the interview. Other elements can interfere with the context being addressed and make it challenging to create rapport. Candidates who live in areas where the internet connection is weak will be at a disadvantage. In video interviews, it might also be difficult to establish rapport.


Prerecorded One-Way Interview

This is another type of video interviews and also called on-demand interviews. Candidates can use purpose-built interviewing equipment to record their responses to a shortlist of questions utilizing video or audio-only.



Candidates can film prerecorded videos whenever they want, with as many attempts as they need until they are satisfied with the outcome. Hiring managers have the freedom to watch the videos at their leisure, allowing them to get a sense of the candidates personality and sincerity.



Speaking before a camera is unpleasant, and those not accustomed can feel strange and at a disadvantage. Interviewers cant adapt questions for each candidate if they use standard, rigid queries, and they risk getting remarkably similar replies. It also has a \"cold\" and impersonal feel to it, giving the impression that your company lacks the time or desire to get to know potential employees.


In-Person One-on-One Interviews

This is the most common interview format, which makes the interview process comfortable and predictable for candidates. However, it is a traditional interview format, and companies have been using this format before the emergence of technology.



When it comes to hiring, communication skills are the most crucial factor. In-person interviews allow the interviewer to gain a better understanding of the candidates skills.


It assists in giving a better judgment of the interview candidates. The interviewer must select a deserving and \"best of the bunch\" candidate. On the other hand, recruiters are unable to focus on one person during group interviews because the entire group is engaged at the same time. In addition, group interviews hinder shy candidates from demonstrating their abilities. As a result, many deserving individuals may miss out on the job opportunity.


It is easier for the interviewer and the interviewee to establish rapport than any other available interview format.



There are people with introverted personalities that might not feel comfortable in a new environment. Regardless of the situation, some people find it impossible to hide their fear under a mask of confidence. The introverts disposition may also be a hindrance to clearly expressing ones opinions. The in-person interview inhibits shy peoples ability to demonstrate their talent, which they could have shown readily through a task or in writing.


There is also subjectivity in decision-making. In a face-to-face interview, the candidates choices are influenced by the interviewers perceptions. Even if the interviewee believes they are giving their all, the interviewer may not be impressed.


Round Robin Interviewing

A loop interview, multiple round interview, or serial interview are other names for the Round Robin interview format. During these round-robin interviews, the prospective applicant meets firm professionals such as the HR officer, department supervisor, potential coworkers, and, on rare occasions, the General Manager.



A Round Robin interview is similar to a panel interview in that the interviewee meets with numerous persons at different times. Typically, interviewers will do one-on-one interviews with you. This interview format has multiple personnel involved in the hiring process who conduct separate one-on-one interviews to assess a candidates fit. Interviewers can use this information to evaluate a candidates personal and professional characteristics, such as:


  • Person-organization fit, that is, how they will have in the companys culture and workplace
  • Their ability to engage and collaborate with people who have a wide range of personality features
  • Communication, teamwork, and conflict resolution skills


The interview format assesses a few key personality attributes, such as the candidates capacity to deal with conflict, emotional stability, intent, as evidenced by their patience during the interview, and decisiveness. Recruiters are increasingly searching for well-rounded individuals with the required technical capabilities as well as vital soft qualities.



Round robin interviewing takes much time for both parties, especially when there are many candidates. These interviews might be costly due to the large number of participants involved. A full-day event necessitates candidates to be \"on\" all of the time, which might be exhausting. When large firms hire management employees, the round-robin interview is extremely popular. This style of inquiry is regarded to give the completest image of the individual because this personnel must engage with a variety of individuals and must often comprehend a wide range of processes and systems. However, because the candidate must go through many rounds of interviews, this slows down the interview process. This may enhance the chances of losing a candidate to another employer or raising company hiring costs.



The screening process usually involves more than just a single interview format. Hiring managers can develop the optimal approach for each position by examining budgets and allowed time for each candidate. Of course, there is no perfect way to find your dream candidate, but weighing the benefits and drawbacks of each interview format can help you determine the most effective technique, which will most likely include a mix of interview styles and technologies.


Therefore, it is essential to choose the interview format you'll use because it will directly impact how much you can learn about candidates. Consider the several formatting options listed above and select the one that best meets your organizations needs.






Kelin Zvomuya is a Consultant at Industrial Psychology Consultants (Pvt) Ltd, a management and human resources consulting firm.

Phone +263 (242) 481946-48/481950 or

Cell number +263 78 541 9889 or

Email: or

Visit our website at

Kelin Zvomuya

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