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An interview is a conversation between two or more people (The interviewer and the interviewee) where questions are asked by the interviewer to obtain information from the interviewee. Interviewing refers to the process used in conducting interviews.
There are various types of interview:
Types of interviews
Interviews can be divided into two rough types, interviews of assessment and interviews for information.
- Main article: Interviewing in organizational settings
The most common type of interview for assessment is a job interview between an employer and an applicant. The goal of such an interview is to assess a potential employee to see if he/she has the social skills and intelligence suitable for the workplace.
In most developed countries, rules and regulations govern what can be asked in these interviews. Highly personal questions and those unrelated to the job at hand are forbidden, as are questions which invite discrimination. However some interviewers tend to ask such questions in order to see how the interviewee reacts and if (s)he is able to elegantly avert the question.
Such interviews can be brief fifteen-minute affairs or they can stretch for many hours even over a series of days. McMaster University and other institutions have begun admitting medical students based upon Multiple Mini-Interviews. Multiple Mini-Interviews involve having each candidate rotate through a series of 10-12 short "stations." Each station requires the candidate to perform a task. A score is assigned by an observer to each performance and the total score determines the standing of the candidate. Research on the Multiple Mini-Interview has suggested it is more reliable than traditional panel-based interviews as interviewer biases and unusual performances on the part of the candidate get diluted among a larger sample of behaviours.
Another important type of interview is the psychological one that can be divided into three forms: structured, semi-structured and non-structured.
The second class of interviews are those seeking to gather information about a subject. These types of interviews are central to the practices of clinical and educational psychology
- Main article: Interviewing in clinical settings settings
- Main article: Interviewing in educational settings settings
A research interview is a structured social interaction between a researcher and a subject who is identified as a potential source of information, in which the interviewer initiates and controls the exchange to obtain quantifiable and comparable information relevant to an emerging or previously stated hypothesis.
- Main article: Interviewing in research settings
In a police setting, interviews known as legal interrogations can be used to obtain information from a suspect, witness, or victim. Interviews can be conducted in a formal police station setting, or they can be conducted on the street or at someone's home. An interview turns into an interrogation once someone is taken into custody and there is suspicion that they have committed an offence.
- Main article: Interviewing in forensic settings
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