Interview- Stages,Techniques and Planning


In free interview there is no limit on the area and field of the subject matter to be asked from the interviewee. The non- directive interview is valuable to get more and deep information about the client.

An atmosphere of peace and confidence is created to facilitate the client to express the facts of his behaviour, attitudes, conflicts and other problems. Standardised interview is a technique which helps to reduce the bias of interviewers. In this questions are predetermined and same or similar questions are uniformly asked to all the interviewees. A standard condition is set for all the interviewers.

Stages of Interview

Every interview proceeds through three stages- the warm up; the question and answer session and the close.

The Warm up- of the three stages warm up is the most important, even though it may account for only a small fraction of the time you spend in the interview. Psychologists say that 50% of interview decisions are made within the first 60 seconds and the other 25% are made in another 15 minutes. If you get off to a bad start, it is extremely difficult to turn around the interview.

The question and answer stage– this stage consumes the greatest part of the interview. During this phase interviewer asks questions for which the interviewee is expected to provide the answer. While answering one must not limit to only yes or no answers. One must take pause and think before responding to questions.

The Close- like the opening, the end of the interview is also important. In the last few minutes, you need to evaluate how well you have done and correct any misconceptions the interviewer might have. You can generally tell when the interviewer is trying to conclude the session by watching for verbal and non verbal cues. The interviewer may ask you if you have any question, sum up the discussion, or indicate with gesture that interview is over. When you get this signal, respond promptly, but do not rush. Be sure to thank the interviewer for the opportunity.

Planning the Interview-

Planning an interview is like planning any other kind of communication. You begin by stating your purpose, analysing the other person and formulating your own ideas. While planning the interview following things should be kept in mind-

Decide on the purpose and goals of the interview.

Outline your interview based on your goals and the interview category.

Maintain a level of formality.

Choose a structured or unstructured approach.

Determine the need of an interviewee, and gather necessary background information.

Formulate questions as clearly as possible, and plot their order according to your purpose and the interviewee’s needs.

Project the outcome of the interview, and develop a plan for accomplishing the goals.

Select a time and site.

Inform the interviewee of the nature of the interview and agenda to be covered.

The purpose of interview and the nature of interviewees determine the types of question that are asked. When you plan to conduct the interview, bear in mind that you have to ask questions-

1) To get information

2) To motivate the interviewee to respond honestly and appropriately, and

3) To create good working relationship with the other person.

Conducting the Interview-

The speaking and listening skills serve a person throughout his or her career. Interview as you know is a planned conversation with a predetermined purpose that involves asking and answering questions. In a typical interview the interviewer controls the action.

Interview sometimes involves several interviewers, but more often two people participate. Although the interviewer guides the conversation, the interviewer may also seek to accomplish a purpose, perhaps to obtain or provide information, to solve a problem, to create a goodwill, or to persuade a person to take an action. If the participant establishes rapport and sticks to the subject at hand, both sides have a chance of achieving the objective. You need to keep following points in mind-

Be on time for the interview.

Remind the interviewee of the purpose and the format.

Take notes or use tape recorder.

Use ears and eyes to pick up verbal and non verbal cues.

Follow the stated agenda but be willing to explore the subtopic if some times comes.

At the end, restate the interview’s key ideas.

Close the interview on an appreciative note, with thanks to the interviewee for his/her time, interest and cooperation.


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