The interview is popular because it is more personal than traditional selection assessments (e.g.,
written tests) and because it can be used to evaluate job characteristics not easily measured with
other procedures (e.g., Oral Communication and Interpersonal Skills).
Interviews are typically used for one of two purposes in the Federal Government. First, the
interview may be used as part of the formal selection process in which candidates are screened or
ranked based on their scores. Second, a “selecting official's interview” may be used to verify
candidates’ qualifications for a job after they have been rated using other assessment methods,
but prior to making a hiring decision. In a selecting official’s interview, candidates’ responses
are typically not scored.
Structured vs. Unstructured Interviews
Employment interviews can be either structured or unstructured. Generally speaking, structured
interviews ensure candidates have equal opportunities to provide information and are assessed
accurately and consistently.