• Learning for LifeandWork

Why interviews are used to fill job vacancies

Updated: Nov 23, 2020


Interviews are used to help fill job vacancies because they are a quick way of finding the right person for the job. All applicants are asked the same questions and given the same time which allows the employer to compare the applicants equally and fairly.

Interviews give employers the opportunity to meet the applicant face to face

When face to face the employer can see how the applicant behaves, how good they are at communicating, how they react under pressure and generally, the employer can get a feel for the applicant; if they are enthusiastic and/or keen on the job they have applied for.

Interviews give the employer an opportunity to ask the applicant questions.

At interview, the employer has an opportunity to ask questions about details that may be missing from the CV or application form. The employer can test the applicant's knowledge and understanding of the job being applied for and they can see, from the answers that they hear, if the applicant has the necessary literacy and numeracy levels required for the job. The employer may also ask questions about the applicant's personal qualities, skills and experience to determine how suitable they are for the job.

Interviews give employers an opportunity to see if the applicant looks like they are suitable for the job

Interviews give the employer an opportunity to see if the applicant dresses appropriately for the job they have applied for; assessing if the applicant has dressed respectfully, with clean, neat and tidy clothes. The employer can look to see if the applicant has created a good impression, going on what they have chosen to wear to the interview. In some businesses the appearance of the applicant is very important as they will be representing the business and will be expected to convey a good image.

Interviews give employers an opportunity to assess the applicant further

As part of the interview process employers sometimes ask the applicant to make a presentation. Applicants may get 3-4 days notice to prepare their presentation or, on occasion, the applicant has no idea what their presentation is about until they go to interview. They will then get a short time to prepare it before delivering their presentation to the interview panel. A presentation allows the employer to see the applicant's level of knowledge and communication skills.

Interviews give the applicant an opportunity to find out more information

At interview the applicant gets an opportunity to get a feel for the business that they have applied to. The applicant may get a tour of the company or business just before the interview starts and so can see what it will be like to work in that place. At interview, applicants can also find out about working conditions, hours of pay, salary, training and promotion prospects.

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