Conducting an interview is a crucial process in various areas, from personnel selection to research and performance evaluation.

In this clear and precise article we will leave some downloadable interview format examples.

How should an interview be conducted?

interview format

Before delving into the process of developing an interview, it is essential to understand its definition and purpose.

An interview, at its core, is a structured dialogue between an interviewer and an interviewee with the goal of obtaining specific information.

The purpose can range from candidate selection to thorough research of a topic.

Importantly, clarity of purpose will guide the entire process, from identifying participants to formulating key questions.

Precisely defining the purpose ensures that the interview is effective and meets its objectives.

Identification of the interviewer and interviewee

interviewer and interviewee

The first crucial task in preparing an interview is the identification of the participants.

The interviewer, who leads the conversation, must thoroughly know both the interviewee and the context in which the interview takes place.

This prior knowledge will make it easier to create relevant questions and conduct the interview effectively.

On the other hand, the interviewee must understand the purpose of the interview and be prepared to actively participate.

Clear identification of both parties lays the foundation for a productive interaction.

Previous research

an interview

Prior research is the cornerstone of a successful interview. Before the meeting, the interviewer must investigate both the interviewee and the topic to be addressed.

This in-depth research allows you to ask relevant questions and shows the interviewee that you have taken time and effort to understand their perspective.

Using reliable and up-to-date sources contributes to the quality of the interview, providing a solid context for the questions and facilitating a fluid conversation.

Goal Setting

Looking for real employment

Setting clear objectives is essential to focus the interview and measure its success. Objectives may vary depending on the purpose of the interview, but they should be specific, measurable, and relevant.

From obtaining detailed information to evaluating specific skills, objectives guide the creation of questions and the direction of the conversation.

Once objectives are established, it is essential to communicate them transparently to the interviewee to align expectations and ensure effective collaboration.

Selection of key questions

Selecting questions is an art in itself. Questions should be carefully designed to obtain specific and revealing information.

They can be divided into open questions, which encourage detailed answers, and closed questions, which usually elicit specific answers.

It is crucial to balance both types of questions to get a complete view of the topic.

In addition, the variety in the formulation and tone of the questions contributes to a dynamic and enriching interview.

Creating an enabling environment

The environment in which the interview takes place significantly impacts the quality of the answers.

Creating a conducive environment involves selecting a quiet location, ensuring adequate lighting, and establishing an atmosphere of openness and respect.

The comfort of the interviewee is key, as it facilitates the genuine expression of ideas and experiences.

The choice of environment contributes to establishing an effective connection between the interviewer and the interviewee.

Ethical considerations

Ethics in the interview is essential to guarantee a fair and respectful process.

This involves obtaining the informed consent of the interviewee, respecting the confidentiality of the information and avoiding invasive or discriminatory questions.

The interviewer’s code of ethics is a guide in this aspect, and its knowledge and proper application strengthen the integrity of the entire process.

In the next section, we’ll explore how to conduct interviews efficiently using a tool as versatile as Excel.

But first, let’s make sure that all aspects of traditional interview construction have been covered in detail and clarity.

How to do an interview in Excel?

Integrating Excel into the interview process not only streamlines data collection, but also allows for more efficient analysis.

The ability to organize, filter and view information in spreadsheets makes it easier to make decisions based on concrete data.

By using Excel, the efficiency of the process is maximized, especially when handling large amounts of information, such as in personnel selection processes or exhaustive investigations.

Benefits of Using Excel in Interviews Challenges to Overcome
Efficient organization: Structured spreadsheets for detailed data. Possible learning curve for those unfamiliar with Excel.
Data Analysis: Built-in tools to interpret responses and patterns. Possibility of errors in data entry if not handled carefully.
Report Generation: Creation of custom reports for detailed evaluations. Need for constant updating to maintain the relevance of reports.

Creating a question template

Before we dive into the interview process itself, it’s crucial to design a question template in Excel.

This template should be clear, organized and adapted to the specific objectives of the interview. Each question must be linked to the previously established objectives.

Some key elements to consider in the template include interviewee identification, question categories, and spaces for detailed answers.

Creating a solid template makes it easier to collect and analyze information later.

Recording responses in Excel

During the interview, the interviewer must record the answers in a precise and structured manner in the Excel template.

This not only ensures data integrity, but also facilitates subsequent review and reporting.

It is advisable to use a table structure in Excel to organize the answers efficiently.

Labeling each column by question category ensures easy reference and analysis.

Data analysis and filtering

One of the main advantages of using Excel is the ability to analyze and filter data quickly and effectively.

After completing the interview, the interviewer can use features such as filters and graphs to identify patterns, trends, and areas of interest.

The flexibility of Excel allows you to adjust the analysis according to the specific objectives of the interview, providing a deep understanding of the information collected.

Generation of reports and graphs

Reporting is a crucial phase that transforms data into meaningful insights.

Using Excel’s chart and pivot table features, the interviewer can visually present the interview results in a clear and understandable manner.

The choice of charts will depend on the nature of the information collected, but the variety of options in Excel allows you to customize the presentation according to specific needs.

Process automation with formulas

Excel offers a wide range of formulas that can automate processes, saving time and reducing potential human errors.

From summing responses to calculating averages, Excel formulas speed up repetitive tasks and facilitate statistical analysis.

It is essential to become familiar with formulas such as SUM, AVERAGE and COUNT to maximize the efficiency of data analysis in interviews conducted with Excel.

Use of complementary tools

In addition to Excel’s built-in functions, there are several complementary tools that can further enhance the interview process.

Add-ins and specialized extensions can offer specific functions, such as sentiment analysis or evaluation of responses according to predefined criteria.

It is advisable to explore these complementary tools to personalize the experience according to the specific needs and objectives of each interview.

What is the format of an interview?

Basic structure

The basic structure of an interview plays a fundamental role in its success.

It is made up of several phases that guide the interaction between the interviewer and the interviewee in a logical and effective way.

  • Beginning: In this phase, the tone of the interview is established through a friendly introduction. It is essential to introduce yourself, explain the purpose of the interview and reassure the interviewee.
  • Development: The main exchange of information takes place here. The interviewer asks questions in an organized manner, and the interviewee responds by providing relevant details. Different types of questions can be included depending on the objective of the interview.
  • Conclusion: The final phase is to close the interview politely. The interviewee is given the opportunity to ask additional questions, and information on next steps is provided, if applicable.

The basic structure ensures fluidity in the conversation and allows effective time management during the interview.

Types of questions to include

Questions are the main tool to obtain information during an interview.

It is crucial to use a variety of question types to obtain complete and detailed answers.

  • Open questions: Encourage extensive and descriptive answers. They are useful for obtaining detailed information and exploring past experiences.
  • Closed questions: These usually elicit specific answers such as “yes” or “no.” They are used to obtain timely information and verify facts.
  • Situational questions: Pose hypothetical scenarios to evaluate how the interviewee would handle specific situations in the future.
  • Behavioral questions: Explore past experiences to predict the future behavior of the interviewee.

The strategic combination of these types of questions allows you to obtain a complete view of the interviewee and evaluate their suitability for the purpose of the interview.

Appropriate duration

The length of an interview is a critical aspect that must be carefully managed.

While shorter interviews may not provide enough information, interviews that are too long can be exhausting for the interviewee.

The optimal length varies depending on the purpose of the interview, but a reasonable balance generally ranges between 45 minutes and 1 hour.

Careful planning of structure and questions helps maintain adequate length.

Introduction and presentation

The introduction and presentation are the first impression that the interviewee gets from the interview.

A clear, friendly introduction sets a positive tone and helps alleviate potential tensions.

The interviewer should introduce themselves, briefly explain the purpose of the interview, and provide an overview of the process.

This creates a welcoming atmosphere and prepares the interviewee for the interaction that follows.

Development of the interview

The development phase is the core of the interview, where the majority of the interaction takes place.

Here, the interviewer asks questions in a structured manner, guiding the conversation towards predefined objectives.

It is essential to actively listen to the interviewee’s responses, asking follow-up questions as necessary.

The ability to adapt to the direction of the conversation ensures that relevant and valuable information is obtained.

Closing and farewell

The closing of the interview is as important as the introduction. Provides an opportunity to summarize key points, allow the interviewee to ask additional questions, and offer insight into next steps in the process.

The farewell should be polite and grateful, leaving a positive impression on the interviewee. This contributes to building strong professional relationships.

Post-interview review

The post-interview review is an often underestimated but valuable phase.

After the interview, the interviewer should review the notes and reflect on the information collected.

This helps identify patterns, evaluate the quality of responses, and make informed decisions about next steps.

How to do a written interview?

Selection of written format

Choosing the written format for an interview involves considering the nature of the information sought and the comfort of both the interviewer and the interviewee.

Written formats can range from traditional questionnaires to structured emails and specialized digital platforms.

It is essential to select a format that suits the purpose of the interview and allows for efficient collection and analysis of responses.

Clarity in instructions and accessibility are key factors in this choice.

Preparation of clear and concise questions

The questions in a written interview must be especially clear and concise, since the interviewee does not have the opportunity to clarify doubts immediately.

Each question should be formulated in a way that does not lead to misinterpretation and encourages detailed responses.

The structure of the questions should be direct, avoiding ambiguities.

Additionally, providing clear instructions on the expected length of responses helps maintain consistency in the responses received.

Editorial Consideration

The wording of questions and instructions is crucial in a written interview. Clear and neutral language should be used to avoid bias and misunderstanding.

Avoiding jargon or technical terms that may be confusing is essential.

It is advisable to review and adjust the wording to ensure that the questions are understandable to a broad audience and that they accurately reflect the purpose of the interview.

Use of digital platforms or tools

In the digital age, the use of digital platforms or tools makes the administration of written interviews much easier.

These tools can offer features such as automatic scheduling, response tracking, and real-time data analysis.

When choosing a platform, it is essential to consider data security and ease of use for both the interviewer and the interviewee.

The efficiency and reliability of the platform contribute to a positive experience for both parties.

Spelling and grammar check

Spelling and grammar checking is a critical step in written interviews.

Errors in writing can affect the understanding of the questions and the interpretation of the answers.

Using automatic review tools and, if possible, having a human review, ensures the quality of the content.

Additionally, providing interviewees with clear guidance on expected response format and style conventions contributes to consistency and professionalism in responses.

Shipping and tracking

Once the questions are developed and reviewed, the next step is sending them to the interviewees.

Clear communication about deadlines and expectations is essential. The necessary information must be provided so that respondents understand how to access the questionnaire and submit their responses.

Regular monitoring throughout the process ensures that participants are informed and engaged.

The availability to clarify doubts or provide clarifications improves the quality of the answers.

Analysis of written responses

Analyzing written responses involves more than simply reviewing the content.

Each response must be evaluated for coherence, relevance and depth.

Using text analysis tools can make it easier to identify recurring patterns and themes.

It is essential to interpret the responses in the context of the purpose of the interview and, if necessary, ask for additional clarifications from the interviewees.

Meticulous analysis ensures that the conclusions drawn are accurate and useful.

What are the types of formats?

Structured interviews

Structured interviews follow a predefined format, with specific questions formulated beforehand.

This approach ensures consistency in data collection, facilitating comparison between interviewees.

They are often used in personnel selection processes and quantitative studies.

Characteristics of Structured Interviews Benefits Challenges
Predetermined questions: Questionnaire established in advance. Consistency in data collection. It may appear stiff or unnatural.
Objectivity: Avoid bias when formulating questions. Facilitates comparison between candidates. Limit exploration of unexpected responses.

Unstructured interviews

Unstructured interviews lack a set of predetermined questions, allowing for a freer and more open conversation.

This approach is used in qualitative research and situations where flexibility is crucial.

Characteristics of Unstructured Interviews Benefits Challenges
Open conversation: No predefined questions. Facilitates the exploration of experiences and perspectives. It makes direct comparison between interviewees difficult.
Flexibility: Adaptable according to responses and direction of the conversation. Allows you to discover unanticipated information. Possible bias in question formulation.

Mixed interviews

Mixed interviews combine elements of structured and unstructured.

They begin with predetermined questions but allow for additional exploration based on the interviewee’s responses.

This approach balances consistency and flexibility.

Characteristics of Mixed Interviews Benefits Challenges
Structured start: Predetermined questions initially. Combines consistency and flexibility. Requires skills to adapt to unexpected responses.
Adaptability: Possibility of exploring emerging themes. Allows deep and detailed understanding. The lack of structure can lead to omissions in certain topics.

Group interviews

Group interviews involve several participants answering questions moderated by an interviewer.

This format encourages discussion and allows observation of group dynamics.

It is used in team evaluations and situations where group interaction is relevant.

Characteristics of Group Interviews Benefits Challenges
Group interaction: Participants interact with each other. Observation of group dynamics. It can be difficult to manage everyone’s participation.
Discussion: Encourage the exchange of perspectives. Reveals communication and teamwork skills. It can generate responses influenced by the group.

Interviews by competencies

Competency interviews assess the specific skills needed for a role.

They rely on past examples to predict future performance. This format is common in selection and performance evaluation processes.

Characteristics of Interviews by Competencies Benefits Challenges
Specific assessment: Focuses on key skills for the role. Aligned with specific position requirements. May be less suited to creative or unpredictable roles.
Past context: Use concrete examples from previous experiences. Facilitates the evaluation of the applicability of skills. Reliance on the honesty and accuracy of the interviewee in providing examples.

Telephone and virtual interviews

Telephone and virtual interviews allow for remote interaction.

They can be structured or unstructured and are ideal for situations where physical presence is not possible.

Adaptability and technical preparation are key in this format.

Characteristics of Telephone and Virtual Interviews Benefits Challenges
Remote accessibility: Interviews without the need for physical presence. Saving time and travel resources. There may be technical problems that affect the quality of the interview.
Flexibility: Possibility of conducting interviews in different geographical areas. Facilitates the participation of international candidates. Lack of complete eye contact may affect interpretation of responses.

Adaptation to the nature of work

The choice of interview format should be tailored to the nature of the work and the specific objectives of the interaction.

Each format has its own advantages and challenges, and the final decision will depend on factors such as the type of information sought, participant availability, and interviewer preferences.

What are the three types of interviews?

Selection interviews

Selection interviews are essential in hiring processes. The main objective is to evaluate the suitability of candidates for a specific position.

These interviews focus on the work experience, technical skills and competencies necessary for the role.

Characteristics of Selection Interviews Purpose Considerations
Skills assessment: Focuses on specific competencies. Select the most suitable candidate for the position. It is important to structure questions related to work and specific situations.
Work History: Explore previous work experiences. Evaluate the relevance of the candidate’s previous experience. It seeks to understand how past skills apply to the new role.

Performance appraisal interviews

These interviews are conducted with existing employees to evaluate their performance and progress on the job.

The focus is on past performance, goal achievement and professional development.

They are valuable tools for feedback and career planning.

Characteristics of Performance Evaluation Interviews Purpose Considerations
Feedback: Evaluation of past performance. Provide constructive feedback and recognition. It focuses on achievements, goals achieved and areas of improvement identified.
Professional development: Planning future goals and development. Facilitate career planning and professional growth. Development opportunities and areas for continued growth are discussed.

Research interviews

Investigative interviews are used in academic or study contexts to gather detailed information about a specific topic.

They can be structured or unstructured and focus on obtaining qualitative data relevant to the research.

Investigative Interview Features Purpose Considerations
Data collection: Collection of detailed information. Generate qualitative data for research. The aim is to understand the perspectives, experiences and opinions of those interviewed.
Flexibility: Adaptability according to the direction of the research. Explore emerging topics and obtain in-depth information. Adaptability is key to capturing meaningful data during the interview.

Through these three types of interviews, different objectives and contexts are addressed.

The choice of the type of interview will depend on the specific purpose, whether it is personnel selection, performance evaluation or academic research.

Examples and downloadable interview formats

Personal interview format

Interview format by type

In-depth interview format

Semi-structured interview format


We’ve explored everything from the importance of using Excel for in-depth interviews to selecting written format, basic interview structure, question types, appropriate length, and ethical considerations.

In addition, we have delved into the different interview formats and the three fundamental types: selection, performance evaluation and investigation.

It is essential to remember that each interview is unique and should be tailored to your specific objectives.

Careful planning, proper choice of format, and ethical consideration are crucial elements to the success of any interview.

Whether we are selecting new team members, evaluating employee performance, or conducting meaningful research, the quality of information gathered through interviews directly impacts decision making and project success.

Ultimately, the ability to design and conduct effective interviews is a valuable tool in any professional’s arsenal.

Continued practice and adaptation to changing work and academic dynamics ensure that interviews remain a powerful instrument for gaining meaningful information and making informed decisions in the world of work and beyond.