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Basic Methods for Interviewing
Communication can be roughly defined as communication between two or more parties. An interview is a category of communication but it has a specific goal. The interviewer decides to communicate with one or more interviewees to get some sort of information out of them. As we are talking about communication which is always two-way, during an interview both parties send information to one another. The interviewer who needs information asks questions an in turn the interviewee has to answer them. The techniques the interviewer uses and the type of interview in question is called interviewing.
Interviewing is not just a job, it is an art form to those who have mastered it and gives them a big head start because they will know what to ask and when to get optimal information from the interviewees. The most common situation when an interview is needed is when someone applies for a job. Apart from that it is usual to interview college applicants, grant finalists, PhD graduates and so on. All require a different angle and a different style.
In a working environment there are usually two types of interviews you will come across. The behavioral interview is the standard type that everyone probably knows. The interviewer tries to put you in various situations and see how you handle them. They use generalized terms but applied to you personally, a frequent question my be about how you could work in the past with a boss you didn't like or what did you do when you had so much work once that you knew you couldn't finish it on time. It is generally important to remember not to be really edgy about these questions. If you say that you just don't have experience related to a question say so.
Stress interviews are a bit more out of place than behavioral ones. The interviewer purposefully puts you in an environment you are not comfortable in. They may line up some people to make you uneasy and perhaps comment on you in an unfriendly way. The interviewer might not seem to be interested in you at all and frequently get up, make a phone call, etc. Always try to stay calm in these situations and don't think that you can outsmart the interviewer. These types are usually done by trained psychiatrists who know what they're doing. Your best bet is to stay calm, be polite and make the best of what you have.
In this category are the PhD candidates, grant finalists and so on. These interviews can't be categorized like job interviews because their purpose is very different, although be careful because a good interviewer might look for you personal motives not just your scientific ones. Interviewees will generally be asked about their work that they presented beforehand and how they wish to work on in the future. It is extremely important to be charming and good-natured for grant finalists because in my experience the administrator of the grant usually has a good tip on who he wants to choose, but if your personality is something extra you may woe him.
The police use all kinds of tactics to get information out of an interviewee (or suspect in this case). In very simple cases the policemen will do the questioning in a matter-of-fact style. In all higher order cases psychologists will be sent for and you can never be sure why their asking what they are, cross questions will definitely fly all around the place. Stress interviews may also be used, but in a different way than with job interviews. It is utterly the most important thing ever to stay calm during a police interview, however stressful it may be, whatever mean things they throw at you. The second most important thing is not to hide anything. If you're innocent but something totally embarrassing happened at the time that's why you don't want to answer a question truthfully you may be treated as a more important suspect. If you cheated on your wife that's your reason just tell them, they wont pass it on and they don't care. If your innocent you have nothing to fear.