Why are interviews important? (Plus tips for succeeding)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 5 July 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Attending a job interview can be a challenging experience for many people, regardless of the role for which you're interviewing. Despite this, job interviews are a vital part of the recruitment process and have benefits for both the employer and the applicant. Understanding why interviews are critical can help you get the most out of this experience, whether you're a prospective employee or a hiring manager. In this article, we answer ‘Why are interviews important?', explain the role of the interview in the recruitment process and outline some tips to help you succeed in your upcoming job interviews.

Why are interviews important?

In answer to ‘Why are interviews important?', they provide a structured way for employers and job applicants to meet and decide whether a candidate is suitable for a particular job. This makes them a valuable part of the overall recruitment process. Both employers and candidates benefit from job interviews. Interviews help employers to choose the most appropriate candidates to join their team and strengthen the organisation as a whole. They also give potential employees a better understanding of the organisation, what the role itself involves and the people they might work with.

Below, you can find out more about the benefits of interviews for both employers and prospective employees:

Benefits of interviews for employers

Interviews are beneficial for employers because they give them a way to meet and compare different job applicants. While a CV and cover letter can give them some insight into whether a professional is suitable for a job, meeting candidates in person can give them more information about their attitude, character and how they present themselves. These factors can help hiring managers make appropriate hiring decisions. Asking standard questions at job interviews also gives employers a straightforward way of comparing candidates and deciding who's the most suitable individual for the job.

Below, you can see more benefits of interviews for employers:

Opportunity to provide information

Interviews allow employers to provide more information about the job to candidates. This includes details they might prefer not to publicly advertise in the job description. Typically, job adverts are fairly concise to retain the interest of candidates. Due to this, the job interview is a chance to provide additional information that might affect the potential employee's decision.

Related: Job profile vs job description: definitions and differences

Gives clarity

A job interview gives clarity for both the employer and the job applicant. For instance, applicants can ask questions about working in the role and confirm certain details. They can also provide extra information about themselves that's relevant to the employer. For candidates who already have clear career goals, this is an opportunity to discuss their goals and identify whether the hiring organisation and role align with these aims. Additional clarity, therefore, helps both the hiring manager and the job applicant make appropriate decisions.

Related: 13 unusual interview questions and why interviewers ask them

Benefits of interview for prospective employees

Interviews are also useful for job applicants. Often, they give candidates a chance to see where they might work and meet the people they might work with directly, such as managers or supervisors. It's also an opportunity to ask questions about the details of the job or work culture. Just as the interview gives the employer greater insight into each candidate, it gives the candidate more insight into the job and employer. This can help them to decide if they want to accept a job offer.

Related: A guide on how to ace an interview (with tips and examples)

An interview's role in the recruitment process

Interviews form a key part of the overall recruitment process and receiving an invitation to an interview is an indication that the employer is seriously considering you as a candidate. The recruitment process usually begins with the employer advertising the job vacancy, including specifying the skills and experience they expect candidates to have. The employer then allows a certain amount of time for candidates to apply for the job. Once the employer has received applications for the job, they then assess them and invite shortlisted candidates to an interview.

The nature of the interview stage can vary depending on the company and job role. Some jobs involve more than one interview, which may include an informal discussion via telephone before a formal interview or some form of testing. When an employer responds to your job application, they usually explain what the interview process is going to involve. Typically, if there's more than one stage to the recruitment process, they eliminate some candidates after each round of interviewing or testing. After the final interviews, they then decide who the most suitable candidate is for the role.

Related: What is a skills-based interview? (Plus tips to succeed)

Tips for succeeding in an interview

Consider the following tips to help you succeed in your next interview:

Prepare in advance

Preparing in advance for an interview is essential. This can increase your confidence and make you feel calmer. It also makes it easier to answer questions during the interview. There are many different ways of preparing for an interview. Some methods that are generally helpful include:

  • researching the hiring organisation

  • reviewing the job description and your application

  • preparing answers to possible questions

  • planning your route to the interview

  • having a practice interview

Related: How To Prepare for Your Second Interview

Think of questions to ask the interviewer

Thinking of your own questions to ask the interviewer in advance is helpful because asking questions at interviews demonstrates your interest in the role and hiring organisation. This can give you a competitive advantage over other candidates. You might consider asking questions that relate to the job or the organisation as a whole. Alternatively, you can also ask questions that are relevant to your individual goals and interests. For example, you might ask about the opportunities for progression or training and development opportunities.

Understand why you want the job

Recruiters often ask why you want the job, so it's vital to have a clear understanding of your motivations. While salary is often a factor, it's advisable to give other reasons for wanting the job. For instance, you might mention that you share the company's core values and want to contribute to their work or value the career progression that the job can offer you. To answer this question effectively, it's essential to thoroughly research the organisation and review the job advert.

Related: How to answer the question: 'Why do you want to work here?'

Identify what makes you a strong candidate

It's also useful to identify what makes you a strong candidate and then to clearly communicate this during the interview. Reviewing your job application can help you to remember what the employer already knows about you. While doing this, it's worth thinking about what relevant skills and experience you have that might set you apart from other candidates and discussing these during your interview.

Related: Personal skills employers look for in candidates

Listen to the questions carefully

During your interview, it's critical to carefully listen to every question and answer it appropriately. If the question is slightly different to the questions you've thought about already, this means it's necessary to adapt your answer. Doing this demonstrates your listening and communication skills, which are essential for many jobs.

Related: How to improve your active listening skills

Use clear language

When answering interview questions, it's advisable to use clear language and only use industry-specific or technical jargon if it's really necessary. This is another way of showing that you have effective communication skills. Doing this is particularly key if you're having an interview with HR staff who have different specialist knowledge from you.

Related: 10 effective words to use in an interview

Act confident

Confidence can benefit you in job interviews, but it can sometimes take practice to develop self-confidence. When you're attending an interview, it's worth remembering that this is a sign that the company has an interest in you as a candidate. This means your initial application was effective and that you're likely to have the right skills and experience. Being aware of this can help you to feel more confident, which can improve your performance in interviews.

Be honest

Sometimes, it's tempting to exaggerate your answers to sound more impressive, but it's best to avoid this. Instead, try to be as honest as possible, as experienced interviewers can usually tell if you're being untruthful. If you lack experience or knowledge in a particular area, it's more valuable to acknowledge this and reiterate that you're willing to learn.

Related:

  • Understanding semi-structured interviews (with examples)

  • 13 last-minute interview tips to impress an employer


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