Characteristics of the interviews

An interview is a conversation or dialogue between two or more people with predefined objectives , in which one of them exercises the role of interviewee and his interlocutor, the interviewer.

This exchange of ideas may have informative, clinical, work or research purposes and its objective is to collect information or concrete data.

The interview is also a journalistic genre that is used to know the testimony, opinion or point of view of a prominent person in some area of society, as well as those who have witnessed an event of public interest.

These are some of the most salient features of an interview.


For the interview to collect information of interest efficiently, it is necessary to investigate the topic to be treated. This is not only vital to have a questionnaire or guide aligned with the objectives of the research, but also helps to make the exchange with the interviewee much more fluid.


Regardless of the type of interview to be carried out, it must have a purpose. Therefore, it is expected that the questions or points to be discussed are established before conducting the interview.

For example, if the objective is to select a professional for a job, the interview must be oriented to know the trajectory and abilities of the candidates.

If the interview, on the other hand, is a tool to collect data in an investigation, the questionnaire must be prepared before approaching the study group to confirm that it responds to the interests of what is wanted to know.

The role of the interviewer

The role of the interviewer is to generate a climate of trust that allows the interviewee to develop in an authentic manner.

In this sense, the previous research, a defined interview objective, concrete and brief questions, and a language appropriate to the context will help you fulfill your role efficiently.

Role of the interviewee

The interviewee must know in advance the subject or issue to be discussed with the interviewer, however, he should not have knowledge of the specific questions on which the interview will focus. In this way, your answers will be more genuine.

Time and place of the interview

The interview should have a previously established duration and should be carried out in a place with conditions that allow the interviewer and interviewee to execute their roles in the most comfortable and efficient way possible, according to the context.

Types of interviews according to your area of knowledge

The interviews can be classified according to the field or area of knowledge in which they are carried out.

Work interview

It is carried out by industrial psychologists or Human Resources personnel of a company, in order to meet the candidates who have applied for a job.

Clinical interview

It is the one made by the medical or health personnel (as psychologists or therapists), in order to know the patient's clinical history as well as their current situation. With this information, the steps to follow in the treatment of your ailment are established.

Measuring interview or survey

It is the one that is carried out to collect data in research for scientific, social or marketing purposes. It is characterized by having parameters defined according to the measurement methods that are applied.

Journalistic interview

It is a conversation that the journalist carries out with a person or group of people in order to obtain information of journalistic interest.

The journalistic interview can be news (the objective is to gather information about a recent and specific event), opinion (you want to know the point of view of the interviewee about a relevant event) or personality (the purpose is to know more about life of a public character).

Types of interviews according to their structure

Open interviews

The questions can be answered in a broad manner. They are ideal to know in depth the interviewee or his opinions regarding the topic to be treated.

Closed interviews

They only admit specific answers, usually of the "yes" or "no" type. They are used in measurement interviews.

Semi-open or mixed interviews

The questionnaire is composed of questions that allow open and closed answers