Interviews are a standard part of the recruiting process. Rarely is there a recruiting process that doesn't involve one. Often used as a method to determine whether to hire the candidate or not in the later steps, it can be said that interviews play a crucial role in hiring.
Especially in recent years, interviews have been criticized for its unfairness due to its subjective nature. People tend to have unconscious biases that influence their decisions, and choosing candidates based on how the interviewer "felt good" about the candidate does not seem very fair. Yet, getting rid of interviews and solely hiring people based on their resumes or having interviews without any face-to-face interaction are not quite convincing either.
So, why are interviews important? The reasons on the employer side seem quite obvious, and a quick online search will give you multiple blog posts about this subject. Firstly, it is a great way to determine whether the candidate is actually suitable for the position. Through conversation, the expectations of the role can be clarified, and the candidate's experiences mentioned in the resumes can be further elaborated. In addition, employers can learn more about the candidate's personality and whether they would really fit with the company's culture. Interviews can really help getting to the details that resume screening doesn't allow and to determine the "best fit".
How about on the candidate side? Interviews can be stressful, but in a survey conducted by Shiru, many students raised meeting and talking to people as the most positive experiences in recruiting. Especially nowadays where much of the screening process is conducted online, candidates appreciate the opportunity to interact with actual people.
Interviews allow candidates to express their strengths that are difficult to express on paper, notably soft skills. Be it effective communication or a positive attitude, listening skills or their body posture, these are skills that can be very important for a job but invisible on a resume. Interviews are thus an opportunity for candidates to show their more authentic, fuller selves. Candidates can also learn more about the company too. Not only do interviews allow a chance for asking questions, but even things like going to the office and seeing the actual workplace, how workers are dressed and how they interact with each other itself is a great way to learn about the company culture.
As can be seen here, interviews are helpful to both the employer and the candidate to inform themselves whether they are really fit for the position. The important thing to remember is that interviews are not everything, but are just be one source of information in the recruiting process. If the candidate did not give a good impression at an interview, it may be that they were just having a bad day or were really nervous. That said, if you are looking for people who can present themselves confidently in professional settings to people they may not know very well, they may not be the ideal candidate.
In short, for employers, interviews are an opportunity to put a face to a name and find out more about the soft skills of the candidate. For the candidate, it is an opportunity to present themselves in a more genuine way and learn more about the company culture.
Yes, interviews may not be exactly "fair", but depending on how you make use of them they can be an crucial and effective tool in creating the ideal working team.