The Employment Interview: a Critical Review of the Research and Legal Guidelines

Date of Award

January 1985

Degree Type

Closed Access Thesis

Document Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Justice Studies

First Advisor

Larry K. Gaines

Department Affiliation

Justice Studies

Second Advisor

Terry C. Cox

Department Affiliation

Justice Studies

Third Advisor

Truett A. Ricks

Department Affiliation

Justice Studies


Objectives: The purpose of this study was to examine the problems, limitations, and advantages to the use of the oral interview as a personnel selection test.

Methodology: The methodology, qualitative in nature consisted of a review and examination of the published research relating to the oral interview as a selection test. The research considered for review dates from 1911 to 1982. In addition a review of the legal guidelines for the uses of the oral interview were researched from 1791 to 1978 . The studies reviewed were selected by quality and topic of research with emphasis given to studies of quantitative nature examining such topics as validity, reliability , and accuracy of the oral interview.

Findings and Conclusions: The results of the study revealed that while there are conflicting opinions on the validity, reliability and accuracy of the oral interview that generally the oral interview is a valid and reliable selection test. However certain variables effect the accuracy, reliability and validity of the oral interview. These include structure, social desirability of the questions asked, the interviewer and the intent of the interviewer.

Recommendations: Further research specific to the police uses of the oral interview should be conducted and aimed at increasing the validity and reliability of the test and designed to identify the traits that can accurately be measured from the interview test.

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