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Observation Interview

What is an Observation Interview?

An observation interview is a type of job interview that an employer or recruiter can conduct before hiring a new worker or before promoting an existing employee. It also allows an employer or recruiter to watch and observe an individual at work. The interviewer will take down notes and let the hiring manager or director of Human Resource know how well the individual performs. Some companies use this interview observation way to see if the potential candidates could meet the needs of the job, but others use it as a way to determine which workers are worthy of promotion.


What are the types and examples of Observation Interviews?

1. Direct observation:

When the interviewer knows that somebody is evaluating and watching his/her performance.

2. Continuous monitoring:

This requires continuous monitoring throughout behaviour or body language of the individual.

3. Time allocation:

This allows a researcher to randomly select a place and a certain time of observation.

4. Unobtrusive observation:

When the interviewer does not know that he/she is being observed during the interview.

Observation Interview


What is the role of Observation in User Research?

User research data consists of two important core activities: Interviewing and Observation. Since we’re generally more interested in people’s behaviour, observing is important for these activities because it provides the most accurate information about the people, their needs, and their tasks.

While interviewing a candidate is very important, the information that people provide during interviews isn’t always accurate or reliable. Often, research participants don’t know why they do things, what they really need, what they might do in the future, or how the design could be improved. In order to really understand what people do, you can’t just have to ask them but you have to observe them.

But what is exactly the interview observation, and what does it embrace? Though we all know what the word observation means and also everyone knows how to look and listen to it, there is much more to it than just pointing your eyes in a particular direction, taking notes and listening.

What are the features of Observation Interview?

1. Eye Observation

In the most accurate sense, observation involves the use of the eyes rather than the use of the voice and the eyes. An experienced worker never actually believes in gossip he only trusts if he has observed with his own eyes or if a report is a first-hand evidence of his/her eyes. So it can be said that the observation done with the help of the eyes can act as a most trustworthy medium for making such observation.


2. Aim

Observations which act on the scientific grounds are brought in use by the researchers or the scientists with some or other aim in order to achieve something. Such scientists make their observations in a minute and also in a detailed manner which actually helps them in achieving the specific goals. These goals can even include discovery of something & verification of the hypothesis etc.


3. Planning

The value of the observation in an organization is only possible if it is done properly or in a planned manner as if it's done in a careless sense then chance of making such an observation again and again may come or not. Hence, the observation should be carried out in a very phased and in a planned manner in order to get into the depths of understanding of an activity.


4. Recording

The various operations that we usually perform and the results that we usually obtain should be remembered but the known fact is that memory is very deceptive in nature. With the passage of time, things tend to slip out of mind and hence, it is extremely important to keep track of a record of such activities. A very common method to keep track of these activities is to write down the various impressions we get, but nowadays in some cases a video camera is used for recording sessions for these purposes.

One of the major advantages of the recording that it is done by a tape or a video camera and the chances of them going wrong or committing any mistake are few or negative. In a videotape, actual words can also be recorded which results in zero chance of committing an error.

5. Physical and mental activity

Sense organs have a very important role to play in the observation process. During the observation researcher or an interviewer has to use his sense organs for seeing and hearing things and then also has to keep in mind the whole set of observations for an in depth analysis of the matter later on.


6. Exactness

Observation should also be based on standard tools of research which makes the observation exact in its actual nature of working.


7. Direct study

Observation is a very important scientific method for observation interview that helps us a lot in the collection of the primary information which is reliable in nature and in which direct study of the situation is involved.

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