What is an interviewee?


An interviewee is someone who is interviewing for a job. The interviewee answers the interviewer's questions to see if they are a good fit for the role.

An interviewee is a person who is interviewing for a job. During the interview, the interviewee is responsible for answering the interviewer’s questions which may be related to the interviewee’s educational background, work experience or personal interests. These questions will help the interviewer determine whether the interviewee is a good fit for the role.  

History of interviewees 

In 1917, the US Army created the first objective personality test, which was used to evaluate soldiers during World War I – making soldiers the original interviewees. The test was then implemented in other industries as a way of weeding out candidates who wouldn’t adjust well to the workplace.  

In the 1920s, America experienced a period of vigorous economic growth – during which the labour force grew at a more rapid rate than population. With more and more college-educated individuals entering the workforce, employers needed a way to assess potential hires. In response, American inventor and businessman Thomas Edison created a written test that was designed to help him evaluate job candidates’ knowledge. The test was leaked to the press and published – and ended up becoming the blueprint for the modern-day interview.   

Recent trends in interviews 


Since Edison’s test, interviews have come a long way. Most notably, the invention of the telephone and the internet has meant that interviews are no longer bound to the traditional face-to-face model. Instead, interviews can take place whenever and wherever the hiring company sees fit. In the wake of the pandemic, this has become even more common. With the rise of hybrid and remote work, many employees are not required to come into the office, meaning that interviewees applying to such roles can both interview and work from anywhere.   

Social media and online prep tools 

In 2003, the professional networking website LinkedIn was launched – creating a space for job seekers and employers to connect. LinkedIn is a great resource for candidates who want to apply to jobs and expand their network. The social element of LinkedIn also allows candidates to directly reach out to hiring managers on the platform, which may result in interview opportunities. 

Prior to an interview, it’s recommended that interviewees take advantage of LinkedIn as a research tool. This could mean using the search tool to find previous and current employees to see what they’ve been posting or to reach out to them for advice. It’s also beneficial to visit the company page to see what content they’re putting out. Employers appreciate interviewees that have put in the time to research their company, so candidates should make a mental note of anything that could be used as a talking point in the interview. 

Advantages of being an interviewee 

  • Interviews allow Interviewees to explain their qualifications to employers in their own words. 
  • Interviews give interviewees the opportunity to showcase their personality in addition to their skills and experience.  

Disadvantages of being an interviewee 

  • Many interviewees feel that the interview process often consists of too many assessments, as some companies may require as many as four (or more) rounds of interviews.  
  • Some hiring managers may base their hiring decisions on ‘gut instinct’ rather than data-driven insights, which may lead to inequity, inconsistent hiring standards and bias.  
  • Interviewing can be an anxiety-inducing process.