Academic journal article Psychological Test and Assessment Modeling

The Decision-Oriented Interview (DOI) as an In-Depth Selection Interview

Academic journal article Psychological Test and Assessment Modeling

The Decision-Oriented Interview (DOI) as an In-Depth Selection Interview

Article excerpt

Introduction: The Decision-Oriented Interview (DOI) as a toolkit

A Decision-Oriented Interview is an interview that is planned, executed and evaluated according to scientific psychological criteria to enable decision-makers to reach satisfy-ing decisions (Westhoff & Kluck, 2012, p. 103). We use the term "satisfying" to characterize decisions under uncertainty (i.e. decisions where we don't know the best alternative in advance) when, after implementation of the decision, the decision-maker has no regrets about the way the decision was reached. There are a number of different reasons why decision-makers may regret the way a decision was reached, for example because they failed to take all the possible alternatives into consideration, because they didn't inform themselves adequately about the alternatives, because they weren't clear about their goals or values, or because they didn't have any contingency plans drawn up in case the alternative they actually selected turned out to be a bad choice.

Proficiency assessment is a sequence of inevitable decisions. If decision-makers do not reach each of these decisions with appropriate deliberation, they run the risk of later regretting how they reached their final decision because they made a mistake that could have been avoided. Decision-Oriented Assessment (DOA) (Westhoff & Kluck, 2012, first published 1991) provides a collection of rules for the whole process of psychological assessment which can also be used in the human resources sector. Our aim in this article is to offer an introduction to the Decision-Oriented Interview (DOI) - one component of the DOA process - in a way that is easy to follow. The DOI consists of a set of rules for the 1. planning, 2. execution, and 3. evaluation of proficiency assessment interviews. This article explains with illustrative examples what these rules mean in practice and how they are applied for planning the DOI as an in-depth selection interview. - The personal pronoun "we" is used in the following text because not only the members of the writer's team but a growing number of psychologists in the German-speaking countries and in all fields of applied psychology have been working with good success according to DOA and hence the DOI rules for more than two decades.

So-called "in-depth interviews" are used to develop a qualitative description of a candidate's behavior, i.e. how the candidate behaves, or has behaved in the past, under specific conditions. The assumption is that candidates will behave in the future in a similar way as in the past. There are scattered references to this kind of interview in the literature. The DOI systematizes the in-depth interview in a collection of rules that are compiled into well-structured checklists (Westhoff, 2013a).

The core idea of the Decision-Oriented Interview (DOI)

In the DOI the interviewer always lets the interviewee describe their concrete behavior and experience in a specific situation, such that "I can imagine it as though I were watching a movie". The interviewer describes the critical incident to the interviewee and asks them to describe in detail what then happened in this performance-differentiating situation. The interviewee should not only describe their behavior but also what they thought at the time, how they felt and whether there were any physical consequences. All this information is helpful when one wants to predict how a candidate would behave in a comparable situation.

In learning psychology the pleasant consequences of a specific behavior are called reinforcement because the individual tends to want to experience the situation again. Possibly unpleasant consequences are called punishment because the individual then tries to avoid such a situation in the future. In an in-depth interview most interviewees will usually report this information spontaneously or after a slight nudge from the interviewer. This learning psychological information is also of crucial significance if one wants to understand, predict or influence behavior in performance-differentiating situations. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.