How to Write an Interview Report (With Templates and Examples)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 25 October 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

After conversing with a job candidate or public figure, the interviewer may record their impressions on an interview report. The purpose of the report is to provide references for the discussion that transpired. Understanding the format of the report can allow you to document the conversation accurately. In this article, we discuss how to write an interview report and provide templates and samples to help you create your own.

How to write an interview report

Whether you're working in an HR role or interviewing someone for a marketing or business purpose, you may be interested in learning how to write an interview report. An interview report is a written record of a professional, guided conversation. It summarises the discussion between a representative of a company and the interviewee, which can be a job candidate or public figure. During the recruitment and hiring processes, company leaders typically interview potential team members one-on-one, but they document the meeting to help their colleagues select which interviewee receives the job offer. The readers can gain insight into the candidates' qualifications for the position and the impressions the interviewer formed. Follow these steps to compile an interview report:

1. Gather materials for the interview

The first step is to prepare for the actual interview, which coincides with your preparation for the interview report. Having all the materials for your meeting with the candidate can enable you to initiate an insightful conversation. You can then include helpful details on the document to share with the hiring committee. Here are guidelines for conducting the interview and recording the discussion.

  • Learn about the interviewee. Gather details about the job candidate by browsing their application and supporting materials, such as their resume, cover letter and portfolio. Think about what you would like to learn about them after the interview.

  • Review the requirements for the job. When contemplating a hiring decision, you and your colleagues may wonder if the candidates you interviewed can fulfil the responsibilities of the role. Understanding what the job requires can help you gauge the interviewee's credentials.

  • Make a list of potential questions. As the interviewer, it's often your responsibility to facilitate discussions with the candidate and ask questions to evaluate their responses. Create questions in advance and consider using a combination of behavioural and open-ended enquiries to gain insight into the candidates' personalities and values.

  • Experiment with technology. Technology, such as a tape recorder or cellular device, can record the interview, making it easier for you to write details about the conversation on the report. Experiment with electronic devices to find the best one.

Related: How To Prepare for an Interview

2. Consider your audience and tone

The audience for your interview report can influence the tone you use and the details you emphasise. To keep the document concise, contemplate the interests of the parties who may read it. As you listen to the recording or take notes during the conversation, concentrate on parts that can engage your readers.

For example, an interview record for a human resources manager may focus on the candidate's career aspirations and professional background. A document reporting a meeting with a prominent artist may focus on the celebrity's demeanour responding to the questions. Although the process for building an interview report may be the same regardless of who reads it, it can be helpful to tailor your content, so that's it informative to your audience.

3. Choose a style

The style of your interview report dictates the format of your summaries. You can briefly introduce the interviewee and the purpose of the meeting at the top of the document. It may also be beneficial to provide an overview of your impressions throughout the conversation. The rest of the report depends on the structure that you choose. Here are two types of interview reports:

  • Question and answer (Q&A): The interviewer transcribes the questions they asked and the exact responses the interviewee delivered. It also includes clear attributions.

  • Narrative: The narrative style forms a storyline from the discussion. It can be useful if the length of the interviewee's answers were short or if the conversation itself was brief.

4. Use the report template as a guide

The template is an outline that provides a visual framework for your interview report. It can include the questions you want to ask, which enables you to guide the conversation effectively. You can also compile the information in the style that best resonates with your audience. For example, if the chief officer requests a transcript of the meeting with the candidate, then might list your planned questions in the order you plan to pose them and reference the outline when the conversation starts.

Related: 21 Tips for Interviewers (Plus 5 Interview Techniques)

5. Complete the report

After the interview is over, add the rest of the information to your template. It may be beneficial to complete the report immediately while you can easily recall the conversation. If you're using the Q&A model, then replay the recording to write the interviewee's answers accurately. For the narrative model, document as many details as you remember so you can create an engaging story.

6. Proofread your writing

The final step is to read your words to identify and correct spelling and grammatical mistakes. Consider asking a coworker to evaluate your work and provide feedback on how you can improve it. Pay attention to the vocabulary you used and the flow of your words to make it easy for your audience to comprehend the details of the conversation.

Related: Why Writing Skills Are Important and How To Improve Them

Interview report templates

Here are templates for the Q&A and narrative style for interview reports. You can customise the structure to best demonstrate the discussion you mediated:

Q&A style

The template for a Q&A style interview report is as follows:

[Name of interviewee]
[Contact information for the interviewee]

[Date and location for the interview]
[Name and position of the interviewer]

[Write a brief introduction about the purpose of the interview and personal details about the interviewee, such as their current profession, the job they're pursuing or their activities in their industry]

[Question]
[Answer]

[Question]
[Answer]

[Question]
[Answer]

[Attach closing comments about the interview and the overall impressions of the discussion.]
[Leave recommendations for a follow-up action, if applicable].

[Signature and date if required].

Narrative style

The template for a narrative style interview report is as follows:

[Name of interviewee]
[Contact information for the interviewee]

[Date and location for the interview]
[Name and position of the interviewer]

[Write brief introduction about the purpose of the interview and personal details about the interviewee, such as their current profession, the job they're pursuing or their activities in their industry.]

[Summarise the interviewer's questions and the responses from the interviewee.]
[Include any relevant or interesting direct quotes.]

[Attach closing comments about the interview and the overall impressions of the discussion.]
[Leave recommendations for a follow-up action, if applicable].

[Signature and date if required].

Interview report examples

Reviewing examples of interview reports can help you format your own. Pay attention to the tone and writing style to provide details that can allow your audience to visualise the conversation. Here are sample records to guide you:

Q&A style

The following is an example of an interview report using the Q&A style:

John Kit
+852 4567-9837
jkit@email.com
Virtual conference room on January 2021
Jessica Tyler, human resources manager

John and I met for the first time to discuss his interest in the senior content writer position. He has 10 years of experience producing long-form copy for clients, and he's worked at large agencies in the finance industry. If hired, this would be the first leadership role of his career.

*Jessica Tyler: Describe your research process for writing articles about a new topic.*
*John Kit: First, I seek updated information about the topic and pay attention to the sub-headings of popular articles. I make sure I understand the topic first before I explain it to the audience in the article.*

*Jessica Tyler: What leadership skills can you bring to your role as a senior content writer?*
*John Kit: I'm good at relationship-building, and I'm very intuitive. I can sense what my coworkers may need, and I can encourage them and empathise with them when they're learning a new skill.*

John only took a few seconds to answer each question. He appeared confident on camera, and he communicated his credentials well. I recommend a second-round interview with the manager of the editorial department.

Jessica Tyler, January 15, 2021

Related:18 Content Writer Skills and How To Highlight Them

Narrative style

The following is an example of an interview report using the narrative style:

Ava Porter
+852 3838-4949
aporter21@email.com

Main Headquarters, July 2021
Tom Bennett, hiring manager

Ava attended a third interview for the technical architect interview. She has an advanced degree in business management, an undergraduate degree in software engineering and 20 years of experience in the technology industry.

The interview mostly consisted of touring the office. Ava appeared eager to meet the team, and she asked insightful questions about upcoming projects. During her presentation, she showed she can command the audience's attention and appeared receptive to feedback.

Ava has exceeded our expectations since our first meeting two months ago. I recommend we extend a formal offer.

Tom Bennett, July 15, 2021

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