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Sunday, March 22, 2009

Interview Skills


Scope of write-up here is to provide information, on how to interview the candidates/ job applicants being considered for selection for the organization, to those professionals who are responsible to take decisions on the selection of human resources for the organization. This write-up does not include any guidelines on how to interview for employment to the candidates/job applicants. That has been covered in two separate write-ups for which refer: (Interview Preparation for Job Seekers) and (Interview Questions) .

Definition of Job Interviewing
  • Interview is a part of selection procedure to recruit and select the human resources for the organization.
  • Interviews are designed and used to ensure the future job performance of the selected candidates on the basis of applicant’s oral responses to oral enquiries.

Objectives of Interviewing

  • Informing the applicants/candidates about the job
  • Informing applicants/candidates about the company
  • Demonstrating company’s fair and equitable selection procedure
  • Demonstrating the rigorousness of interview and systematic/disciplined way (e.g. time management ) of managing the interview
  • Gaining unbiased factual information against the selection criteria
  • Taking decision to select or reject a candidate
  • Making a job offer with details of various aspects of job offer
  • Influencing suitable candidate to accept the job offer

Outcome of interviewing

  • Right candidate- selected: correct outcome
  • Wrong candidate- rejected: correct outcome
  • Right candidate- rejected: wrong outcome
  • Wrong candidate- selected: wrong outcome

What do you Check by Interviewing?
  • Candidate’s competence for the job
  • Candidate’s motivation level for the job
  • Candidate’s match (fit) for the organizational culture
  • Candidate’s match (fit) with his team members in the organization

Interview Venue’s Physical Setting

  • No disturbance in and around the room
  • No phone calls
  • Neutral sitting arrangement (L shape or round table)
  • Interview stationery
  • Water or other normal beverages
  • Comfortable

Interview Structure

  • Open and build rapport: introductions, purpose of interview, position/job role, interview structure
  • Current and previous roles: candidate explains, look out for his approaches/achievements
  • Education: candidate informs, check with required education levels
  • Upbringing: candidate brings forth his environmental upbringing
  • Motivational aspects: candidate’s objectives and motivation for his professional and general life
  • Interests: professional and other than professional interests of the candidate
  • Close and wrap up: what selection process steps will take place here on

Interviewing/Questioning Skills: Major Points

  • Interviewer should have studied the CV/resume/bio-data of the candidate prior to interviewing him
  • Questions should aim at factual recall, comparisons, opinions, cases, hypothetical situations etc
  • Concentrate on asking questions pertaining to candidate’s past performance which is one best indicator of his future performance generally
  • You may ask open as well as close ended questions. Yet, It is preferable to ask open ended questions that allow candidate to throw more information on himself (and that’s what you really want from the interview)
  • Encourage the candidate to give you more examples and instances of his achievement details
  • You can design questioning sets to include: open ended question for elaboration, further probe, now narrow down, close and summarize
  • Take one item of interviewing at a time
  • Don’t be judgmental or biased during the interview process
  • Remember that you must build quality and purpose in your questioning to get quality and correct information from the candidate
  • Listen more, talk less
  • In interview, do not try to show off your knowledge and achievements to impress the candidate or the other interview panel members; that’s never the purpose of any job interview
  • Ask questions to elicit candidate’s knowledge, skill/competency sets, analytical skills, emotional intelligence, achievements/accomplishments, approaches to handling various situations, social skills etc as necessary for the selection for a specific job
  • Home work should be done by the interviewer to design appropriate and effective questions
  • Normally interviewer does not need to use the stress interviewing questions except for those jobs where stress interviewing if necessary to find as to how the candidate will management a stress situation
  • Run of the mills questions which most interviewers are tempted to ask like “tell your 5 strongest points or 5 weakest points etc” do not lead the interviewer to take any objective decisions (most of the smart candidates would have already prepared their best text bookish replies to such questions and you might unnecessarily get impressed)
  • Do not ask questions which sound like ethnic, religious, gender or such unethical discrimination

For More Guidance, Assistance, Training and Consultation


Also refer: (Prodcons Group), (Training Programs by Prodcons Group) and (Productivity Consultants)

Other Topics of Interest

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