A manager’s task frequently requires involvement in job interviews. While the applicant’s resumes and references are important, the interview offers the best opportunity to screen prospective employees thoroughly.
- Pick a relaxed setting: An interview is stressful. Help the interviewee by selecting a location where you won’t be disturbed. Try also to come out from behind your desk.
- Be familiar with resumes and references: During the interview, don’t seek answers to information you already have in the applicant’s resume, If appropriate, check with referees beforehand.
- Know what you’re going to ask: Use the interview time wisely by preparing a list of questions in advance. Don’t let any interview end without learning everything you want to know.
- Don’t do the talking: Put the applicants at ease by all means, but avoid socialising with them or turning the interview into a sales pitch about your organization. Let them tell about themselves.
- Keep a rating sheet: A generalised judgement is inadequate. Compile a list of qualities you want to find in an applicant. This checklist also helps to focus the interview on patient matters and to assist in comparing applicants.
- Dwell on job experience: Don’t ask “What would you do if …?”. You’re more likely to get straight answers if you asked how they handled a given situation in the past.
- Elicit narrative answers: Minimise the Yes/No questions. Seek explanations, philosophies or character traits. Ask for elaboration.
- Let the supervisors be involved: Involve the applicant’s future supervisor. Since clashing personalities can harm working relationships, make sure your new staff member will fit in with the immediate boss.
- Close the interview: Assume the responsibility for ending the interview by concluding in a comfortable, business-like manner.
- Analyse the information: As soon as possible after the interview, analyse the data you have collected, comparing it with the interview criteria. If you are an experienced manager, you can’t put aside your subjective judgements, so, as part of your assessment, take note of your feelings as well as the objective data collected.
- Report your findings: Compile all relevant information immediately following the interview. Information should be recorded in such a way that it will be easily accessible to you. The time spent on this task will prove invaluable if you need to share your findings with others involved in the selection procedure. You will also find this useful if you decide to report back to the interviewee.
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