If you are looking for some tips and advice on how to conduct the job interview, then read on
- Preparing to conduct the interview
When preparing to conduct a recruitment interview, it is important to learn how to develop questions that relate clearly to the selection criteria of the position. There are many different types of interview questions that you can ask, and one of the most popular is known as the "behavioural question"
The behavioural question is one method of assessing an applicant's current ability to do the job, by asking them about their past. This approach is also referred to as "behavioural interviewing" and is based upon the premise that past performance can be used to predict likely future performance.
Some sample behavioural questions for the attribute of initiative, for example could include :
- Tell us about a time where you displayed initiative - perhaps for example, when you improved a procedure or a process at work?
- What new ideas and suggestions have you put forward during the past six months?
The behavioural question is very different to the "hypothetical" question - which is more theoretical in nature ie "How would you handle a situation ....?" The hypothetical question runs the risk of eliciting a hypothetical answer - in other words, we don't know if the applicant would actually behave in the way they answer the question.
In our recruitment training course, participants practice developing sound interview questions from sample selection criteria.
Another aspect to your preparation is ensuring you are familiar with the resume of the candidate. If you have decided to invite the person to attend for a job interview, then obviously you have judged from their written application that they appear to meet many of the requirements of the position. But there may be some specific areas of their past experience that you want to ask about - so have those questions also prepared.
- Don't just ask questions, assess skills
Although having good sound interview questions prepared is important, also think about ways you may be able to include some skills assessment in the interview process. Whether it is asking them to actually demonstrate to you some of the key technical skills that may be required in the position (eg. particular computer skills) - or maybe you have a role play planned, to help observe their customer service skills
After all, if you owned a circus and you were looking to recruit a juggler - would you be wanting to ask them questions, or would you be wanting to see them juggle?
- Avoiding discrimination in the interview
When you are thinking about how to conduct the job interview, it's important to be aware of relevant legislation. Equal employment opportunity (EEO) legislation aims to ensure that applicants are assessed on merit in any recruitment process.
Australia has both state and federal legislation that makes it illegal for employers to disadvantage applicants from the selection process on the basis of:
- marital status
- political beliefs
Generally, interview questions will likely be legitimate as long as they are clearly job related and potentially able to be asked of all applicants. As an example of a discrimination question, it would be totally inappropriate to ask a married woman with children a question such as:
“How will you manage your child-care arrangements so that your work is not disrupted?”
Instead however, what you could legally ask of applicants in the interview ...:
“Is there any reason why you could not work a rostered evening when required?” (assuming that this was indeed one of the conditions of employment).
- Techniques for conducting the interview
The quality of the recruitment decision you make will depend upon your ability as an interviewer to gather and interpret quality information about the various candidates. You need to be able to ...
- Set the applicant at ease, as much as reasonably possible
- Ask your planned questions, ensuring they are clear and easy to understand (ie. avoid long-winded questions)
- Explore the candidate's response and probe beneath superficial answers eg "Tell me more about ..."
- Keep some brief notes during the interview, for later reference
- Pause and use silence occasionally, to see if the candidate will add more information to their responses
- Do referee checks thoroughly - no matter how impressed you might be by an applicant
By the way, for more ideas on interview questions have a look at Interview Questions To Ask which lists some general questions.
If you happen to be after questions for a project management position, see Project Manager interview questions
I hope this article has provided you with some useful tips on how to conduct the job interview. Appointing staff who will represent your business is one of the most important business decisions you will make .It's worth Investing the time and thought to get this right.
The following short video clip offers some more useful interviewing tips
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