Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Interviewing skills or how to conduct interview

Purpose of interview

The interview is an opportunity  for both the hiring organization and the candidate to exchange information with an aim of locating if there is a good fit between them

An employer should assess three levels of skills
Content skills-job releated to technical skills eg programming, accounting
Transferable skills – skills needed for handling work, e.g managing operating, co-ordination
Adaptive skills –Does the candidate have the personality temperament for the job? Can he/she maange open-mindedness,flexibility,adaptability,tolerance etc

Types of Interviews

Behavioral Interview
Example: Tell me about a time you had to find a creative solution to a problem? This is based on the principle that your past performance can give you an insight into your likely style of handling an issue in the future
Skills and desired behaviour than can be looked here are
Decision making /problem solving
Interpeersonal skills
Planning and organization
Critical thinking skills
Team work
Ability to influence others
Eye of detail
Risk taking

Case Interview
Is an analysis of a business commonly used by management consulting firms as they demonstrate their ability to work through business scenarious which you are likely to face as a consultant?
These could last between 10 to 30 minutes. You can give any case or scenarious and observe how the candidate behaves.
Industry Specific Interview
The aim here is to find out what is the level of interviewee’s knowledge about the industry specifically . E.g Name our product that you believe is well/poorly positioned and why? What are the factors which drive mergers and acquisitions?

Conducting  the  interview

1.Inform the candidate in the beginning that you will be taking notes
2.Acknowledge the recipe of the resume . Tell the candidate that the resume was insightful and that you will foucs on the skills and competencies required for performing the teask efficiently
3.Build rapport at the begiing of the interview. The interviewer needs t do for a limited period of time. Beign with a warm and friendly introuduction. This is followed by focused movememt in the area of the interview
4.Order of Questions
Start with a question which puts the applicant to ease
                Easy and difficult questions
                Long and short questions
                Intensity of the questions
If more than one person would be present on the interview panel decide who will ask which question before the candidate walks in
5. If there are gaps in any educatioin identify the reasons for the same
6.Awards and certificates.
Look for awards/letters of appreciation , certificates. Ask questions about the circumstances for which the person has been appreciated.
7.Closing an interview
Ask –“is there anything I have fauled to ask that you think , I need to know to make the cecision favourable to you?
After they respond ,thank them for coming
Let them know your next course of action

Preparation for the interview

Before you conduct the interview you need to prepare
1.       List out the performance expectations its various dimensions and details of requirements for assessment
Before we get on with conducting an interview it is important to assesses the requriments/expectations from the person we ultimately recruit. What is the kind of knowledge experience behavioural characteristics etc we are going to look for?

The three components of performance expectations are

a)Goals: For example, you hav to recruit some one for your sales team. The quota the person has to achieve will be a critical criterion while making a hiring decisoin

b)Job barriers: For example: can candidate work on odd timings? How will be his performance during odd timings?His performance should not be effected due to this barriers.

c)Competency requirements: expected competency

You should get the list of expectations from the direct manager who is going to hire this candidate. You need to talk to him and get the details

2.       Create Job description

It covers 4 elements on the job
Dimenstions-levels or size of responsibility
Framework-where does the job fit in the organization
Relationship-with whom does the position holder interact
3.       Develop and use Interviewer’s guid
This will have common set of questions as why to reinvent wheel each time?
Also prevents discrimination and bias

Types of Questions to be asked

Past behavior
Past behavior is a good predictor of likely future behavior

Ask Good question
Asking bad questions geets you bad answer. Asking good questions is not natural human talent. Often interviewer's talk too much lead the interviewee towards their own way of thinking and overload him/her with multiple questions. This results in a bad interview which gets youu limited information and that too of poor queality

Open Ended Questions
use open ended questions e.g tell me aobut yourself. What kind of a manager are you? How good are your analytical skills

Self evaluative questions
Tell me about a time when you were part of a team and fund that one member of this team was consistently not contributing. Where would you like to see yourself in 5 years?Describe the new experiences and responsibilities you would like to add-on in the future.Why are you intereseted in our organization?

Genuine Questions
Prepare questions that are genuine , not too presumptuous or pushy, not focused on personal issues or about salary

Types of Questions to be avoided

Multiple questions
Do not ask string of questions in a rapid fire style.

Leading questions
These are the questions which carry an indication in terims of the desired response. E.g. I am strongly in favor of an "all young" squad in the 'one day' cricket team. Are you a supported of this therory too?The candiate will conciously choose to say 'yes' even if he disagreed with you as he doesn't want to challenge your strongly held views-that too during the interview.

Probing questions
these are closed qestions asked to get the specific information you need. Eg how many members were part of the team yu lead?What were the sales targets the 'most successsful' team achieved?
If you have lot of probing questions then you end talking more and interviewee would talk less as he would just answer with yes/no or in one word

How to use Silence in the interview?

-silence is often used as a means to ask a question . E.g silence of
-upto 5 secs is usually given to let the interviewee collect thoughts
-5-20 secs to encourage interviewee to share information he probabaly wants to keep to himself
-20 secs or more -To presurize for confidential information

Sample questions forbidden by law

-Questions pertainign to marital status/divorce/being single
-Ages of applicant's childeren-could lead to an issue of sexcual discrimination
-Don't ask about pregnancy or plans for starting a family
-Don't ask someone's date of birth/age
-Never ask if a person has even been held behind bars.
-Don't ask about place of birth or native language

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