By the time job applicants reach the actual selection interview, they have already passed a careful evaluation of their education and experience and are considered to possess at least minimum qualifications for the particular job. The purpose of the interview is to collect additional information on the applicants' job-related skills, knowledge, and abilities, which should be helpful in selecting the individual best qualified for the position. Your goal as the interviewer is to assist each candidate in effectively presenting all pertinent information concerning his or her qualifications.
An interview should be as structured as possible, yet tailored to each particular applicant. As an interviewer, you should evaluate the same general criteria for each applicant and ask each applicant the same set of core questions. An interview that follows a general standard outline will produce more reliable and valid information for selection than an unstructured interview, will allow for valid comparisons among applicants, and is less likely to run afoul of laws and regulations governing the selection process. Following are the steps you should follow when preparing for an interview:
- Contact the candidates.
"Yes" or "No" Questions should be avoided because they obtain very limited information from the applicant. Example: "Can you operate an IBM computer?"
Direct Questions are used to obtain very specific information. Example: "What accounting courses have you had?" They are valuable for questioning applicants in depth or on topics which are brought up by candidates' responses to open-ended or situational questions
Open-Ended Questions encourage applicants to express ideas and information they feel are important. Examples: "Tell me about your supervisory experience."
Situational Questions pose job-related situations which applicants will have to deal with on the job. They are used to evaluate an applicant's ability to recognize important aspects of situations or problems, analyze them, and provide reasonable options. Example: "What would you do in a situation in which...?" In designing such questions, be sure they consist of actual job situations and are sufficiently complex
QUESTIONS YOU SHOULD AVOID
Multiple Questions require the applicant to answer a long, confusing series of questions. Example: "What duties performed in the past have you liked best/least and why?"
"Loaded" Questions suggest a correct answer. Example: "Our department wants hard working employees. What kind of employee are you?" Such questions often reveal an interviewer's attitudes and may help
applicants to create answers to fit those attitudes.
Negative Questions reveal an unfavorable attitude toward an applicant or topic and may cause the applicant to develop a defensive attitude. Example: "You don't have much relevant supervisory experience, do you?"
Non-Job-Related Questions, especially those regarding
Birthplace, nationality, race, color, religion, or sex
Disability; medical condition
By law, you may not ask questions on the above subjects