Interviewing is one of the more difficult skills to learn and use properly during your recruitment activities. It used to be that you would sit down in an interview, ask the person any questions that you wanted and made a decision based largely on your “gut feeling”. While your “gut feeling” is probably something that you will always utilize to some degree, the interview has become a considerably more complex situation then it used to be. Human Rights Laws and other legislation now protect job searchers from an interviewer asking questions that are deemed to infringe on their personal rights. Many mid to large size companies will have HR departments who can determine the process and questions used to protect the company from Human Rights claims. Smaller companies usually do not have these resources and must be very careful that they are not opening themselves up to potential issues. The easiest way to protect your business while conducting interviews is to have a set of interview questions prepared and checked in advance and ask the same questions of each job searcher. Let’s look at the two most common types of interview questions.
- Situational based interviewing is a highly structured interview in which hypothetical situations are described and the goal is to get the job searcher to describe how they would handle that situation. You should have a scoring guide for each question that would allow you to determine who the best candidate is for the position based on their answers.
- Behavioural based interviews are also a structured interview in which the job searcher is asked to describe what he or she did in situations in the past. The key to behavioural based interviewing is to ask probing questions. Make sure that you completely understand the situation, the actions taken to resolve the issue and what the desired / actual outcome was.
There are thousands of books with interview questions to choose from. Some have a variety of interview questions and most will break the questions down to determine skills, qualities or attitudes that you may want answers to.
In conducting the interview, make sure that you are in a quiet room with no distractions. Emails popping up and/or phone calls coming through will not ease the job searchers nerves. We expect that our job searchers give us their undivided attention during the interview and they deserve the same respect. Determine how much time will be required to complete the interview and have your set interview questions ready to go. Spend a few minutes at the beginning of the interview to put the job searcher at ease. Start by giving them an overview of how the interview will work and that you will be taking notes. Be careful not to ask personal questions as this is where most people will get into trouble with the human rights legislation. Also remember that it is not just you interviewing the job searcher, they are also interviewing you. Allow them to ask questions and do your best to answer as many of them as you can. They will also need to determine if the company will be a fit for their career just as you will decide if they fit with your company.
Interviewing is a process that needs attention and time to ensure that you are in compliance with the laws and legislation that affect this recruitment activity. Remember that you should ask all job searchers interviewing for the position the same questions and document the answers. By doing this you will protect yourself from possible complaints and provide equal opportunity to all the job searchers you are interviewing.
How do you prepare for the interview process?