Preparing and Interviewing Employees


The process of interviewing potential employees generally consists of FOUR (4) steps. These steps are as follows;

  • A)    Preparing for the Interview;
  • B)    Deciding on the Interview Questions;
  • C)    Choosing a Method for Asking the Interview Questions;
  • D)    Selecting the Right Employee


As you prepare for the interview it may be beneficial to consider the following details. Study the job description so you can make a selection based on the essential requirements of the position. Select an environment that will be comfortable for both you and the applicant, so you can get the most accurate results from the interview. Review each resume or application before conducting the interview, so you have a basic knowledge of their qualifications, skills and training. Decide on the interview dates and scheduled times. Set aside a specific length of time for each applicant. Have a room available where applicants can sit and wait before being interviewed. If applicants are required to fill out questionnaires, surveys or general information forms, have the forms prepared before hand and remember to supply pencils or pens. The more you are prepared, the smoother each interview will flow.

Whether you prepare a standardized series of questions or use an impromptu approach to interviewing, the type of questions and your method for asking them are both important. It stands to reason that you have to ask the right questions, in the right way, if you want the right answers. Good sample questions to ask might be, "What do you think you can do for our company?" or "Why did you apply for this job?" A well prepared candidate should be able to reply with an appropriate response with little or no hesitance. If they have considerable difficulty or need an unreasonable amount of time to answer these questions, they may not have the aptitude for the job.

Many methods for asking interview questions are available. Below provides examples of five such methods.

A Combination of Both Structured and Unstructured Questioning
This approach to interviewing involves the use of both prepared and spontaneous questions. It is often used because it obtains important answers to specific questions, and at the same time, allows for some unique answers to individualized questions. This can be useful for determining unsuitable traits, while at the same time, comparing the qualifications of the applicants.

Preplanned structured approach to questioning
This method of asking the same questions generally prove advantageous when comparing applicants. The questions you develop should relate to the candidate's ability to perform the required job duties, as well as their previous experience, knowledge, education, and ability to learn. Never make reference to such topics as; the applicant's age, personal views, religious status, marital status, race, and/or culture. These have no direct effect on the person's ability to do their job. For example, a person applying for a chef's position shouldn't be asked,"What is your marital status?", because it has no bearing on the applicant's ability to cook.

Unplanned and unstructured type of questioning
This style of interviewing enables you to learn more about each applicant, by not using the same structure and set of questions for each applicant. You are not restricted to one format, and can ask questions that are spontaneously generated, as a result of a response from a previous question, for instance. This can be very effective for determining if a person appears suited for the job.

Stress-Producing Questioning
As the name suggests, this form of interviewing is conducted to see how the applicant handles stress, and how he will function in a high stress job. You would develop a technique for asking the questions that would cause stress for the average person, then observe their reaction. Typically, the interviewees will handle stressful situations at work in the same manner.

The Problem-Solving Question Format
Depending on the nature of your company, you might use this strategy to interview applicants. You would ask the candidate a hypothetical problem and evaluate their method for solving of the problem. This enables you to determine their abilities to reason and solve problems, which could be useful in a job that frequently presents new tasks.

No matter what type of questioning you use, it is important to record each applicant's response to the questions. This can be used later to compare applicants and ensures you do not hire the wrong individual due to your failure to remember (who said what?).

The final step includes making the selection decision and contacting the chosen applicant. After careful evaluation of the interviews, you decide on the best candidate for the job, and contact her to let her know she was selected. Make your decision with a second and third pick in mind, just in case the applicant you chose has already been hired by another company. Instead of evaluating the resumes again, you can simply call your second or third pick and so on down the list. It is common curtsey today for organizations to call each unsuccessful interviewed applicant to tell them that they haven't received the position. If you choose this route, be prepared to provide each with feedback (IE why they were not selected for the position).


Categories: Management