Building an Interview Process

Introduction

Interviewing is not a silly game as one thinks. It needs lot of hard work if one wants to do interviewing process successfully. In simple words, future of any organization lies in interviewer’s hands. Interviewer is a person who is responsible for recruiting proper candidates from those who are present for interview in an organization. Organization hands over the job to interviewer because it has got complete faith in the interviewing person. So, it is the responsibility of the interviewer to fulfill the needs of the organization by selecting the best suited candidates for filling the vacancies in the organization. So, as usual, the interviewing person will be in tremendous pressure at the time of interview.

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The goal of the interviewer is to find the best-suited person for the organization. This should always be his aim while conducting interview. If interviewer becomes nervous or pressurized while conducting an interview, then everything will be upside down and the process will be a big failure. A very good homework is needed for an interviewer before starting an interview process. The interviewer must be well aware of the organization’s policies. An interviewer must prepare very good agenda in advance to make interview process most excellent. The success of an interview lies in the ability of the interviewer to understand the participants who are present for the interview.

“Interviews are particularly useful for getting the story behind a participant’s experiences.” (McNamara, 2008, Introduction, para.1). It can be anything like educational background, experiences etc. Main target of the interviewer should be to get maximum information from the participants and the interviewer must be able to understand how the participants would be and whether they can serve according to the needs of the organization.

Qualification of the trainer/interviewer

David White is the senior most head in human resource department in ABC Inc. His job includes administration of the organization. He has been in ABC Inc for the last 28 years. He is a good interviewer and he has so far interviewed plenty of people for ABC Inc. He is efficient in understanding the people at once. He implemented many new strategies in the organization with a view to improve everything related to an organization.

This person is an expertise in the field of manpower planning, recruitment, training and development. He has written many books on skills development, how to increase one’s performance in the company, how to face interviews etc.

Interview process

Certain preparations and arrangements must be made by the interviewer before conducting an interview. The interviewer must be aware about what type of interview is to be conducted, and for which position etc. A good interviewing skill is an essential requirement of an interviewer, without which the right candidate cannot be selected. Qualified employees are assets of an enterprise. They can be hired through a good interview process. Hiring of an employee starts with job interview. Good atmospheric condition is an essential factor while conducting an interview. Punctuality is essential for an interview; the interview must start at the prefixed time. Interview must be concise. Interviewer must make preparations based on the interviews which were conducted previously. The interviewer must make a keen observation of the person who is entering into the interviewing room, i.e. his dress code, neatness, walking style, approach towards the interviewer etc. The interviewer must make a study of the person who is appearing for the interview. He should prepare the questions before conducting an interview. It must be used only for reference and should not be shown to the interviewee. Casual conversation with the interviewee helps reduce his fear and nervousness. Interviewer must not launch directly to the interview questions; but must start by asking the interviewee to self-introduce.

Interviewer must look upon the interviewee’s personality, his attention towards the questions, his answering style and body language. Interviewer must make a short note about the interviewee which will help to review about the person later. This is primarily helpful when numerous people are interviewed for the same post. After the interview, the interviewer can identify the candidates with the notes scribbled. He can also identify the right person who is actually fit for the job.

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Different steps in conducting an interview

There are various steps in conducting an interview. They are objective determination, preparing for the interview, carrying out the interview, concluding the interviewing process and compiling and analyzing the result.

Determine the objective

The main objective of interview is to get the right employee for the organization. This can be done by analyzing the employee completely. Analysis can be done based on the needs of the organization. The objective must be clear. It should be standard, direct and short. The need of the organization and objectives should match each other in order to make the objectives effective. Once the objectives are decided, an effective discussion should be conducted to review the objectives. Finalizing of the objectives has to be done at last, in order to make sure that the objectives decided for interview are correct.

Prepare for the interview

Without preparation, interviewer cannot conduct the interview efficiently. The location where interview is conducted must be calm and quiet; otherwise it may cause discomfort among the participants. While preparing for the interview, a good protocol must be made. The protocol must be followed strictly while conducting the interview. A very good opening statement must be made in order to explain the purpose of interview. The candidates should be informed of the terms and conditions of the job very clearly. The schedule of interview must be clearly mentioned before hand. It should include the time schedule, that is, duration of the interview. Also, a clear idea should be given to participants about the organization. Interviewer must ask the participants whether they have any questions. Also, interviewer must not forget to write down in brief what the participant says at the time of interview. If this is not possible, then with the permission of the participant, the interview can be recorded.

Conducting or carrying out interview

There are certain dos and don’ts an interviewer must follow while conducting an interview. An interviewer must not dominate the talking. He can give confidence to the participants to talk more. Only then, interviewer will be able to get to know more about the interviewee. Interviewer must not make any interruption in between the conversation. Interviewer must not tell his personal opinion on any matter while conducting interview. The questions asked to the interviewee must be on correct area. The focus of the questions must be related to objective or aim. Interviewer must allow the participant to answer the questions according to his/her will. An interviewer must show or express the feeling that answers given by the participants are taken very seriously. The aim of interview must be to check whether information furnished by the participant before was correct or not. If there is any inconsistency, a proper investigation has to be carried out. When interviewer feels that the answer to the question is not clear, then interviewer can ask for clarification. Still, if interviewer cannot understand what the participant says, the interviewer can ask politely to the interviewee to explain the answers with examples or explanations. The aim of the interviewer must be to make the participant comfortable. So, questions asked to the participant must not be very strong; and provoking questions must be avoided.

Concluding the interview process

Before concluding the interview process, the interviewer can give signal to the participant that interview process will end soon. The interviewer must be careful not to give any kind of confidence to any of the participant that he will pass in this process or not.

Analyze and compare the result

This is the next step once the interview process is over. Here, comparison and evaluation is done to recruit the best candidate in to the organization. Candidates are selected mainly on the basis of performance and on the marks got by the participants in the interview process.

Types of interviews

Different types of interviews are given below: They are Informal conversational interview, general interview, standardized open ended interview and closed fixed response interview. Each interview has got its own purpose. They are explained below.

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Informal conversational interview

Informal interview is conducted by not asking pre-determined questions. The interviewee will be asked simple questions which are not formal. The questions will be based on the nature of the interviewee. During interview process interviewer will go according to the flow interviewer gets from the interviewee.

General interview

In this case, same kind of approach is maintained for each of the participant. The aim of this type of interview is to get general ideas on general areas. This kind of process allows adaptability and freedom to get more information from the candidates.

Standardized open ended interview

In the open–ended interview open ended questions are asked to the interviewees. This helps in conducting the interview easily and faster. “Open-ended questions typically begin with words such as “Why” and “How”, or phrases such as “Tell me about…”.” (Open- ended questions, n.d., para.3).

Closed fixed response interview

In this case, all interviewees are asked same set of questions. This method is used when interviewer is not much experienced in conducting interview. It is just the opposite form of open-ended interview.

Various types of topics used in interview

In an interview there are certain topics which are frequently used. They are the following:

BehaviorsThis can be about the interviewee. Here an interviewer can ask the interviewee to explain what he/she is doing. Also it can be about the experience of the interviewee in which he/she is actively involved. In this section interviewer can ask to explain about certain area in which he/she is interested. The aim of this is to know more about the interviewee’s behavior so that the interviewer can test whether the interviewee will be fit for the organization or not. Here, a complete analysis of the interviewee is done.

Opinions/values – In this case what the interviewer will do is he will put one topic in front of the interviewee and ask to explain his/her view on the topic. This is used to test one’s awareness and skill. Here, interviewer will analyze thinking capability and how one can deal with the topic. With this type of question, interviewer can measure the awareness and skill level, the communication skill of the participant and how much he/she can talk about the particular topic.

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Feelings – This is to understand the feelings of the participants. One thing to measure here is how the participants think about certain matters. This is to analyze one’s feelings on certain topic and to get how the participant will be and whether his/her feelings will be useful for the organization or not. The interviewer must be very careful to note down the points told by the participant so that it will be very easy for the interviewer at the time of analyzing.

Knowledge – This is to analyze the in-depth knowledge of the participant about certain topics. The topics can be anything and it can vary from participant to participant. The interviewer’s aim is to get the different aspects of the topic from the participant. Main analysis will go in what style the participant uses to describe the topic. It will depend on the needs of the organization. If the post for interviewing is a technical post, then when the participant explains the topic the interviewer will look whether any technical aspect has been included while explaining. The interviewer will look the order or tactics from participant and if this order or tactics provided by participant is similar to what the organization needs, then participant will get good score.

Sensory – This is to test the sense of feel of the participant. Here, the interviewer will ask the participant to describe about the different types of people. This is mainly to understand how the participant think about certain groups of people. This is to analyze the participant’s thinking capability and also how each of the participant senses about different things. There will be set of norms or level kept by the interviewer. If the participant reaches above that level, then participant will get more merit.

Background/demographics – These types of questions are asked mainly to understand about the background of the participant. The questions can be based on age, background etc of the participant. Background can be any thing, such as, educational background, family background etc. This is to analyze the communication skill and how the participant is presenting things in front of others, and whether the participant is capable to speak out clearly and able to make understand others what he/she is speaking.

Sequence of questions

This section will deal with some questions that interviewer needs to ask to a participant. Questions are asked in different formats and interviewer must be very careful not to make the interviewee getting bored with the questions. So, interviewer must be very careful not to repeat the same question. The interviewer must be able to bring the participant into the interview process once the participant enters into the room. As soon as participant enters the room, the interviewer should not waste any time and interview process must start. Before the interviewer goes deep by asking strong questions or questions on controversial matters, he must start with asking simple questions. Also, interviewer must give some time for the participant to adapt with the situation or interview process. Once everything is fine, interviewer can jump into serious questions. Also, interviewer must ask only fact based questions. Another important thing interviewer must take into consideration is he must start with asking questions about present rather than asking questions about past and future. When interview moves into last section, the interviewer must allow the participant to clear the doubts. Interviewer must allow this so that participant can impress by asking some questions to the interviewer about the organization or any other matter.

Wording of questions

This is another important thing an interviewer must keep in mind. The questions asked to the interviewees must be open ended, so that they can make their own choice while answering questions. The questions asked must be neutral. Make sure that the answers do not influence on anything or anybody. So, while constructing the question, interviewer should be very careful. Interviewer should ask the question only once. If interviewer asks the same question twice, then it will show the carelessness of the interviewer. The questions asked by the interviewer must be very clear to the participant. If it is not, then the interview process will be in trouble and it will take longer time making inconvenience to others. Also, the interviewer must be very careful while asking ‘why’ questions, because these types of questions some times affect some relationship that does not exist truly. Also, by asking these types of questions the participants will feel somewhat insecure and defensive. So it is advisable that the interviewer should avoid asking ‘why’ questions.

After the interview

Once the interview process is over, interviewer must make sure that every thing has been done accurately and perfectly. Notes written by the interviewer about the participants must be kept safely for future use. If tape recorder or video has been used at the time of interview, they must be checked immediately after the interview. All the observations made at the time of interview must be taken into consideration very clearly.

Conclusion

Conducting interview for an organization is not an easy task as one thinks. It is not a child’s play. It is a massive task and it requires lots of hard work to make an interview process a grand success. Conducting an interview is actually a team effort. A very good team effort and proper analyzing is needed to make an interview process a grand success.

Reference

McNamara, C. (2008). General Guideline for conducting interviews: Introduction. Free Management Library. 2009. Web.

Open- ended questions. (n.d.). Media College.com. 2009. Web.

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