Conducting an excellent job interview is an art which every human resources (HR) recruiter should master. In fact, the cost of making a bad hiring decision is considerably high (McCarthy, 2018). Knowing which questions to ask and how best to develop an interviewing process for a position may allow an HR recruiter to effectively interview more candidates with minimal time loss. It would also help to find the right candidates for a job, based on the job description.
Developing Interview Questions
When developing questions, an HR recruiter should decide on what he or she is looking for from the job description and regarding culture fit. It is also important to know the specifics of a job in order to ask appropriate questions. For example, it is generally known that the turnover rate is the highest for hourly workers. That is why an interviewer should ask some questions to determine long-term goals of a person for an hourly position and possibility to work additional hours. For specialist positions, it is crucial to evaluate the level of expertise of a candidate. An interview should consist not only of job description-based questions but also include individual questions regarding a candidate’s resume. Interview questions should test a candidate’s knowledge of an organization, job requirements, and understanding of job duties.
In order to determine appropriate questions for an hourly position and a specialist position, an HR recruiter should:
- Carefully look through a job description
- Decide on the type of an interview
- Generate questions based on key terms in a job description
- Generate additional questions based on one’s resume
- Consider asking questions to determine a candidate’s flexibility (for an hourly position)
- Consider asking technical questions
- Consider asking behavioral questions to evaluate the required skills.
Types of Interviews
Before conducting an interview, an HR recruiter should define what kind of it is the most appropriate for a certain job. There are several different types of job interviews, all of which are aimed at evaluating candidates’ skills, experience, education, knowledge, and personality traits to determine if a person is right for a position. In particular, there are a traditional face-to-face interview, a group interview, and a behavioral interview.
In a traditional interview, a candidate sits with a solo interviewer and answers a set of questions. Many companies use group interviews to quickly pre-screen candidates for a job, give them a possibility to learn more about an organization, and show them their future working conditions. Group interviews are usual in jobs that require heavy customer interaction. Usually, a group interview begins with a manager briefly presenting a company. After that, candidates are interviewed at the same time by one interviewer. This type of a job interview allows for evaluating how a person interacts with other people and operates under group pressure. In a behavioral interview, an HR recruiter asks questions based on typical situations of a job. An interviewer is interested in knowing how a candidate dealt with a certain issue and what he or she did to solve it.
For a receptionist position, an HR recruiter may consider asking the following two questions.
- Tell me about a situation when you had to manage an angry individual on the phone or in person (Doyle, 2018). How did you feel about it? How did you resolve this situation?
- How do you think, what role does a receptionist play in a customer’s perception of an organization (Doyle, 2018)?
The aim of the first question is to find out how a candidate deals with unhappy clients. An interviewer should pay attention if a candidate feels uncomfortable about discussing the situation; if a candidate confidently approaches the problem; if his or her experience is successful. A possible answer to this question may be the following:
Once, there was an irritated and very loud woman yelling at me at the receptionist desk. She wanted to speak to my boss, as the customer service department had not called her back on time. The situation was unpleasant for me, but I tried to understand the woman who was really stressed. In order not to escalate the conflict, I talked to her in an even voice to explain that the boss would contact her at his earliest convenience.
The aim of the second question is to make sure that a candidate understands the position. A possible answer to this question may be the following:
Being the first person that most people see when entering a company, a receptionist is responsible for the first impression of a customer about an organization. Therefore, it is important to represent the company’s values in every single interaction.
For a nursing job, an HR recruiter may consider asking the following questions:
- Why did you decide to become a nurse?
- How do you think, what personality traits are crucial in the nursing profession?
The first question is aimed at gaining a better understanding of a candidate as an individual. A possible answer to this question may be the following:
My decision to become a nurse is driven by my desire to make a real difference in people’s lives. When I was a child, I broke my leg and had to spend some time in a hospital. It was nurses who talked to me and comforted my parents and me. I could have never forgotten their friendly and professional attitude, which is the main reason why I decided to become a nurse.
The second question should be asked by an HR recruiter in order to determine how a candidate understands a job, in particular, its human side. This may give insights into how a nurse will treat patients. A possible answer to this question may be the following:
I believe that a nurse has to be compassionate, emphatic, communicative, and detail-oriented to provide patients with high-quality care.
Important technical interview questions for both positions are presented below:
- What do you know about our company?
- What did you like most about your last job?
- What did you like least about your last job?
- Why are you leaving your current position?
- What are your long-term goals and how do you plan to achieve them?
- What is your previous job experience?
Important behavioral interview questions for both positions are presented below:
- Have you ever made a mistake at work? How did you handle it?
- Have you ever made tough decisions at work? How did you handle the decision-making process?
- Have you ever handled a difficult situation?
- What do you usually do when you disagree with someone you work with?
To sum up, in the given project, the process for developing interview questions by an HR recruiter for an hourly position and a specialist position has been discussed. The main steps for determining appropriate questions have been identified. Three types of job interviews have been described in detail. Several interview questions for a receptionist position and a nursing position have been discussed alongside suggested question responses.
Doyle, A. (2018). Receptionist interview questions and answers. Web.
McCarthy, D. (2018). The very high cost of making a bad hire on your team. Web.