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How to effectively conduct a job interview

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Properly conducted interviews result in the organisation identifying the best talent. It is imperative that the interview is conducted in a professional manner.

In this week’s instalment, I will focus on some of the issues to consider when conducting the interview. I will specifically look at the first stage in the preparation for the interview.

Structure your interview: There are a number of things that can be considered to increase the standardisation of the interview. These include:
lBasing interview questions on the actual job duties. Doing so will go a long way in minimising irrelevant questions which are based on beliefs about the job’s requiements. It also reduces the likelihood of bias because there will be less opportunity to “read” things into the response by the interviewee.

lThere is need to use job knowledge, situational or behaviouraly oriented questions and objective criteria to evaluate the interviewee’s responses. Many interviewers tend to use questions that simply ask for opinions and attitudes, goals and aspirations and self-description and self-evaluation.

These questions normally allow interviewees to present themselves in overly favourable manner and avoid their weaknesses. Examples of structured question that can be used by the interviewer are: Suppose you were giving a presentation on marketing and a difficult technical question arose that you could not answer, what would you do? Or a past behaviour question such as: Can you provide an example of a time when you exhibited your ability to ‘think outside the box’.

.Train the interviewers: Ensure that the interviewers are given a review of the Labour Act and are trained to avoid using questions that may be discriminatory as this could result in litigations against the organisation.

It is vital that interviewers are trained to base their questions on job-related information.

lThe interview panellist should use the same questions for all candidates being interviewed. Doing so will reduce bias because of the fact that all candidates are fairly measured against the same yardstick.

So if a panellist does not ask a question to the first candidate, when their turn comes for the next candidates, they should indicate to the panel chairperson that he should pass on to the next panellist.

.Use the rating scale to rate answer: For each question, provide attributes and a quantitative score for each. It will then be easier to rate how the candidate faired on each of the attribute.

This will ensure that all the panellists are using the same standard.

.Control the interview: There is need to limit interviewers’ questions so as to ensure that all interviewees get the same questions.

It is the role of the chairperson of the panel to ensure that a variety of questions are used and candidates will only ask questions at the end of the interview.

.Paul Nyausaru is a human resources practitioner. Views contained in this article are personal. You can contact him on email:pnyausaru@yahoo.co.uk or pnyausaru@gmail.com

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