Job analysis interview guidelines


1. The Job Analysis Interview :

For the proper understanding of the job it is important to interview the job holder. There may be instances when you would depend on a preliminary draft submitted by the job holder’s superior but the job holders should be provided with an opportunity of commenting at least on the final draft. Whether you initially interview the job holder or his superior, the effectiveness of the interview will have a significant impact on the quality of the job description you finally prepare. The best of writing, cannot compensate for a lack of job understanding or incomplete data.

The aim of this chapter is to assist you broaden your understanding on what is involved in conducting a job analysis interview.

1.1. Before the interview

By preparing adequately before the actual meeting takes place it can affect the quality and thoroughness of the interview and in turn affect the job description. The time spent before the interview should therefore be considered a time well spent.

Make sure that the interview is well planned. Set up a definite appointment with the person to be interviewed. Try to arrange for a neutral venue as far as possible where you can discuss at ease and be free from interruptions.

Review your knowledge about the organization unit you will be working with. Try to separate, known facts from opinions and interpretations. Be careful not to prejudge. You may be mistaken.

Job description you develop must communicate the real content of the job. Equally you must effectively communicate in your job analysis interview.

1.2. Commencing the interview

The first few minutes of an interview are often crucial.

1.3. Get the interview going

Do not waste time at the beginning of an interview or you are likely to face time pressure later.

1.4 Establish rapport

Put the person at ease, gain his confidence and establish the atmosphere where effective communication can take place. A relationship of mutual confidence between you and the interviewee is necessary to set the best results.

1.5 Explain your role

Often the job holders believe that they are being appraised or evaluated by you. Explain clearly the nature of your role. Stress that you are collecting and analyzing information for an objective description of his job.

You will usually find it easiest to start the interview by getting the Job holder to sketch out an organization chart showing the job in the unit. This will help you to place the job in the overall perspective of the company and indicate the line of questioning.

Avoid dominating the interview. The operating techniques you use will provide the control needed to prompt relevant responses.

1.6 How to keep the interview going

As you progress always keep in mind the answers to questions :

– What ?
– How ?
– Why ?

will provide the basis of information for a good job description.

The job holder will expect you to ask direct questions but may not be able to answer them immediately. You can ask him to process the information before he answers. Listen carefully and decide what is relevant.

Once the job holder starts talking there are a number of responses you can use to indicate you are listening.

They include :

a) Non-committal response

This is a neutral response. You understand what the job holder is saying but want to hear more. You use a non-committal response such as “I see …….. “or� Oh ?�, etc.

b) Echo response

This merely echoes what the job holder last said. It shows him that you are listening an encourages him to enlarge on what he has been saying.

An example

Job holder : “It is often required for me to visit ministries and government departments�.

Analyst : “……………… visit Government Departments.�

c) This is similar to echo response but adds interpretation to what is said for example.

“Oh! You must visit Govt. Departments often ?�

This type of response shows that you are listening. But there is Also a pitfall, when you interpret the job holder may feel that you are judging or making assumptions. Be cautious !

Taking good notes is extremely critical. Don’t trust too much on memory but also remember not to get too much involved in trying to write every word the job holder says. This will interrupt the proper flow of information.

At times you may find your working with a job holder who is reluctant to talk. This calls for skill, tact and self-discipline on the part of the job analyst.

Move him into questions which he cannot possibly answer in monosyllables.

E.g. with a half stated follow-up questions such as :-

“In such cases the action you take is ………….. ?

1.7 Closing the interview

This could be done simply and naturally by a comment such as “well with a few more questions, we shall be through�

When you reach the end, it will be polite to ask if there are any questions or comments. This will give the job holder an opportunity to clarify a point which has been troubling him.

Review your notes as soon as possible after an interview while the interview is still fresh in your mind.

1.8 Some additional Guidelines

a) When you ask a question, do so in an inquisitive manner and not
In a challenging way. Do not show approval or disapproval.

b) Be careful not to ask leading questions – ones that suggest that a Certain answer is desired.

c) Do not be timid about asking probing a supplementary question
whenever needed.

d) Listen to complaints – but be non – committal.

e) When you ask a question, wait for an answer.

f) Do not dominate the discussion.

g) Listen “between the lines�. Things unsaid, hinted at, implied can
be very important.

Prof.Lakshman Madurasinghe, MA.,MS(Psy).PhD Chartered Fellow CIPD(Lond) is a Behavioural Scientist with International HR Consultancy experience


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