Interviewing is an art. It demands a positive frame of mind on the part of the interviewers. Interviewees must be treated properly so as to leave a good impression (about the company) in their minds. HR experts have identified certain steps to be followed while conducting interviews;
Stages in typical employment interviews
Evaluation > Termination > Information exchange > Reception > Preparation
Preparation : Effective interviews do not just happen. They are planned. This involve:
1) Establishing the objectives of the interview and determining the areas and specific questions to be covered.
2) Reviewing the candidate’s application and resume noting areas that are vague or that may show candidate’s strengths and weakness on which questions could be asked.
3) Keeping the test scores ready, along with interview assessment forms.
4) Selecting the interview method to be followed.
5) Choosing the panel of experts who would interview the candidates (list the number of experts to be called plus the chairman)
6) Identifying a comfortable private room preferably away from noise and interruptions (neat and clean; well furnished, lighted and ventilated ) where the interview could be held.
The candidate should be properly received and led into the interview room. Greet the candidate with a warm friendly greeting smile. Names are important so tell the applicant what to call you and then ask the applicant for his preferred form of address. Tell briefly about yourself and put the applicant at ease so that he may reciprocate with personal information. Ask the applicant about hobbies activities, or some other topic so as to beak the ice. As a rule, treat all candidates even unsolicited drop ins at your office – courteously not on humanitarian grounds but because your company’s reputation is at stake. Start the interview on time.
Information Exchange: To gain the confidence the candidates start the interview with a cheerful conversation. The information exchange between the interviewer and the interviewee may proceed thus:
State the purpose of the interview, how the qualifications are going to be matched with skills needed as a realistic job preview such an exercise would be most fruitful when the applicant gets a realistic picture of what he is supposed to do on the job. A realistic job preview helps minimize surprises for the new recruit, enhancing the comfort level and decreasing ambiguity and uncertainty in the early stages of work, Also, the first impression a firm makes on a new hire is one of being an honest organization that stays with the employee, increasing the employee’s level of commitment.
Begin with open ended questions where the candidate gets enough freedom to express himself freely instead of yes or no type of responses.
Do not put words in the applicant’s mouth by asking: You have worked in a private management institute before haven’t you?
Do not telegraph the desired answer by nodding or smiling when the right answer is given.
Do not interrogate the applicant as if the person is a prisoner and do not be patronizing, sarcastic or ultra critical.
Do not monopolize the conversation by giving very little chance to the applicant to reveal himself.
Do not let the applicant dominate the interview by rambling from point to point so you cannot ask all your questions. Establish an interview plan and stick to it.
Do not use difficult words to confuse the applicant . Provide information as freely and honestly as possible.
Focus on the applicant’s education, training, work experience etc. Find unexplained gaps in applicant’s past work or college record and elicit facts that are not mentioned in the resume. Avoid questions that are not job related.
Listen to the applicant’s answers attentively and patiently and pay attention to non verbal cues (applicant’s facial expressions , gestures, body language etc) to increase reliability and avoid discrimination ask the same questions to all the applicants for a particular job, keep careful notes and record facts.