Interviews for Recruitment

Companies- small, medium and large including corporate groups conduct interviews in different ways. Some companies have followed professional methods even four or five decades ago. To name a few Larsen & Toubro Ltd, Pfizer Limited, Hindustan Lever Limited or Hindustan Unilever Ltd, DCM Groups of companies and others.

The interview is the best method to know the candidate in all aspects and whether he can be recruited into the company. The aspects that could be looked for are job knowledge, communication skills, and to know his / her personal background including previous employments. Through the last one the employer can know whether the candidate is a job hopper and runs to other companies just for the sake of money. The employer will also come to know whether the candidate is talking bad and criticizing his previous employer/s.

The interview can be conducted by the employer in their own premises (it is better), particular industry association office, recruitment consultant’s office premises (if any consultant is appointed) and or in a hotel room. Nowadays for highly qualified candidates like B.E., B Tech and MBA the companies are conducting interviews on the campus. Many IT companies make a mad rush to recruit employees and are taking in professional degree holders not connected with IT but with something else as their specialization. Such candidates get disappointed at a later stage and leave the organization.

Organizations are also recruiting candidates through walk-in interviews. This is done either at the company premises or through job fairs. But this is mostly done for freshers or junior level candidates. Sometimes even middle management candidates are recruited by this method.

Of late there is a computerized selection interview in which a candidate’s oral and/or computerized replies are obtained. In a computerized interview the applicant is presented with a series of questions regarding  his or her background, experience, education, skills, knowledge and work attitudes that relate to the job for which the person has applied. Some video based computerized interviews also confront candidates with realistic scenarios such as irate customers to which they must respond.

Typical computerized interviews present questions in a multiple choice format, the applicant is expected to respond one at a time to the questions on the screen by pressing a key. For example a sample interview question for a person applying for a job as a retail store salesman or salesgirl might be:

How you can assist customers in the store without irritating them? Or make them come back to the store for their purchases?

If you are interviewing a candidate for an executive position a typical question can be how you can reduce the inventory? Or what will you do with obsolete materials?

Questions on a computerized interview come in a rapid sequence and so the applicant needs to concentrate. The typical computerized interview program measures the response time to each question. A delay in answering certain questions can pose potential problems to the candidate.

For Middle/junior level positions or freshers the ideal seems to be a suitable test through a computer or otherwise and short list candidates who have scored above a certain percentage. A test of 2 hours is sufficient for this purpose. This can be followed by a personal interview and selection. If the requirement is large then the test has to be conducted in batches with different questions.

Before I write the concluding phase of this article with my experience in Indian corporate MNC sector I would like to mention, irrespective of the position the candidates are recruited, the result should be told to them if possible. If it is going to take more time due to some reason then the time frame must be indicated mentioning ‘if you do not receive intimation within —- days, please consider that some other candidate/s is/are selected. The interview should take place in a private room where telephone calls are not accepted and you can minimize interruptions. Prior to the interview, review the candidate’s application and resume, and note any areas that are vague or that my indicate strengths or weaknesses.

Medium and large companies must conduct the final interview of short listed candidates in the presence of all concerned say the HR manager, the immediate superior and suitable top management person or Head of the department. The final interview preferably conducted in the premises of the company where the selected candidate may have to work. It is better to stagger the timing in groups for junior level or freshers. For senior positions each candidate must be called giving sufficient time for the interview. If there is one position two or three candidates have to be selected so that if one does not turn up the other can be called. The period of joining is at least one to three months for new recruits depending upon the position.

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