Identifying a job’s duties and responsibilities

The interview is probably the most widely used method for identifying a job’s duties and responsibilities and its wide use reflects its advantages. It’s a simple and quick way to collect information, including information that might never appear on a written firm. For instance, a skilled interviewer can unearth important activities that occur only occasionally, or informal contacts that wouldn’t be obvious from the organization chart. The interview also provides an opportunity to explain the need for and functions of the job analysis. And the employee can vent frustrations that might otherwise go unnoticed by management.

Distortion of information is the main problem whether due to outright falsification or honest misunderstanding. Job analysis is often prelude to changing a job’s pay rate. Employees therefore may legitimately view the interview as some sort of efficiency evaluation that may affect their pay. They may then tend to exaggerate certain responsibilities while minimizing others. In one study, researchers listed possible job duties as simple task statements (record phone messages and other routine information) or as ability statements (ability to record phone messages and other routine information). Respondents were much more likely to include the ability based versions of the statements than they were to include the simple task statements. There may be a tendency for people to inflate their job’s importance when abilities are involved so as to impress the perceptions of others. Obtaining valid information can thus be a slow process, and prudent analysts get multiple inputs.

Despite their drawbacks interviews are widely used. Some typical interview questions include:

1) What is the job being performed?
2) What are the major duties of your position? What exactly do you do?
3) What physical locations do you work in?
4) What are education, experience, skill, and [where applicable] certification and licensing requirements?
5) In what activities do you participate?
6) What are the job’s responsibilities and duties?
7) What are the basic accountabilities or performance standards that typify your work? ‘
8) What are your responsibilities/ What are the environmental and working conditions involved?
9) What are the job’s physical demands? He motional and mental demands?
10) What are the health and safety conditions?
11) Are you exposed to any hazards or unusual working conditions?

Structured interviews: Many interviews follow structured or checklist format. Figure presents one example, in this case, a job analysis questionnaire. It include a series of detailed questions regarding matters like the general purpose of the job; supervisory responsibilities; job duties; and education, experience and skills required. Of course, structured lists are not just for interviewers: Job analysts who collect information by personally observing the work or by using questionnaires – two methods explained below can also use lists like these.

Interviewing: Keep several things in minds in things in mind inducting a job analysis interview.

1) First, the job analyst and supervisor should work together to identify the workers who knows the job best and preferably those who’ll be most objective in describing their duties and responsibilities.
2) Second, quickly establish rapport with interviewee. Know the person’s name, speak in easily understood language briefly review the interview’s purpose and explain how the person for the interview.
3) Third, follow a structured guide or checklist, one that lists questions and provides space for answers. This ensures you’ll identify crucial questions ahead of time and that all interviewers (if there’s more than one) cover all he required questions. (However, also make sure to the worker some leeway in answering questions, and provided some open ended question like, was there anything we didn’t cover with our question).
4) Fourth, when duties are not performed in a regular manner – for instance, when the worker doesn’t perform the same duties over and over again many times a day – ask the worker to list his or her duties in order of importance and frequency of occurrence. This will ensure that you don’t overlook crucial but infrequently performed activities like a nurse’s occasional emergency room duties.
5) Fifth, after completing the interview, review and verify the data. Specifically, review the information with the worker’s immediate supervisor and with interviewee.