Prepare for the Interview

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. In one study, about 39% of the 191 respondents said interviewers were unprepared or unfocused.

Most interviews probably fail to unearth the best candidate because the interviewer is unprepared, or overconfident, or just plain lazy. General questions like, what are your main strengths? Or why did you leave your last job? may not be totally useless. But what you really want do is go into the interview with a set of specific questions that focus on the skills and experience an ideal candidate needs for that job.

Here, remember, it’s essential that you know the duties of the job, and the specific skills and abilities you should be looking for. At a minimum, review the job specifications. Go into the interview with an accurate picture of the traits of an ideal candidate and know what you’re going to ask. Be prepared to keep an open mind about the candidate and to keep a record of the answers, and review them after the interview. Make your decision then.

Establish rapport:

The main point of the interview is to find out about the applicant. To do this you need to put the person at ease. Doing so improves interview’s performance. For example, researchers used a scale called the Measure of Anxiety in Selection Interviews (MASI) to study how interview stress affected the interview performance of two groups, a student sample ( 212 people) and job applicants in a field setting (276 people). The MASI scores correlated negatively with measures of interview performance. The results atteast to the potential value of reducing interview anxiety among job applicants

Similarly, people who feel more self confident about their interviewing skills perform better on interview.

Ask questions: Ideally here, it is best to ask situational or similarly structured questions.

Follow your list of questions. (Figure presents below additional sample questions)

Some do’s and don’ts for actually asking questions include:

1) Don’t ask questions that can be answered yes or no;
2) Don’t put words in the applicant’s mouth or telegraph the desired answer.
3) Don’t interrogate the applicant as if the person is a criminal and don’t be patronizing, sarcastic, or inattentive.
4) Don’t monopolize the interview or let the applicant dominate the interview ;
5) Do ask open ended questions
6) Do listen to the candidate to encourage him or her express thoughts fully;
7) And do draw out the applicant’s opinions and feelings by repeating the person’s last comment as a question (such as you didn’t like your last job).
8) To get more candid answers, mention that you’re going to conduct reference checks, Ask. If I were to arrange for an interview with your boss and if the boss were very candid with me, what’s your best guess as to what he or she would say as your strengths, weaker points, and overall performance?
9) Finally if you ask for general statements of a candidate’s accomplishment, ask for examples. If the candidate lists specific strengths or weaknesses, follow up with what are specific examples that demonstrate each of your strengths?


Suggested Supplementary Questions for Interviewing Applicants

1) How did you choose this line of work?
2) What did you enjoy most about your last job?
3) What did you like least about your last job?
4) What has been your greatest frustration or disappointment on your present job? Why?
5) What are some of the pluses and minuses of your last job?
6) What were the circumstances surrounding your leaving your last job?
7) Did you give notice?
8) Why should we be hiring?
9) What do you expect from this employer?
10) What are three things you will not do in your next job?
11) What would last supervisor say your three weaknesses are?
12) What are your major strengths?
13) How can your supervisor best help you obtain your goals?
14) How did your supervisor rate your to performance?
15) In what ways would you change your last supervisor?
16) What are your career gals during the next 1 –3 years? 5 – 10 years?
17) How will working for this company help you reach those goals?
18) What did you do the last time you received instructions which you disagreed?
19) What are some of the things about which you and your supervisor disagreed? What did you do?
20) Which do you prefer, working alone or working with groups?
21) What motivated you to do better at your last job?
22) Do you consider your progress on that job representative of your ability? Why?
23) Do you have any questions about the duties of the job for which you have applied?
24) Can you perform the essential functions of the job for which you have applied?