Critical Aspects Of The Job

Table of contents

What are structured interviews?
Why should managers use structured interviews?

When employees need to hire people who are qualified to perform a job they frequently screen interviewees by commonly asked interview questions that have no significant impact on the job itself. The introduction of a structured interview has eliminated the possible obstacles that most unstructured interviews possess. A structured interview is merely a set of specific, job-relevant questions that tap into critical aspects of the job.

The questions are based upon an analysis of the job and the qualifications desired in successful candidates. Key characteristics, skills, and abilities are identified and structured interview questions are then written to address these areas. The responses to the questions can then be evaluated and scored using a specially designed rating scale. To create a structured interview, the information about the job is obtained and analyzed to create a detailed job description. This is a significant part in creating a structured interview. The job description should identify what are the responsibilities that a certain job possesses. Questions are created in such a way that there is a relationship with the job description and the interviewees’ skills and experiences.

There are certain types of interview questions that are asked during a structured interview such as clarifiers, disqualifiers, skill-level determiners, situational questions, pattern behaviour description questions and organizational fit questions. Managers should use structured interviews for several reasons. One reason is that it increases the validity of the selection process. Since the questions are job relevant there is a smaller risk of interviewer biases and higher quality of information is obtained. Yet another reason that managers should use structured interviews is it creates easier comparison of the candidates. Since all interviewees are tested on the same type of questions they responses will be in similar format. Managers would also find that it reduces stress and is more cost effective.

Why is building rapport important?
How would you build rapport?

The first step in conducting an interview is building rapport. It is used to calm the nerves of the interviewee. It is the ability to get along with people and put them at ease. Building Rapport puts at ease the interviewee and allows them to answer the structured interview questions more efficiently and effectively. There are several steps to building rapport. The first step is to create a favourable impression. Whether you like it or not, people form impressions about you based on such factors as appearance and manner in which you behave. There is nothing more favourable the making a good first impression when building rapport. When meeting the potential candidate the interviewer might want to have a warm friendly smile and greeting.

The second step in building rapport is looking for a common view. Before getting into the structured interview the interviewer must “warm up” the interviewee. A great way to establish common view during the warm up is to have non job related conversations such as the local news story, sports or even weather. Generally speaking, people enjoy talking about their hobbies and past accomplishments. The interviewee might still have uncertainty towards what is to occur next. This is precisely why the interviewer must explain the upcoming agenda. Most applicants are not aware of the details of a structured interview, it is important to tell the interviewee the types of interview questions that they are to receive and who will interview them, whether it is panel or one to one.

The last step in building rapport is to understand the body language Body language is a difficult combination of movement, posture, and tone of voice. More of our face to face conversation our communication is observed non-verbally. Our body language reveals our hidden thoughts to total strangers. In addition, nonverbal communication has a much superior impact and higher dependability than the spoken word. It is important that the body language mirrors what is being said to the interviewee so the interviewee obtains a clear message.

With reference to the job description of the management analyst, which KSAOs would you measure outside the interview?
How would you measure them?

KSAO refers to knowledge, skill, abilities and other characteristics which are used when coming up with a job description. There are certain types of KSAO’s that can not be measured in an interview or are viewed as too important to merely ask a question. For example complex problem solving skills which involves identifying problems and reviewing alternatives in order to evaluate and put into practice solutions. This is a skill that must be measured outside the interview because it is a vital part of a management analyst.

A person that can demonstrate the ability to problem solve can be very useful for the company. The best approach to dealing with this skill to create a scenario that models the real life situations that occur in the daily life of a management analyst. The abilities that would be tested are if the interviewee recognizes that a problem exists, applies the skills and principles to identify the cause for the problem and generate and evaluate alternate solutions. This type of work-related sample is an excellent way to test the validity of the content and it also is a very good predictor how the interviewees’ performances in the actual work would be.

Another skill that could be tested is writing skills. It is an important expertise that a management analyst must-have. Management analysts often prepare forms and reports and communicate information to others. Interviewees could be given an in-basket exercise where that involves paper work that tests the ability to write comprehensively. Interviewees can be also tested on knowledge such as mathematics. Mathematics is one of the foundations that are needed as a management analyst. People who possess this knowledge often see a wide spectrum of problems. This could be measured by giving the interviewee a test that is based on the knowledge of calculus, algebra statistics and their applications such as cost-profit analysis and inventory control.

With reference to the job description of the management analyst, which KSAOs would you measure via interview?

A skill that could be measured during the interview process is active listening. Active listening involves giving full attention and taking the time to understand what others are saying. This is a skill that could be measured during the interviewing process by observing if the interviewee understands the questions, and if he or she asks for clarification otherwise. Interviewers can also measure fluency of ideas and oral composition. It is the ability to come up with a number of ideas about a topic and the ability to listen and understand information that is spoken in words. When the interviewee is asked to answer a question, interviewers can measure the composition, flow of the ideas and how well the interviewee understood the question.

Identify at least two clarifiers and two skill-level determiner questions for each of the two resumes give to you?

Diana Huynh’s resume was ambiguous in certain areas and it had to be addressed to her. For example two clarifiers were used:

  1. I can see from your resume that you updated the “my future” website. What is this website and can you give me more insight on this?
  2. What did you mean by acting as a “bank” for the amusement park?

Two skill level questions that could be asked:

  1. Say you are analyzing different forms and data and there was a slight discrepancy in the data that was given to you. What could be a possible error?
  2. What would be a key tool that you would use to analyze data?

Danish Zahid clarifier questions:

  1. I can see from the resume that you are a naval officer of the Royal Canadian Sea Cadets. In your resume, you stated that you teach objectives to new recruits, what types of objectives do you teach to the new recruits?
  2. You received the salesmen of the month award while working at The Bay; can you tell me more about it?

Skill-level determiner questions:

  1. I can see from your resume that you are proficient in Microsoft Excel. This is a program that we use quite often, how would create a standard report?
  2. Working at PCI Geomatics you have learned to balance the daily cash flow, we have a similar system applied to our inventory and cost analysis. What do you think would be a likely cause if our inventory and overhead costs are under-allocated?
  3. Using your in-class group effort as a basis, identify at least 2 past-focused and 2 future-focused questions that you used in your mock interview? When identifying questions involving critical incidents, identify benchmark answers and anchors. Indicate whether you would use the typical answer or the key issue approach to benchmark your answers and why?

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