Interview Skills

Scope Scope of write-up here is to provide information, on how to interview the candidates/ job applicants being considered for selection for the organization, to those professionals who are responsible to take decisions on the selection of human resources for the organization. This write-up does not include any guidelines on how to interview for employment to the candidates/job applicants. That has been covered in two separate write-ups for which refer: (Interview Preparation for Job Seekers) and (Interview Questions) . Definition of Job Interviewing
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Interview is a part of selection procedure to recruit and select the human resources for the organization. Interviews are designed and used to ensure the future job performance of the selected candidates on the basis of applicant’s oral responses to oral enquiries.

Objectives of Interviewing
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Informing the applicants/candidates about the job Informing applicants/candidates about the company Demonstrating company’s fair and equitable selection procedure Demonstrating the rigorousness of interview and systematic/disciplined way (e.g. time management ) of managing the interview Gaining unbiased factual information against the selection criteria Taking decision to select or reject a candidate Making a job offer with details of various aspects of job offer Influencing suitable candidate to accept the job offer

Outcome of interviewing
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Right candidate- selected: correct outcome Wrong candidate- rejected: correct outcome Right candidate- rejected: wrong outcome Wrong candidate- selected: wrong outcome

What do you Check by Interviewing?
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Candidate’s Candidate’s Candidate’s Candidate’s

competence for the job motivation level for the job match (fit) for the organizational culture match (fit) with his team members in the organization

Interview Venue’s Physical Setting

now narrow down. social skills etc as necessary for the selection for a specific job Home work should be done by the interviewer to design appropriate and effective questions . approaches to handling various situations. look out for his approaches/achievements Education: candidate informs. cases. It is preferable to ask open ended questions that allow candidate to throw more information on himself (and that’s what you really want from the interview) Encourage the candidate to give you more examples and instances of his achievement details You can design questioning sets to include: open ended question for elaboration. further probe. position/job role. interview structure Current and previous roles: candidate explains. emotional intelligence. do not try to show off your knowledge and achievements to impress the candidate or the other interview panel members. comparisons. talk less In interview. analytical skills. that’s never the purpose of any job interview Ask questions to elicit candidate’s knowledge. purpose of interview. Yet. hypothetical situations etc Concentrate on asking questions pertaining to candidate’s past performance which is one best indicator of his future performance generally You may ask open as well as close ended questions.• • • • • • No disturbance in and around the room No phone calls Neutral sitting arrangement (L shape or round table) Interview stationery Water or other normal beverages Comfortable Interview Structure • • • • • • • Open and build rapport: introductions. achievements/accomplishments. opinions. close and summarize Take one item of interviewing at a time Don’t be judgmental or biased during the interview process Remember that you must build quality and purpose in your questioning to get quality and correct information from the candidate Listen more. check with required education levels Upbringing: candidate brings forth his environmental upbringing Motivational aspects: candidate’s objectives and motivation for his professional and general life Interests: professional and other than professional interests of the candidate Close and wrap up: what selection process steps will take place here on Interviewing/Questioning Skills: Major Points • • • • • • • • • • • • • Interviewer should have studied the CV/resume/bio-data of the candidate prior to interviewing him Questions should aim at factual recall. skill/competency sets.

• • • Normally interviewer does not need to use the stress interviewing questions except for those jobs where stress interviewing if necessary to find as to how the candidate will management a stress situation Run of the mills questions which most interviewers are tempted to ask like “tell your 5 strongest points or 5 weakest points etc” do not lead the interviewer to take any objective decisions (most of the smart candidates would have already prepared their best text bookish replies to such questions and you might unnecessarily get impressed) Do not ask questions which sound like ethnic. gender or such unethical discrimination . religious.

about their opinions of you? What is your worst weakness and how do you tackle it? Tell us about any one situation when you were under pressure and felt stressful. What are your strengths and weaknesses? What are your interest and hobbies and what do you do to pursue them? How much time you spend on them? What kind of books you read? Which books impressed you most any why? Which is the latest book did you read and what are your comments on it? Are you aware of what others think about you. Which of these jobs you enjoyed the most and why? Which organization would you rate the best for you so far and why? What parts of your current job you like the most and what do you detest the most? Describe your typical work day/work week. what makes you angry? And at that time. what would you do differently? Questions Related to Previous Job(s) • • • • • • • • • Why have you been out of work so long? (for a fresher or for a person who has a break in his employment) Why did you choose this career? (normally asked to a fresher) Give us a brief idea about your previous work assignments. What are your responsibilities and accountability areas in your current position? What are the challenges in your current assignment and how to you tackle them? . Can you tell about any situation in your life when you had to take some tough decisions? How do you describe yourself as a team worker or are you a loner? Give some examples.Interview Questions Questions Pertaining to Candidate's General and Biographic Background • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Tell us about yourself. How do you take the criticism from others? What do you think about working longer hours? Do you like working on your weekends? Do you take work home with you? Describe any problematic situation you came across and how did you solve it? If you get an opportunity to re-live your life. How did you manage the situation? Do you ever get angry. how do you manage your anger? Which period of your life so far was the most enjoyable part of your life and why? What motivates you? Do you have any role models and why do they inspire you? What are the major achievements in personal and professional life till date? What have been the greatest disappointments in your life? What are your life time objectives? What are your career goals? Where do you see yourself in next five/ten years? What is your management/working style? Give some examples.

How did you manage it and what were the results? How do you set up the priorities for your day-to-day work? . Give us some idea about your rate of progression and advancement till date like patents. in case your selection by us? What are your expectations regarding emoluments? Questions to Evaluate Candidates on Soft Competencies/Skills • • Tell us about an important assignment you handled. recognition etc What is your current salary as compared to your starting salary on the current job? How could you have improved your career progression? (for a person whose career/salary advancement has been sluggish) Why have you been changing jobs so frequently? (for a person who has changed the jobs very frequently) We see that as of now you are unemployed. What do you have to say about it? (In case the person is marginally short of qualifications and experience) Job entails lots of traveling. as per you. though has previous experience) Why are your earning lower than the current market norms? (for a person getting less emoluments) Why do you want to leave your current job? Why are you looking out for a new job? Is it OK with you if we contact your previous employers for a reference? Questions Related to the Job and Company for Which Being Interviewed • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Why are you interested in this job? What do you know about our company? Have you heard anything negative about our organization? Why are you interested in our company? Why do you think that you are best suited for this job? Why should we hire you? How are you better than other interview candidates? What challenges are you looking for in the job you have applied for? Are you aware of the major challenges that our industry sector/our organization is facing at the moment? What will be your contribution to our company knowing the job description? Don't you think you are overqualified for this position? (In case the person has lot more qualifications and experience) We see that you don’t have the required qualifications and experience. should be the work environment for your assignment with us? How would you find the prospect of working under a person much younger than you? Are you looking out for alternatives in case you don't bag this job? What will be your career goals here onwards. salary raise. promotions. What have you been doing since you left your college/last job? Were you fired? Why did you leave? (for a person who is either fresh from college or is out of job currently.• • • • • • • • • • • Can you describe your major achievements in your current and previous jobs? Can you describe your major failures in your current and previous jobs? Tell us something about your current team including your boss. bonuses. are you OK with it? Will you have any difficulty in relocating yourself quickly if selected? How soon can you join us? What. rewards.

why do you think it that way? Can you give an example of any process improvements you achieved recently and what was its impact on various factors? Why do you think reengineering of processes fail many times? Do you think one should not reengineer but go gradual on improvements? How do you rate yourself as a result focused person and why? Are you a deadline and timeline conscious person and how do you make sure that they are met? Do you like to take the challenges involved in fire fighting or would you rather be more cautious and eliminate such emergencies? Have you worked on any cross-functional project? What were your experiences on it as compared to a purely internal or departmental project? Do you believe in internal customer care concept? Would you still help the next-inline department if because of your cooperation it is going to steal the show? Do you any such example from your past experience? Do you have at the back of your mind somewhere the requirements of you ultimate external customers? Does your approach to work get guided by it? Can you illustrate the point in light of your experience so far? How do you rate yourself as a decision maker? Can you describe any decision making situation where you were at cross roads. what have you done to build up this kind of confidence? How do you update your knowledge and skills? Do you have any specific approach to it? Can you elaborate it? Describe your problem solving process. attend to the problem and give an immediate short term solution so that things move on or would you wait on solving the problem until you have eliminated it from the grass root level? Do you encourage participation of your team members or do you push your decisions through them? Provide some examples to illustrate your style.• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • If any of your projects derails. tell us why? Suppose you take a considered decision in a situation where others are shying away from any commitment but it is important to take decision and it backfires. Do you display courage. yet decisions are not forthcoming? Can you confidently communicate with your superiors your professional ideas? Do the persons high up in the organization hierarchy intimidate you? If you are confident and at ease in dealing with superiors. processes or results? What ever is your answer. and you came out as a winner? Tell us about a situation where you goofed in decision making? How did you handle it then? Can you construct your decision making process and share with us? Take your time to think and then tell us. a dilemma situation. Which do you prefer. Are you the type of person who wishes to have a 100% correct decision and in the process may miss out on timelines or budget limits etc or will you take a chance to meet the other factors? In either case. own it and face the consequences or do you manipulate an apology or play a blame game or play politics and get scotfree? What is right in an hierarchical formal organizational situation where every one's authority areas are earmarked. goes behind schedule. . how do you pull it up to bring it back on track? What is more important to you.

you must also be delegating lots? Sometimes it happens that if you work for perfection or 100% quality. What kind of creativity systems or techniques do you use with your team? Do you encourage borrowed or copied creativity or you only appreciate something originally done? Why? Can you sell your concept. What did you do? In your previous jobs. does the lack of information bother you? Can you work in ambiguous situations? Do you have such an experience to share with us? Are you open enough to share your part of information in a team situation or in a cross functional project? Perhaps keeping that information up your sleeve till emergencies arise can be a way to gain importance. its pretty hazy. Can you still proceed and complete it? Did you do something like this in your earlier jobs? In the event when some information is just not available. How do you rate yourself as a presenter? Are your presentations appreciated by your audience? Can you tell us the kind of feedback you get from them on your presentation? Do you have any experience of conducting or coordinating the meetings. have you faced any difficulties? What were they? How do you manage? Do you see the conflicts in your day-to-day work among the people and of people with you? What is your conflict management style? Can you describe your conflict handing process? Give an example. Would you rather push an imperfect product or solution so as to make the most of the opportunity? What's you take on it? Are you a good implementer. either in a room or using teleconferencing facilities? Give one such example and how did the meeting go on various counts? You have been assigned a project but you have not been given a clear picture of it. Your comments? Are you a person who first sees the big picture of things and then go into details or do you do it the other way round? Can you give an example from your work situation. did you work with great teams? Give an example and why do you consider that to be a great team? What was your role and contribution in making it so? What are your proposals for development of people working for you? Have you tried some of them? What are your leadership qualities? Do people work for you with enthusiasm by taking initiatives? Then. you may lose an opportunity. ideas and solutions to others who matter? Share your experience with us on this. Do you lose your cool or get angry or frustrated when you get into a conflict with some one? How do you act? Did you ever have significant difference of opinion with your boss? What was it? How did you deal with it? Has it ever happened with you when your basic values were put to test in an organizational situation. time is of essence. an action person? Are you also a good thinker and planner? What is more important for you? Why? Can you narrate the problems you faced in implementing any solution that you recently introduced? How did you tackle them? Tell us something where you applied your creativity and met with a breakthrough. .• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • In building consensus on a solution to a complex problem.

Which department will you like to work for in our organization? Why that particular department? Do you give importance to work and learning or the salary? How much do you know about our company? Do you know about our competitors? Why would you like to work in our organization? How are you better than the other candidates? . writing and presenting the project report or its implementation? How sound are you technically? Give some examples to prove that you are technically superior. Was the project done by you alone or you were one of the team? What was you role in this project and what did you contribute? Was the project implemented? What was your role in implementation? What is the outcome of implementation? (In case the project was not implemented) Why did not you implement the project? What's the big fun of undertaking a theoretical project that you cannot implement? What do you think is more important.Questions (Related to Studies) for Persons Just Graduated and Are Facing Interviews for First Job • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • What was your specialization? Why did you choose this specialization? What courses you took up in your college? Which were your most favorite courses and why? Did you undertake any project work? Please explain your project work in detail.

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