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Chapter 6
Interviewing Candidates

Instructor presentation questions: docwin@tampabay.rr.com

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Outline of Chapter 6
Basic features of interviews

Types of interviews

Administering the interview

Structured versus unstructured interviews


Interview content: types of questions
Personal interviews
Computerized interviews
High-performance insight
Online interviews

Are interviews useful?

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Outline of Chapter 6

What can undermine an interviews


usefulness?
First impressions
Misunderstanding the job
Candidate order error and pressure to hire
Nonverbal behavior and impression management
Effect of personal characteristics: attractiveness,
gender, race
Interviewer behavior

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Outline of Chapter 6

Designing and conducting the effective


interview

The structured situational interview


Step 1: Job analysis
Step 2: Rate the jobs duties
Step 3: Create interview questions
Step 4: Create benchmark answers
Step 5: Appoint the interview panel and
conduct the interviews

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Outline of Chapter 6

How to conduct an interview


Structure your interview
Prepare for the interview
Ask questions
Close the interview

Review the interview A streamlined effective


interview

High-performance insight

Summary

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What You Should Be Able to


Do
List the main types of selection
interviews
Explain and illustrate at least six factors
that affect the usefulness of interviews
Explain and illustrate each guideline for
being a more effective interviewer

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What You Should Be Able to


Do (Cont.)
Effectively interview a job candidate
Explain how to develop a structured or
situational interview
Discuss how to improve your
performance as an interviewer

Page 160

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De
fi

nit
i

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Interview 101

An interview is a procedure designed to


obtain information from a person through
oral responses to oral inquiries
A selection interview is a selection
procedure designed to predict future job
performance on the basis of applicants
oral responses to oral inquiries
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Basic Types of Interviews


Selection interviews three classifications are to be discussed fully
in this chapter
Appraisal interviews are given following performance appraisals
and will be discussed later
Exit interviews are performed when employees leave the
company and will be discussed in later chapters
Page 160
Managers use interviews for several purposes. For example, there are selection, appraisal, and exit interviews. An appraisal interview is a
discussion, following a performance appraisal, in which supervisor and employee discuss the employees rating and possible remedial
actions. When an employee leaves a firm for any reason, HR often conducts an exit interview. This interview aims at eliciting information
about the job or related matters that might give the employer some insight into whats right or wrong about the firm.
Instructors note:
You may wish to have an interesting discussion about the most difficult or interesting interview question a student ever encountered,
whether for a job or admission to college.

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Selection

Interviews

How its structured

The content

How its administered

Page 160

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How Interviews Are


Structured
Directive
Nondirective

Applicant In
terview Guid
e

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How Interviews Are


Structured
Page 161
Structured Versus Unstructured Interviews
In unstructured or nondirective interviews, there is generally no set format to follow, so the interview can take various directions. The lack of structure
allows the interviewer to ask follow-up questions and pursue points of interest as they develop. Interviewees for the same job may or may not get the same
or similar questions.
On the other hand, in structured or directive interviews, the questions and acceptable responses are specified in advance and the responses are rated for
appropriateness of content.7 McMurrays patterned interview was one early example. The interviewer followed a printed form to ask a series of questions,
Instructors Note: You may wish to go to the hyperlink for the six slides showing a formal Applicant Interview Guide and discuss the questions shown
there. You may wish to ask students for their best answers to the questions.
Another alternative is to split the class in to small groups and assign the role of interviewer, interviewee and observer(s) to various students then conduct a
debriefing of the results. You can click on the link shown and you will automatically be returned to this slide show at the end of the interview guide (click
on the link shown).

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Content
Interview content
Situational
Behavioral
Job related
Stress

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Content
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Interview Content: Types of Questions W can also classify interviews based on the content or focus of their questions. For example, in a situational
interview, you ask the candidate what his or her behavior would be in a given situation.
Whereas situational interviews ask interviewees to describe how they would react to a hypothetical situation today or tomorrow, behavioral interviews ask
interviewees to describe how they reacted to actual situations in the past.
Interviews like these can produce a lot of tension. Its pretty intense, said one applicant for a consultants job with Accenture, the consulting firm, You
can pretty much fake one or two answers, but the third time they come back to it you pretty much cant. Youre pulling from real life, and youre nervous.
In a job-related interview, the interviewer tries to deduce what the applicants on-the-job performance will be based on his or her answers to questions
about past behaviors. The questions here dont revolve around hypothetical situations or scenarios. Instead, the interviewer asks job-related questions
(such as, Which courses did you like best in business school?) in order to draw conclusions about, say, the candidates ability to handle the financial
aspects of the job to be filled.
In a stress interview, the interviewer seeks to make the applicant uncomfortable with occasionally rude questions. The aim is supposedly to spot sensitive
applicants and those with low or high stress tolerance.
Instructors note:
Consider asking for a volunteer to interview in front of the rest of the class (they can stay in their desk.) It is usually a good idea to select a student who is
a bit older who has had several job interviews or different jobs. A good question is generally behaviorally based such as, Describe a situation where you
received criticism about the work you did, either from a boss, customer, co-worker or even a subordinate. Tell me about all the details of the situation and
describe exactly what you did about it. Compare their answer to another question, How do you handle criticism?

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Puzzle Questions
Mike and Todd have $21 between them. Mike has $20 more than
Todd. How much money has mike, and how much money has
Todd?

$20.50

$0.50

Page 166
Recruiters for technical, finance, and occasionally other types of jobs like to use them to see how candidates think under pressure.
(Answer: Mike had $20.50, Todd $.50).

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Interview Administration
How administered
Personal
Unstructured sequential
Structured sequential
Panel
Mass

Computerized

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Interview Administration
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Personal Interviews Most interviews are one on one: Two people meet alone, and one interviews the other by seeking oral responses to
oral inquiries. Most interview processes are also sequential. In a sequential interview, several persons interview the applicant, in sequence,
before a decision is made. In an unstructured sequential interview, each interviewer may ask different questions and form an
independent opinion. In a structured sequential interview, each interviewer rates the candidates on a standard evaluation form. The
hiring manager then reviews and compares the evaluations before deciding who to hire.

In a panel interview, a group (or panel) of interviewers questions the candidate together. This has several advantages. In sequential
interviews, candidates may cover the same ground over and over again with each interviewer. The panel format lets interviewers ask
follow-up questions based on the candidates answers, much as reports do in press conferences. This may elicit more meaningful
responses than are normally produced by a series of one-on-one interviews.

Instructors note:
Ask students how to best handle a panel interview during a lunch or dinner meeting. (Some answers: Eat before you go since you cannot
really expect to do much eating while answering questions; do not eat anything messy such as spaghetti or soup; do not drink any
alcoholic beverages even if others do.)

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Computerized Interviews
Computers, not people
Specific questions
Multiple-choice format
Rapid-fire sequence
Requires concentration
Helps reject unacceptable candidates
Saves time

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Computerized Interviews
Page 167
Today, its often computers, not people, that administer the interview. A computerized selection interview is one in which a job candidates oral and/or
computerized responses are obtained in response to computerized oral, visual, or written questions and/or situations. Most present the applicant with a
series of specific questions regarding his or her background, experience, education, skills, knowledge, and work attitudes that relate to the job for which
the person has applied.
Typical computerized interviews present questions in a multiple-choice format, one at a time; the applicant is expected to respond to the questions on the
screen by pressing a key.
Questions on a computerized interview come in rapid sequence and require the applicant to concentrate.
Computer-aided interviews are generally used to reject unacceptable candidates and to select those who will move on to face-to-face interviews.
Computer-aided interviews can be advantageous. Systems like those at Picn Pay and Great Western Bank of California reduce the amount of time
managers devote to interviewing what often turn out to be unacceptable candidates.

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Are Interviews Useful?


Interviews are a good predictor of
performance
Interviews should be structured and
situational
Be careful what types of traits you try to
assess
Check out recruiter
chat at this page

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Are Interviews Useful?


Page 169
While use by virtually all managers, interviews received low marks for reliability and validity in early studies. However, today (as noted above), studies
confirm that the validity of the interview is greater than previously believed, and that the interview is generally a much better predictor of performance
than previously thought and is comparable with many other selection techniques.
But there are two caveats. First, you should structure the interviews.27 The research generally suggests that
structured interviews (particularly structured situational interviews) have validities about twice those of unstructured
interviews.
The second caveat is this: Be careful what sorts of traits you try to assess. A recent study illustrates why.
Interviewers were able to size up the interviewees extraversion and agreeableness. What they could not assess accurately were the traits that often matter
most on jobslike conscientiousness and emotional stability.

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What Can Undermine


Success in an Interview?
First impressions
Job misunderstanding
Candidate order error
Interviewer behavior
Personal characteristics
Nonverbal behavior management

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What Can Undermine


Success in an Interview?
Page 171
Instructor's Note:
While this is a repeat video, it is useful in that it we approach the subject of interviewing in greater depth.
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.

What sort of first impression did the candidate make?


How did the owners misunderstanding of the Marys previous job impact the interview? (He sighed and looked down.)
How would you describe the behavior of the interviewer? (He seemed rushed and did not establish rapport at the beginning.)
How would you characterized Mary? (She seemed composed and a bit nervous as all interviewees do.)
Describe the non-verbal behavior of the interviewer. Describe the non-verbal cues given by the candidate.

First Impressions
One of the most consistent findings is that interviewers tend to jump to conclusions make snap judgmentsabout candidates during the first few
minutes ofthe interview (or even before the interview starts, based on test scores or rsum data). One researcher estimates that in 85% of the cases,
interviewers had made up their minds before the interview began, based on first impressions gleaned from candidates application forms and
personal appearance.
Misunderstanding the Job Its also important to know what youre looking for in an ideal candidate. Interviewers who dont know precisely what the job
entails and what sort of candidate is best suited for it usually make their decisions based on incorrect stereotypes of what a good applicant is. They
then erroneously match interviewees with their incorrect stereotypes.
Candidate-Order (Contrast) Error and Pressure to Hire
Candidate-order (or contrast) error means that the order in which you see applicants affects how you rate them. In one study, managers had to evaluate a
candidate who was just average after first evaluating several unfavorable candidates. They scored the average candidate more favorably than
they might otherwise have done since, in contrast to the unfavorable candidates, the average one looked better than he actually was.

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1. Explain and illustrate the basic ways in which you can classify
selection interviews.
2. Briefly describe each of the following possible types of interviews:
unstructured panel interviews; structured sequential interviews;
job-related structured interviews.
3. For what sorts of jobs do you think computerized interviews are
most appropriate? Why?
Instructors notes:
You can utilize this slide to generate some good classroom discussion. These are the end-of-the-chapter discussion questions on Page 180.

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Effect of Personal
Characteristics
Attractiveness

Gender
Race

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Effect of Personal
Characteristics
Page 171-172
Interviewers also have to guard against letting an applicants attractiveness and gender play a role. In general. individuals ascribe more favorable traits
and more successful life outcomes to attractive people.
Race can also play a role, depending on how you conduct the interview.
An employers best strategy is to be actively nondiscriminatory. However, a prudent employer will also take steps in planning the interview process and
conducting the actual interviews to ensure that its interviewers avoid tester claims.
Strategies for employers:
1. Caution interviewers that testers may be posing as applicants.
2. Train interviewers to make careful notes during and after the interview. Substantiate differences among applicants, and record responses to questions
and other items of interest not on the applicants rsum or application.
3. Have applicants execute a statement acknowledging that they are applying for the job out of a sincere interest in the job and for no other purpose.
Signing that and later returning with a claim as a tester could constitute evidence of deceit if theres a lawsuit.
4. Remember that testers often enter the employment process with phony rsums and fabricated qualifications, so carefully checking references is
important.
Interviewer Behavior
The interviewers behavior also has an effect. For example, some interviewers inadvertently telegraph the expected answers,57 as in:
This job calls for handling a lot of stress. You can do that, cant you?

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5 Steps in Interview Design


Job
Analysis
Rate the Job
Duties
Create Interview
Questions
Create
Benchmark
Answers
Appoint Panel &
Conduct Interviews

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5 Steps in Interview Design


Page 174
Step 1. Job Analysis Write a job description with a list of job duties, required knowledge, skills, abilities, and other worker qualifications.
Step 2. Rate the Jobs Duties Identify the jobs main duties. To do so, rate each job duty, based on its importance to job success and on the time
required to perform it compared to other tasks.
Step 3. Create Interview Questions Create interview questions that are based on actual job duties, with more questions for the important duties.
Step 4. Create Benchmark Answers Next, develop answers and a five point rating scale for each, with ideal answers for good (a 5 rating), marginal (a 3
rating), and poor (a 1 rating). Consider the preceding situational
Step 5. Appoint the Interview Panel and Conduct Interviews Companies generally conduct structured situational interviews using a panel, rather than
sequentially. The panel usually consists of three to six members, preferably the same employees who wrote the questions and answers. It may also
include the jobs supervisor and/or incumbent, and an HR representative.

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How to Structure and


Conduct Your Interview
Base questions on actual job duties
Use knowledge, situational questions
and objective criteria to evaluate
Train interviewers
Use same questions

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How to Structure and


Conduct Your Interview
Page 175
1.Base questions on actual job duties. This will minimize irrelevant questions based on beliefs about the jobs requirements. It may also reduce the likelihood
of bias, because theres less opportunity to read things into the answer.
2. Use job knowledge, situational, or behaviorally oriented questions and objective criteria to evaluate the interviewees responses. Questions that simply ask
for opinions and attitudes, goals and aspirations, and self-descriptions and self-evaluations allow candidates to present themselves in an overly favorable
manner or avoid revealing weaknesses. Structured interview questions can reduce subjectivity and therefore the chance for inaccurate conclusions, and bias.
3. Train interviewers. For example, review EEO laws with prospective interviewers and train them to avoid irrelevant or potentially discriminatory questions
and to avoid stereotyping minority candidates. Also train them to base their questions on job-related information.
4. Use the same questions with all candidates.

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How to Structure and


Conduct Your Interview
Rating scales to rate answers
Use panel interviews
Use a structured interview form
Control the interview

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How to Structure and


Conduct Your Interview
Page 175
6. Use multiple interviewers or panel interviews. Doing so can reduce bias, by diminishing the importance of one interviewers idiosyncratic opinions, and by
bringing in more points of view.
7. If possible, use a structured interview form.
8. Control the interview. Limiting the interviewers follow-up questions (to ensure all interviewees get the same questions), using a larger number of
questions, and prohibiting questions from candidates until after the interview are other structuring
techniques.

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Prepare for the


Interview

Do interview in a quiet room with no interruptions


Review resume and make notes
Know the duties of the job
Focus questions on skills that are a must
Dont make snap judgments

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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 candidates application and rsum, and note any areas that are vague or that may indicate strengths or weaknesses.
Remember, its essential that you know the duties of the job, and the specific skills and traits you should be looking for. Most interviews probably fail to
unearth the best candidate because the interviewer is unprepared, or overconfident, or just
plain lazy.
Prepare for the Interview

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Establish Rapport
& Ask Questions

Put the interviewee at ease


Begin interview with an ice breaker
Be aware of the applicants status
Follow your list of questions
Ask for examples
Mention you will contact references

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Establish Rapport The main reason for the interview is to find out about the applicant. To do this, you need to put the person at ease.
Ask Questions Follow your list of questions.

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Close and
Review

Leave time to answer questions


End on a positive note
Inform in writing of a decision if thats your policy
Review notes and fill in structured form
Timely review reduces snap judgments

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Close the Interview Leave time to answer any questions the candidate may have and, if appropriate, to advocate your firm to the candidate.
Review the Interview Once the candidate leaves, and while the interview is fresh in your mind, review your notes and fill in the structured interview
guide (if you used one and if you did not fill it in during the interview).

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How to Be a Good
Interviewee
+ Be prepared by learning about the company, the job and the
recruiters
+ Uncover the interviewers real needs and relate to those needs
+ Pause, think, then speak
+ Nonverbal behavior important
+ Make a good 1st impression, be enthusiastic

Chapter 6 Appendix

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Streamlining Interviews
Interviewer must get questions around these four factors
answered
Knowledge and experience
Motivation
Intellect
Personality
Page 177
Prescriptions like know the job, know the skills and experiences youre looking for, and ask questions that focus on the
skills an ideal candidate needs are easier said than done. Many firms (especially small, fast-moving entrepreneurial ones)
often dont have the time or inclination to create structured situational interviews.
Even a busy entrepreneur can spell out the kind of person who would be best for the job. One quick way to do so is to focus
on four basic types of behaviorsknowledge and experience, motivation, intellectual capacity, and personality.

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Questions on the
4 Factors
What must the candidate know to perform the job?
What experience is absolutely necessary to perform the job?
Are there any unusual energy demands on the job?

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Questions on the 4 Factors


What should the person like doing to
enjoy this job?
Is there anything the person should
not dislike?
Are there any essential goals or
aspirations the person should have?
Are there any specific intellectual
aptitudes required?

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Questions on the 4 Factors


Page 177
What must the candidate know to perform the job? What experience is absolutely necessary to perform the job?
(Knowledge and experience)
What should the person like doing to enjoy this job? Is there anything the person should not dislike? Are there any
essential goals or aspirations the person should have? Are there any unusual energy demands on the job? (Motivation)
Are there any specific intellectual aptitudes required (mathematical, mechanical, and so on)? How complex are the
problems the person must solve? What must a person be able to demonstrate he or she can do intellectually? How should
the person solve problems (cautiously, deductively, and so on)? (Intellectual)
Instructors notes:
Of course, there is always more than one way to evaluate the applicant. You could ask for a volunteer to describe his or her current job and then have the
class (in small groups) create one question for each of the four factors.

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Questions on
the 4 Factors
How complex are the problems the person
must solve?
What are the critical personality qualities needed for
success?
How must the job incumbent handle stress, pressure,
and criticism?
What kind of interpersonal behavior is required in the
job up the line, at peer level, down the line, and
outside the firm with customers?

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Questions on
the 4 Factors
Page 178
What are the critical personality qualities needed for success on the job (ability to withstand boredom, decisiveness,
stability, and so on)? How must the job incumbent handle stress, pressure, and criticism? What kind of interpersonal
behavior is required in the job up the line, at peer level, down the line, and outside the firm with customers? (Personality)
Intellectual factor. Here, assess such things as complexity of tasks the person has performed, grades in school, test
results (including scholastic aptitude tests, and so on), and how the person organizes his or her thoughts and
communicates.
Motivation factor. Probe such areas as: the persons likes and dislikes (for each thing done, what he or she liked or disliked
about it); aspirations (including the validity of each goal in terms of the persons reasoning about why he or she chose it);
and energy level, perhaps by asking what he or she does on, say, a typical Tuesday.
Personality factor. Probe by looking for self-defeating behaviors (aggressiveness, compulsive fidgeting, and so on) and by
exploring the persons past interpersonal relationships.
Ask questions about the persons past interactions (working in a group at school, working with fraternity brothers or
sorority sisters, leading the work team on the last job, and so on). Also, try to judge the persons behavior in the interview
itselfis the candidate personable? Shy? Outgoing?

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Stick to the Plan

College experiences
Work experiencessummer, part time, full time (one by one)
Goals and ambitions
Reactions to the job for which you are interviewing

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Conducting the Interview
Have a plan and follow it. You should also devise and use a plan to guide the interview. Follow your plan. Perhaps start with an open-ended question
for each topic, such as Could you tell me about what you did when you were in high school? Keep in mind that you are trying to elicit information
about four main traitsintelligence, motivation, personality, and knowledge and experience.
Match the Candidate to the Job
After following the interview plan and probing for the four factors, you should be able to summarize the candidates general strengths and limitations
and to draw conclusions about the persons intellectual capacity, knowledge and experience, motivation, and personality.

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Stick to the Plan


+ Self-assessments (by the candidate of
his or her strengths and weaknesses)

+ Military experiences

+ Present outside activities

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And Find a Match

Follow the plan


Probe the four factors
Summarize the strengths and weaknesses
Draw conclusions
Compare with job description
Bingo!
Check out Toyota

Page 178
After following the interview plan and probing for the four factors, you should be able to summarize the candidates
general strengths and limitations and to draw conclusions about the persons intellectual capacity, knowledge and
experience, motivation, and personality. You should then compare your conclusions to both the job description and the list
of behavioral specifications developed earlier. This should provide a rational basis for matching the candidate to the job
one based on an analysis of the traits and aptitudes actually required.

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Summary Slide

Outline
What you should be able to do
Interview 101
Basic types of interviews
Selection interviews
How interviews are structured
Content

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Summary Slide (Cont.)

Puzzle questions
Interview administration
Computerized interviews
Are interviews useful?
What can undermine success in an interview?

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Summary Slide (Cont.)

Effect of personal characteristics


Five steps in interview design
How to structure and conduct your interview
How to structure and conduct your interview
Prepare for the interview

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Summary Slide (Cont.)

Establish rapport & ask questions


Close and review
How to be a good interviewee
Streamlining interviews
Questions on the 4 factors

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Summary Slide (Cont.)

Stick to the Plan


And Find a Match
Value-based hiring builds employee
commitment