INTRODUCTION Every organisation needs people to plan and implement all its activities to achieve the goals that have been set. Therefore, employees are one of the key resources needed by an organisation and what distinguishes a successful organisation from unsuccessful one is the quality of manpower. This post the importance of selecting the right candidates to that aligned with the organisation objectives. There is variety of methods available to assist in the selection process including interviews, physical test, role plays and team exercises.
Usually a range of methods will be used by the organisation depending on the type of job to be filled, the skills of the recruiter and the budget for recruitment. However, most jobs are filled through interviews. The interview is popular because it is more personal than traditional selection assessments (e. g. written tests) and because it can be used to evaluate job characteristics which not easily measured with other procedures (e. g. Oral Communication and Interpersonal Skills).
An interview is a method where company representatives will ask the candidate a series of questions related to the job to determine whether an individual is qualified for the job. Employment interviews can be unstructured, semi-structured or structured. Unstructured interview have the most relaxed rules of the three as each candidates may be asked different questions due to it loose framework. Whilst, a semi-structured interview generally has a framework that allows the interviewer to bring up new questions during the interview as a result of what the interviewee says.
Finally, in structured interview interviewee will be asked a standard set of structured interview questions to ensure candidates have equal opportunities to provide information and are assessed accurately and consistently. Structured interview is commonly used to employ employee in specific area of expertise by an organization for the following reasons: a. Provides deeper analysis/information on interviewee understanding on a particular topic/issues 1 b. Enable to reliably aggregate and that comparisons can be made with onfidence between sample subgroups or between different survey periods through a uniform questionnaire developed c. Allow for large numbers of candidates quickly, easily and efficiently. Figure 1: Sample of a Model Structured Interview Process Source: U. S. Merit Systems Protection Board, Washington D There are four types of questions that are frequently asked during this type of interview: a. Background-related questions b. Behaviour-related questions c. Situation-based questions d. Job-related questions
The following sections shall provide further rationalization on different types of questions during structured interview where job position of HR Manager as the case study. 2 BACKGROUND-RELATED QUESTIONNAIRE Background-related questionnaire is extensively used at the beginning of the interview as an icebreaker and to set a relaxed atmosphere for the candidate. The questionnaires concentration is to enquire about the candidate s work experience, academic qualifications and other qualifications. The sample of questionnaires is as follows: 1.
Tell me about yourself Area of focus: Creativity and Background/Qualification Almost all interviews usually start with this question. Even though, it is written in the candidate s CV, this open ended question is meant to challenge candidate to be creative in presenting self to convey relevant information. This question also is about assessing the relevancy of the qualification of the candidates to the job. The answer should make some impact to the interviewer to ask further questions. It is also represent first impression of interviewer towards interviewee. 2.
What are your strengths and weaknesses? Area of focus: Personal Behaviour Profiles This is a hard question to many. The primary purpose for this question is to evaluate the candidate s ability to describe key strengths and weaknesses and to gauge whether the candidate can admit their weaknesses can they be truthful to themselves? Everyone has weaknesses but who wants to admit to them, especially in an interview. The strength and weaknesses given should demonstrate candidate s key behavioral profiles in action -perhaps honesty, integrity, being a team player, or determination that fit to job. . How would you describe your management style? Area of focus: Leadership and Management Style In some companies, this question may be asked to everyone, simply because the interviewer wishes to know whether some professional who is joining at a lower level has the potential to manage a team. Since this is a managerial job, it is essential to assess the ability of a manager in managing a team. The findings of extensive 3 research on what makes a team effective is team that have the talent and skills to manage themselves do better.
This means a dominate manager doesn t seem to lead to consistent and better performance it s the organizational support makes a difference. Therefore, a good manager should design and support/balance the talent of the individuals to work together in harmony so that the team ends up managing itself. 4. Tell me about your most significant work experience. Area of focus: Significant work experience The primary purpose of this question is to ascertain the relevancy of candidate s work experience and reflect the best capabilities to the job position offered.
Should the working experience does not meet the job requirements, hence the interviewer has an option to not proceed to another stage of the interview session or the questions shall be limited. 5. What is the most significant contribution you made in your previous company? Area of focus: Significant contribution to company s goals The primary purpose is to gauge the level of contribution that can the candidates bring in achieving company s goal through creditable individual achievement in previous company. The focus will be given to the specific individual contribution rather than team achievement. BEHAVIOUR-RELATED QUESTIONNAIRE The primary purpose of the behavioral interview is to gather information from job candidates about their actual behavior during past experiences which demonstrates competencies required for the job. Behavioral (experience-based or patterned behavioral) interviews are past-oriented in that they ask respondents to relate what they did in past jobs or life situations that are relevant to the particular job relevant knowledge, skills, and abilities required for success   The idea is that past behavior is the best predictor of future performance in imilar situations. By asking questions about how job applicants have handled situations in the past that are similar to those they will face on the job, employers can gauge how they might perform in future situations. Behavioral description questions for a structured interview format are provided so that interview can probe candidate s intelligence, emotional intelligence, and organizational citizenship behaviors. Research suggests that the best performing employees are high on intelligence, and the most socially competent employees are high on emotional intelligence.
A study was conducted with a nursing department, and results indicate that emotional intelligence is related to organizational citizenship behaviors. Those individuals high on organizational citizenship behaviors exceed formal role expectations and positively influence organization outcomes . The sample of questionnaires is as follows:     Janz, T. (1982). “Initial comparison of patterned behavior description interviews versus unstructured interviews. “Journal of Applied Psychology 67: 577 580. Motowidlo, S. J. ; Carter, G. W. , Dunnette, M. D. , Tippins, N. , Werner, S. , Burnett, J. R. , & Vaughn, M.
J. “Studies of the structured behavioral interview. “. Journal of Applied Psychology77: 571 587 Pulakos, E. D. , & Schmitt, N. (1995). Experienced-based and situational interview questions: Studies of validity. Personnel Psychology, 48, 289 308. Carson, Kerry David PhD; Carson, Paula Phillips PhD; Fontenot, Gwen PhD; Burdin, John J. Jr MS (2005). Structured Interview Questions for Selecting Productive, Emotionally Mature, and Helpful Employee, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc 5 1. Give me an example; from your past work experiences, about a time when you had an underperforming employee reporting to you.
How did you address the situation? Did the employee s performance improve? If not, what did you do next? Area of focus: Leadership and Interpersonal Skills The purpose is assessing the leadership quality, interpersonal skill, managerial skills to guide and coach the underperforming staff. How candidate overcome this challenge? This question also requires them to explain how the action taken brings a positive impact to the business. As a HR manager, an interpersonal skill is one of the essential skills required as the functions heavily connected to human and the reputation of the company. 2.
Can you give me an example of a particularly difficult staff from other department you had to deal with and how you used your skills to successfully overcome the problem they had? Area of focus: Problem solving and Customer-oriented Many candidates freeze at this question, simply because they cannot think of an example, rather than the fact that they have never dealt with one. The objective of this question is to look for how you deal with different people with different characters and also people from different levels at the organiastion. Also, would they have any reservations to address higher level managers, if the need be. . What is the biggest challenge you have faced in work in the past 12 months? Area of focus: Resiliency and Competency This is often an opening question, as it allows you to use one of your strongest examples and may help you relax. The interviewer would be able to gauge the natural focus and achievement of candidates, may be people development, process, cost reduction, change etc. Also, to assess can the candidate endure any challenges faces 6 by the organization, for example mass resignation of key staff for critical positions and how they can overcome the challenges in the previous company. . Can you give me an example of a time when you had to motivate and develop a team in a challenging work environment in the past? Area of focus: Drive and resiliency The purpose is to test how candidate can operate under pressure through evidence of hands-on experience. The interviewer wants to feel confident that the candidate can handle similar issues within the new role. 5. How do you keep current and informed about your job and the industries that you have worked in? Area of focus: Agility and Current As HR Manager, it is crucial to be informed on the new development in regards to HR.
In the company, you are entrusted to ensure the welfare of staff is intact. Thus, getting to know the ability to continue to learn, grow, stay challenged and motivated is vital. This is to ensure the company s e. g. HR policy and framework is current, valid and in line with the industry practices. 7 SITUATION-BASED QUESTIONNAIRE In contrast to the behavioral interview, the questions in a situational interview are based on future-oriented behavior. Situational interview questions give the candidate realistic job scenarios or dilemmas and ask how candidate would respond.
The underlying foundation is a person s intentions are closely tied to the actual behavior. Advantage of this set of question is that situational questions allow respondents who have had no direct job experience relevant to a particular question to provide a hypothetical response . 1. You have been tasked to lead an integrated HR system project which involves established critical system in the organization e. g. finance, customer service. No one in your team currently has any experience with IT. How will you go about starting this type of project?
Area of focus: Problem solving, Project Management, Leadership and Team player The objective of this is to measure whether the candidate is a team player can they work others? The interviewer would like to see how the candidate can persuade the bosses from other departments to allow the staff with IT expertise to join the team. How persuasive are they? Also the capability to effectively direct and integrate all aspects in ensuring the success of the project. 2. There is an increasing number of staff misconduct which effects staff productivity in delivering job as required.
As a HR Manager, how would you overcome this situation? Area of focus: Problem solving and Strategic Oriented The objective of this is the interviewer would be able to assess the ability of candidate to handle situation which impacting the delivery of the organization towards its goals and objectives. What kind of actions taken (before and after the incident) to ascertain the continuity of the business in organization? 3. A new manager was hired in a company that had been resistant to comply with company s Code of Conduct which brings negative perception and influence to his staff and colleagues.
You have just been assigned to ensure all staff is in compliance with company s Code of Conduct. How would you approach the new manager in achieving a better relationship? 8 Area of focus: Problem solving and Interpersonal Skills The interviewer would like to see the candidate viewpoint of this situation. What kind of approach candidate use carrot or stick? How can they influence the new manager to follow your thinking and most importantly the code. JOB-RELATED QUESTIONNAIRE A HR manager, of course, will play an important role in HR division.
So that, all interview questions for HR manager should focus on HR functions e. g. : 1. Main inputs of HR division (key result areas). 2. Key tasks of HR division. 3. Working procedures/instructions. 4. Policies/principles/rules. 5. HR and admin management etc The sample of questionnaires is as follows: 1. Tell me about your policy development experiences. What employment policies have you developed or revised? What is your experience in compiling or revising an Employee Handbook? 2. Describe your knowledge of/involvement with Performance Evaluation processes. . Tell me about a time when a manager wanted you to terminate an employee in contrast to your company s termination policy. How was it resolved? 4. How do you stay current with changes in employment laws, practices and other HR issues? 5. What have you done to help your human resources department to become a strategic partner? Area of focus: Knowledgeable, Problem Solving, Strategic Orientation, Critical Thinking All of the above questions is assessing the depth of knowledge of the candidate in HR, how well verse they are in the area?
How critical their thinking in solving HR 9 issues and challenges? How can the candidate help HR to become a strategic partner to a company? CONCLUSION The interview is the most commonly used tool in selection systems, regardless of whatever other assessments or tools are used. In fact, it is very rare that companies would hire people without conducting at least one interview at some point in the process, and many companies rely only on interviews.
Structured interview is Structured interview is commonly used to employ employee in specific area of expertise by an organization as provides deeper analysis/information on interviewee understanding on a particular topic/issues. Proper framework is designed for structured interview and allows for interviewee to ask different types of questions namely, background-related, behaviouralrealted, situational-related and job-related questions at the ease of interviewer. Total Words: 2412  Pulakos, E. D. , & Schmitt, N. (1995). Experienced-Based and Situational Interview Questions: Studies of Validity.
Personnel Psychology, 48, 289 308. 10 REFERENCES Continue reading on Examiner. com Interview types: Structured, semi-structured, and unstructured – San Jose Scholarly Research | Examiner. com, [ONLINE] http://www. examiner. com/scholarly-research-in-san-jose/interview-types-structuredsemi-structured-and-unstructured#ixzz1QmHa6YF3 STRUCTURED INTERVIEWS: A PRACTICAL GUIDE (September 2008), [ONLINE]: http://apps. opm. gov/ADT/ContentFiles/SIGuide09. 08. 08. pdf Acas, Recruitment and Induction booklet, [ONLINE]:http://www. acas. org. uk/index. aspx? rticleid=751 Clive Harris, Specialist Contact Centre Services, [ONLINE] www. specialistccs. com http://www. humanresources. hrvinet. com/sample-interview-questions/ http://www. crimcheck. com/background-check-news/top-10-interview-questions http://hrjournal. ca/job-hunting/interview-questions. html http://www. ihipo. com/index. php? q=information/career/questions http://www. callcentrehelper. com/the-top-50-interview-questions-and-how-to-handlethem-8000. htm www. drexel. edu/scdc/resources http://www. shrm. org/TemplatesTools/Samples/InterviewQuestions/Pages/HumanResourc es. aspx 11