Interpersonal Skills in Interviewing Others

Interpersonal Skills in Interviewing Others

In your work relationships you will experience interviewing from both sides of the desk you will need experience at both interviewing and being interviewed. One may be called on to interview customers about complaints, inter view coworkers to get information relevant your work, interview pros receive employee ) and so forth. So you need by know how interviews. As an interviewer, you represent the -link between a job applicant and the company, Much of the applicant’s impression of the company will depend on his or her impression of you, so you will want to be able to provide answers to questions the applicant may have about your company. In addition to the obvious  desire for salary information, an applicant may seek information about opportunities for advancement, influences of personal ideas on company polity,  company attitudes toward personal life and lifestyle, working conditions, and so forth. Moreover, you are primarily responsible for determining whether this person will be considered for the position available or for possible future employment with the company.

Determining the Procedure

The most satisfactory employment interview is probably a highly to moderately structured one. In the unstructured interview, the interviewer tends to talk more

and to make decisions based less on valid data than in the structured interview Especially if you are screening a large number if applicants, you. ‘want to make sure that all have been asked the same ques ‘tins and that the’ questions cover subjects that will be most revealing of the kind of information you will need to make a reasonable decision. Before the time scheduled for the interview, become familiar with all the available data about the applicant: application form, resume, letters of recommendation, and test scores, if available. These written data will help determine some of the questions you will want to ask.

Conducting an Interview

An interview is a structured conversation with the goal of exchanging information that is needed for decision making. A well-planned interview comprises a list· of questions designed to get the needed information. Interviews, like speeches and essays, have an appropriate opening, body, and conclusion.

Opening the Interview

Open the interview by stating its porous and introducing yourself if you have not previously met. Sometimes interviewers begin with ;warm-or easy questions to help establish rapport. A good interviewer senses the nature of t~f’ situation and tries to use a method .•that is most likely to encourage the other person to talk and provide adequate answer’s Although warm-up questions may be helpful, most participants are ready to get down to business immediately, in which case warm-up questions may be counterproductive (Cogger, 1982).

Questions used in the body of the interview

The body of the interview consists of the primary questions to which you need answers. Because the quality of information depends on how the questions are phrased, let’s consider the characteristics of three types of questions you will ask: open or closed, neutral or leading, primary or secondary (Stewart & Cash, 2000, p. 80). Open questions are broad-based questions that ask the interviewee to redone with whatever information he or she wishes. Open questions range from those with virtually no restrictions, such as “What can you tell me about yourself?” or “What seems to be the problem?” to those that give some direction, such as “What is your one accomplishment has best prepared you for

this job?” or “Can you tell me the steps you took in using the product?” Interviewers ask open questions to encourage the person to talk, providing the interviewer with an opportunity to listen and to observe. Keep in mind, however, that open questions take time to answer and give respondent’s more control, which means that interviewers can lose sight of their original purpose if they are not careful (Tengler & ablin, 1983). . By contrast, closed questions are narrowly focused questions that require very brief answers. Closed questions range from those that can be answered with yes or no, such as “Have you had a course in marketing?” to those that require only a short answer, such as “How many restaurants have you worked in?” By asking closed questions, interviewers cari both control the interview and obtainable amounts of information in a short time. Closed questions seldom enable the interviewer to know why a person gave a certain response, nor are they likely to yield much voluntary information; therefore, both open and closed questions are used in employment interviews. Open and closed questions may be either neutral or leading. Neutral questions allow a person to give an answer without direction from the interviewer, such as- “How do you like your new job?” The neutral question avoids giving the respondent any indication of what the interviewer thinks about the issue or how the question should be answered. By contrast, leading questions are phrased in a way that suggests the interviewer has a preferred answer, such as “You.don’t like the new job, do you?” In most employment interviews, neutral questions are preferred.

Primary questions are those open or closed questions that the interviewer plans ahead of time. They serve as the main points for the interview outline. Secondary or follow-up questions may be planned or spontaneous, but they are designed to pursue the answers given to primary questions. Some follow-up questions encourage the person to continue (“And then”) I there more? some probe into what the person has said (“What does ‘frequently mead?” “What were you thinking at the time?probe the rehangs of the person. How did it feel to get the prize?” “Were you worried when you didn’t find her?”), The major purpose of follow-up questions is to motivate a person to enlarge on an answer because interviewees’ answers may be incomplete or vague, interviewees may not really understand how much detail you are looking for, and occasionally interviewees may be purposely evasive.for a sample of the kinds of questions you may want to ask.

Closing the interview

Toward the end of the interview, you should always explain to the interviewee what will happen next and how the information you gathered will be used. Explain the procedures for making decisions based on the information. Also, let the interviewee know whether and how he or she will receive feedback on the decision. Then close the interview in a courteous, neutral manner, thanking the interviewee for his or her time and interest. Throughout the interview, be careful of your own presentation, try not to waste time, and give the applicant time to ask questions.

Summary Interviewing  

Ar work we use kills to get a job, to interview job candidates, to exercise. Before you interview job, you need to ta Kerr time to l-am abut the company and prepare an appropriate covet letter and resume that arc designed to motivate an employer to interview you. If you choose to send your cover letter or resume electronically, makeup you edit it appropriately. For the interview itself, you should be prompt, be alert and look directly at the interviewer, give yourself time to think before answering difficult questions, ask intelligent questions about the company and the job, and show enthusiasm for the position. To interview well, you need to learn to ask primary and secondary, open and closed neutrally worded questions effectively. When you are interviewing prospective applicants for a job, structure your interview carefully to elicit maximal information about these candidates. Before the interview starts, become familiar with the data contained in the interviewee’s application form, resume, of rs commendation, and test scores, if available. Be careful how you presenter yourself: do not waste time, avoid loaded questions, do not ask questions  that violate fair employment practice legislation, and give the applicant an opportunity to ask questions. At the end of the interview, explain to the applicant what will happen next in the process.



At 3:30 P.m sharp Chet arrived at the door of the personnel director of. Grover industries for his interview the secretary led him into the office introduced him to miles Bedding ton

sit down Bedding ton said and well get started Well I’ve Looked over your resume and now i have just a few questions How did you get interested is. Grover industries  our student Placement office said you wear hiring and for what kind for a position do you thing you would be most suited?

One where i could us my skills

what skills do you have to offer our company that would make you a good hire for use Well I’am hard worker are you familiar with  our major products?

not really I haven’t had time yet  to look you up i see Well how do you know that you could be helpful to us?

Well because I work really hard in business?

Um let’s see well I sold magazines for my high school and my sister in law owns her own business and I hear her talking about it a lot  OK, what do you see as some of your major skills?

I told you I can work really hard!

Well chet companies are impressed by hard workers We,re talking to other applicants of course so I’ll be in touch when chet got home. Tanya asked how did the interview go?

Great Chet replied Mr. bedding ton was impressed by the fact that i am a hard worker

What do you think Chet’s chances are for the job? Although interviewing for a job is often a traumatic experience, especially for those who are going through it for the first time, applicants for nearly every position in nearly any field will go through at least one interview, and possibly several. At its worst, an interview can be a waste of time for everyone; at its best, an interview can reveal vital information about an applicant as well as enable the applicant to judge the suitability of the position, the company, and the tasks to be performed.

A skillfully conducted interview can help interviewers determine the applicant’s specific abilities, ambitions, energy, ability to communicate, knowledge and intelligence, and integrity. Moreover, it can help the interviewee show his or her strengths in these same areas.

The job interview is a special type of interpersonal situation with specific demands. Let’s consider some of the procedures and methods an interviewee can use in taking part in an interview as well as those used by an.interviewer in conducting an interview

Responsibilities of the Job Applicant

Interviews are an important part of the process of seeking employment. Even for part-time and temporary jobs, you will benefit if you approach the interviewing process seriously and systematically. There is no point in applying for positions that are obviously outside your area of expertise. t may seem a good idea interviewing experience, but you are wasting your time and the interviewer’spas have no .tenon of taking or for which you are not qualified.

When you are granted an employment interview r remember that all you ha Recall from cur discussion of self presentation in how much your nonverbal behavior contributes to the impression you make. You want to show yourself in the best possible light. Take care with your appearance; if you want a particular job, dress in a way that is acceptable to the person or organization that may-or may not-hire you.

Preparing for the Interview

Of course you will want to be fully prepared for the interview. Two important tasks you must complete before the interview itself are writing a cover letter and preparing a resume. The goal of the resume (and cover letter) is to “sell yourself and get an interview” (Schmidt & Conway, 1999, p. 92

Write a cover letter

The cover letter is a short, well-written letter expressing your interest in a particular position. Always address the letter to the person with the authority to hire you (and not, for example, to the personnel department). If

you do not already have the appropriate person’s name, you can probably get it by telephoning the company. Because you are trying to stimulate the reader’s interest in you, make sure that your cover letter does not read like a form letter. The cover letter should include the following elements: where and how you found out about the position, your reason for being interested in this company, your main skills and accomplishments (summary of a few key points), how you fit the requirements for the job, items of special interest about you that would relate to . your potential for the job, and a request for an interview. The letter should be one page or less. You should always include a resume with the letter.

Include a resume

The resume, a summary of your skills and accomplishments, is your Silent sales representative” (Stewart & Cash, 2000, p. 274). • Although there-is no universal format for resume writing, there is some agreement on what should be included and excluded. In writing your resume, include the following information cast in a form that increases the likelihood of your being asked to an interview

1. Contact information: Your name, address, and telephone numbers at which you can be reached. (Always)

2. Job objective: A one-sentence objective focusing on your specific area(s) of expertise. (Important fat full-time career positions)

3. Employment history: Paid and non paid experiences beginning with the most recent. Be sure to give employment dates and briefly list important duties and accomplishments.

4..Education: Schools attended, degree completed or expected, date of completion, with focus on courses that are most directly related to the job.

5. Military experience: Include rank and service and achievements, skills, abilities, and discharge status.

6. Relevant professional certifications and affiliations: Memberships, offices held.

7. Community activities: Community service organizations, clubs, and so forth, including offices and dates

8. Special skills: Fluency in foreign languages, computer expertise.

9. Interests and activities: Only those that are related to your objective.

10. References: People who know your work, your capabilities, and your character who will vouch for you. Include only a statement that references are available on request.

Notice that the list does not include such personal information as height, weight, age, sex, marital status, health, race, religion, or political affiliation, nor does it include any reference to salary. Although you need not include references, you-should already have the permission of people whom you will use as references. In addition, you should consider what format your resume will follow: how wide your margins will be, how elements will be spaced and indented, and so on. The “resume should be no more than three pages. For traditional college students,
one or the pages should be your goal. Moreover, the resume should be neat, carefully proofread ;o be error free, and reproduced on good quality paper. Try to look your resume from the employer’s point of view, What you have to presenter aha can help the employer solve problems? Think in terms of what the com needs, and present only your skills and accomplishments that show you can do the job. important, be tactful bur truthful in what you present. You overemphasize your strengths, but avoid exaggerating facts, a procedure that is both deceptive and unethical. Figure 9.1 shows a sample cover letter, and Figure 9.2 shows a sample resume of a person who has just graduated from college

Electronic Cover Letters and Resume

Electronic cover letters and resumes are those that are sent online ..Electronic resumes have become quite popular with employers and job seekers. For example, from 1995 to 1999 the percentage of the resumes that were received electronically by Microsoft increased from 5% to 50% (Crisco, 2000, p. 2). Employers like electronic resumes because they then can sift through large numbers looking only for particular qualifications or characteristics . Candidates like electronic resumes because they can send essentially the same materials online, saving time and money.

Although electronic cover letters and resumes contain the same content, they may differ is several ways (Schmidt & Conway, 1999, pp. 98-99). Many of the

differences take into account the fact that they will be scanned electronically. Thus, it is wise to avoid such things as boldface, italics, and bullet points because they will “only confuse computerized word searches or interfere with the scanning process” (p. 98). The most important thing to remember for a Annabelle or email resume is to keep the format simple. For instance, the sample resume in is more likely to work electronically if the material in the right column (address, phone, email) were moved to a position under the name and flush left. Likewise, indented material cane moved to flush left, perhaps with a space after each title.

There are three kinds of electronic resumes: the paper resume that becomes an electronic version when it is scanned into a computer; an ASCII text email able version generic computer file that you create especially to send through cyberspace); and a multimedia resume that is given a home page at a fixed location on the.Internet for anyone to visit (Crisco, 2000, p. 2).

scanned resume can be attached to an email and sent directly to a company’s recruiters over- the Internet. If you already have a paper resume, scanning allows you to send the resume without reaping it. A resume that has been prepared, saved; and sent as a generic ASCII text file has the advantage of being able to be read by anyone regardless of the word processing software he or she is using (Crisco, 2000, p. 3). Such a document can be sent as a file to company recruiters or posted to the home page of a company, a job bank, or a newsgroup, Finally, when you post your resume on a home page, you have dramatically increased the likelihood that someone seeking employees with your qualifications will see your resume and inquire about your interest in their company.

The Interviews

Interviews arc. the company:’ to decide whom to hire. During the interview, the interviewer assesses candidates to determine whether they have the skills and abilities needed for the job. More important, during the interview, judgments about the candidate’s personality and motivation are made. Here are some guidelines to help you prepare for the interview

1. Do your homework. Learn about the companions services, products, ownership, and financial health. Knowing about a company shows your interest in that company and will usually impress the interviewer. Moreover, you will be in a better position to discuss how you can contribute to the company’s mission.

2. Rehearse the interview. For most of us, job interviews are at least somewhat stressful. To help prepare yourself so that you can perform at your best, it is a good idea to practice interviewing. First,.try to anticipate some of the questions you will be asked had craft thoughtful answers. You might even try

4. Be prompt at arriving. The interview is the company’s first exposure to your work behavior. are late for such an important event, the interviewer will conclude that you are likely to be late for work. Give yourself extra time in travel to cover any possible traffic problems. Plan to arrive fifteen or twenty minutes before your appointment.

5. at the interviewer, and listen actively. Remember that your nonverbal communication tells c lot about you. Company representatives are
likely to consider eye’contact and posture as clues to your self-confidence

6. Give yourself time to think before answering a question. If the interviewer . asks you a quest& that you had not anticipated, give yourself time to think before you answer. It is better to pause and appear thoughtful than to give a hasty answer that may cost you the job. If you do not understand the question, paraphrase it before you attempt to answer.

7. Ask questions about the type of work you well be doing. The interview is your chance to find out if you would enjoy working for this company. You might ask the interviewer to describe a typical workday for the person who will get the job. If the interview is conducted at the company offices, you mi ht ask to see where you would be working. In this way, you prepare yourself to know how you will respond to a job offer.

8. Show enthusiasm for the job. If you are not enthusiastic during an interview, the interviewer is likely to reason that you may not be the person for the job. Employers look for and expect applicants to look and sound interested.

9. Do-not engage in long discussions on salary. The time to discuss salary is when the job is offered. If the company representative tries to pin you down, ask, “What do you normally pay someone with my experience and education for this level position?” Such a question enables you to get an of what the salary will be without committing yourself to a figure first.

10. Do not harp on benefits. Again, detailed discussions about benefits are more appropriate after the company has made you an offer.