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.
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.