What is the Role of the Employment Interview in a Selection Process?

By Posted in - Interviewing on January 22nd, 2015 4 Comments

There are various ways that the employment interview may be viewed or used in a selection process. They range from being a structured cornerstone of the selection process to being a perfunctory and informal chemistry check. Let’s look at some of potential roles of the employment interview.

Cornerstone – Structured Interviews

There is a considerable body of research that supports the power of the interview when it is a structured process. When interviews are structured, they have considerable reliability and predictive value and are a powerful selection tool.

Structured interviews. Use competencies as the framework for structuring the interview. Competencies are based on a job analysis which is a systematic review of what it takes to be successful in a particular job.

Pre-planned Questions. Use pre-planned interview questions that are linked to competency requirements. This ensures that the interview questions are job related. Pre-planned questions also ensure that the same questions are asked of each candidate to ensure consistency and “apple to apple” comparisons. Every candidate has the same opportunity to demonstrate they have the knowledge, skills, and background to perform the job.

Use trained interviewers. Interviewers are trained in how to evaluate responses to prepared questions. Training helps take the bias and subjectivity out of the evaluation process and gives interviewers a common frame of reference for evaluating candidates.

Interview Ratings. Ratings are integrated in a common way to arrive at an overall score as well as a profile of strengths and weaknesses.

Chemistry Check Interviews

Chemistry Check. Competency evaluation may not necessarily be the focus of the interview. Other aspects of fit can be explored such as the fit between the candidate’s values and the culture of the organization or the fit between the styles of the hiring manager and key individuals with the personality of the candidate. Some other observable characteristic could include:

Enthusiasm/Motivation for the Job. Demonstrating a high level of motivation for performing the job duties present in the job as well as a strong affinity for the work environment and culture.

Communication Skills. Clearly conveying information and ideas through a variety of media to individuals or groups in a manner that engages the audience and helps them understand and retain the message.

Impact. Creating a good first impression; commanding attention and respect; showing an air of confidence.

Confirmation of Credentials

Confirmation of Credentials. The interview may also be used to confirm the facts and experiences included in the resume. The interviewer uses the resume as the framework for the conversation and probes to develop a deeper understanding of accomplishments and experiences. The role of the interview is to gather information concerning:

Relevant Job Experience. Describing past experiences that are very similar in both level and scope to the responsibilities and challenges present in the job opportunity.

Blended Interview Approach

All of the above. A blended interview approach can be used to accomplish all of the above objectives. In a blended interview a combination of question types are used to gather different information such as;

  • Biographical Facts, Credentials, and Achievements
  • Technical Knowledge
  • Experience/Activity Descriptions
  • Self-Evaluative Information
  • Behavior Description Questions (behavioral questions)

Blended Interview. The Blended Interview blends these various question types in a natural conversational flow to:

  • Establish rapport and put the candidate at ease
  • Collect the best behavioral information possible
  • Obtain better and more complete responses to behavioral questions
  • Generate a full view of the candidate
  • Provide a superior candidate interviewing experience

Contact OMNIview to find out more about how to use Blended Interviewing to receive all the potential value of the employment interview.

Patrick Hauenstein, Ph.D.

About Patrick Hauenstein, Ph.D.

Patrick Hauenstein is the President and Chief Science Officer for OMNIview. During his free time Pat likes to cook. He is particularly fond of traditional southern cuisine. Pat is also an animal lover ...
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