Newsletter - Learning Matters - No.5

Interviewing Skills

For recruitment to be fully effective it has to be an objective process. Too often the interviewing process is a hit or miss procedure. The wrong recruitment decisions can be very costly mistakes for the company - it pays to get it right. Effective recruitment results in low staff turnover, highly motivated teams, satisfied customers and a successful company image.

Learning Curve run one day interviewing skills workshops that are practical, informative and fun.

The following points will help you to plan, structure and control your interviews.

  1. Decide on your Person Profile as well as the Job Profile. What are the essential and desirable qualities that you are looking for in a person? For example, do they need to be self-motivated, a good team player, have good leadership skills?
  2. Formulate a list of interview questions that are specifically designed to uncover the qualities in your Person Profile. There is little point is firing a list of questions at the candidate - your questions need to be relevant.
  3. Start the interview on time and offer the applicant tea/coffee on arrival.
  4. For telephone-based jobs a telephone interview is essential. This should be the first stage of interview and only if the applicant passes the telephone interview should they be invited to attend a face to face interview.
  5. Test the skills needed for the job at interview stage wherever possible. For example for sales jobs, ask the applicant to take part in a role play where they 'sell' a product to the interviewer. Give them time to prepare.
  6. Start the interview by outlining the agenda, i.e. the format the interview will take.
  7. Only give information about the qualities and skills you are seeking AFTER the applicant has answered questions and told you about themselves. It is very easy for the interviewee to match their skills and experience to the role if you give them the information to do so at the start!
  8. Be as objective as you can. Managers often recruit people like themselves because they have instant rapport with them. Do you want or need a team of people just like you?!
  9. Remember that the interview is a two way process. The applicant is selling themselves to you and you are selling the company to them. Have a clear 'sales pitch' for your company telling the interviewee why it is such a great place to work, and why they should want to join you.

Learning Curve - Reading, Berkshire, England: +44 (0)118 987 5683

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