What about Employment Interviews

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What about Job Interview:

For the majority of jobs, pre-engagement interviews are essential. It is true that for some temporary and/or manual jobs interviews may be very brief, simply a formality involving recording a new employee’s name and address and possibly his/her signature, but in this website I’m not really concerned with such jobs.

An interview, then, is very important – for both the prospective employer and the prospective employee alike. Let us first see why, by examining the aims of a ‘session’ of interviews and understanding what it seeks to achieve.

The aims of a session of interviews are:

1. To enable the interviewer(s) to confirm the information already provided by the candidates, to obtain further information and if necessary to read originals of documents (testimonials from former employers, certificates/diplomas, school reports, etc.), particularly if copies of them were not sent with the application forms or letters.

2. To enable each candidate to obtain more information about the organisation and the job, and the terms and conditions of employment.

3. To enable the interviewer(s) to compare more accurately each candidate’s personal characteristics with those considered necessary for the proper performance of the work involved, and thus to assess the suitability of each candidate for the post.

4. To enable the interviewer(s) to decide, at the end of the session of interviews, which is the most suitable candidate for the job, and to encourage that candidate to join the organisation.

Guidelines to achieve the prime aim:

Based on experience, it has been possible to set down certain guidelines to ensure that an interview, or a session of interviews, achieves its prime aim – to select the most suitable candidate to fill the vacancy – in the best way. These include:

1. Providing conditions designed to relax candidates to reduce nervousness, tension, self-consciousness and embarrassment;

2. Conducting interviews in pleasant, quiet surroundings, away from interruptions (telephones ringing, people entering the room, etc.) and noise or other distractions;

3. Asking candidates penetrating questions designed to ‘draw them out’, and avoiding questions requiring simple ‘yes or no’ answers;

4. Allowing candidates the opportunity to ask pertinent questions, and indeed encouraging them to do so – and providing full and informative answers to them.

Most larger organisations have trained and experienced personnel staff to conduct employment interviews and, being ‘professionals’, they will ensure that the features mentioned above – and others –will be utilised to the full, so that a session of interviews will be successful and productive.

Even smaller organisations may leave responsibility for recruitment in general to one person who, although not an expert, may be sufficiently experienced to conduct interviews well. (In the case of, say the recruitment of a personal secretary or assistant, the executive concerned may want, or need, to conduct the interviews him/herself).

However, some – certainly not all busy managers or executives of small organisations may have neither the time nor the experience (nor, unfortunately, sometimes even the interest) to do more than they must, considering the whole matter almost a ‘necessary evil’. In such cases you must ‘bear ‘ with him or her, and do your best in the circumstances – if you consider that such a person is worth working for!

The man that reaches the top is the determined, spirited, hard worker and never the fearful, hesitant, slow worker.

The Interviewers:

In some cases you may be interviewed by just one person (the owner of the business, an executive, a member of the personnel department staff or even the secretary or assistant to an executive).

In other cases you may be interviewed by two or more people, perhaps one of whom may be a member of the personnel department and another the manager of the department or section in which the vacancy exists. Although being faced by two or three persons may seem ‘daunting’, it can have the advantage of diminishing or eliminating any personal prejudices, likes or dislikes of just one individual interviewer.

Some interviewers may work as a ‘team’, interviewing a candidate together; others may interview candidates separately, so that a person is interviewed by one person in one room (or part of a room), and is then interviewed by another person in another room, and so on. (If you are a candidate for internal promotion, you may already know one or more of the interviewer(s), but you must not allow this to influence you to show any disrespect or ‘familiarity’).

Tips for success:

You must always look upon each interview which you attend as a ‘test’ (indeed, those who attend interviews are called ‘candidates’) – a test which you must ‘pass’ if you are to stand any chance of securing the job you are seeking. To a large degree, success at an interview involves the use of ‘salesmanship’ – selling to the prospective employer the ‘image’ of yourself as most likely to become a hard-working, valuable addition to his or her staff. Put simply, we can say that the steps leading to a successful selling transaction (involving goods or services) are:-

1. Attracting favourable attention to the product for sale.

2. Arousing interest in the product.

3. Persuading the potential ‘buyer’ that he or she will benefit by paying for the product.

4.Persuading the buyer to complete the transaction (to buy).

Now let us relate the foregoing to you – a prospective employee. Remember that you will be providing a service – the work which you will perform for the employer. In many ways the service will be ‘intangible’, that is, only the results or effects of the work you do will be seen, felt or heard.

The following post is a continuation…

What the first impression

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