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Interviewing Effectively

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COMMUNICATION STYLE: Does this person express himself/herself clearly and seek to understand others?

  • Good speech or grammar (no slang or swearing)?
  • Does this person tell a clear and logical story in response to your questions?
  • Is this person reasonably articulate and fluent? Can you understand what this person is trying to express to you?
  • Does this person make the effort to “hear” questions or points of view completely?
  • Is this person a “persuasive” speaker capable of “influencing or stimulating” others?

APPEARANCE AND GROOMING: Is this person appropriately attired for the interview?

  • Does this person observe basic standards of personal hygiene; no body odor, clean fingernails, hair and clothing?
  • Does this person appreciate appropriate office attire? Does he/she understand the basic concepts of acceptable attire; no T-shirts or jeans, no extremes in dress, no overstated jewelry, no overdone accessories, tidy personal choices in hair styles and facial hair, shoes well cared for and shirt, trousers, jackets, etc. clean?
  • Does this person value “personal professional choices” in others?

PRESENTATION AND POISE: How mature and confident is this person?

  • Does this person attempt to “sell” his/her skills and abilities?
  • Does this person appear self-assured during the interview? Does this person remain calm and “in control”? Does this person show preparation?
  • Does this person participate actively and help direct the course of the interview?
  • Does this person have a sense of career direction and an understanding of how to reach their goals?
  • Does this candidate appraise himself/herself realistically?

INTERPERSONAL COMPETENCE: Does this person have the ability to get along with others and maintain good working relationships?

  • How does this person come across in an interview? Warm, open, friendly, helpful, shy, reserved, cold and/or low-key?
  • Do hobbies or interests show that this person tends to associate or withdraw from others?

Here are some sample questions:

  1. What kinds of people do you like to work with? Why?
  2. What kinds of people do you find it difficult to work with? Why?
  3. Do you prefer to work alone or in a group?

ATTITUDE: Does this person have the motivation and commitment to achieve successful performance? Attitude includes such qualities as:

  • Stability! Has this person remained in one job or activity for a reasonable length of time? Can they qualify themselves on shorter tenures?
  • Industrious! Does this person like to be busy? Has this person worked steadily or been involved in constructive activity?
  • Perseverance! Does this person persist when the going gets tough?
  • Loyalty! Will this person, if necessary, put the company’s interests ahead of his/her own?
  • Self-reliance! Can this person stand on his/her own rather than depend on others?
  • Motivation! Does this person express a strong desire to find a job and succeed?

Here are some sample questions:

  1. In your previous (or present) job, what kinds of pressure (problems, frustrations) did you encounter? How did you handle them?
  2. What would you say was the most, or least, promising job you ever had? Why did you feel this way?
  3. What is the most important thing you are looking for in an employer (or company)? Why?
  4. What are your long-term career objectives? How do you feel you need to develop yourself to be ready for such an opportunity?
  5. What do you feel are some of your better qualities?
  6. What qualities do you feel could be strengthened or improved upon?

LEARNING ABILITY AND INTELLIGENCE: How alert is this person? Does he/she understand your questions? Will he/she be able to follow directions, take orders and solve problems on the job?

Here are some sample questions:

  1. What subjects did you do best in (poorest in)? Why?
  2. What are some of the things in your job that you have done particularly well or in which you have achieved the greatest success? Why do you feel this way?
  3. Can you describe a difficult obstacle you have had to overcome on the job? How did you handle it?

BASIC SKILLS: What can this person do? What will this person do? What does this person want to do?

  • Review education and training. Check the dates, type of course, type of degree, what specifically was learned and why this person was interested in the course.
  • Review work history from their first position up to their present or most recent employer. Ask about dates of employment, type of work, specific duties, special skills learned or used on the job, good and bad points about each job and the reason for leaving.
  • What is this person’s ideal job? What kind of work environment is sought (i.e. paper vs. people oriented, large or small company) and how interested is this person in promotion and advancement.

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