How To Size Up Applicants: Points to Ponder for Interviewers

Getting the right man for the job is a big task for an interviewer. Interviewing needs skill and must be dealt with like art and science. Like art in a sense that you must follow careful planning. And it is science because it is a step by step process. Just like in a pocket folder printing company wherein designs for their pocket folders are artistically designed and selected to suit the taste of their customers, one needs both.

It is thus necessary for interviewers to know the steps on how to become an effective one in acquiring the best man for the job. The successful interviewer uses many sources of information as possible. First, you must have an application form. It is one source of information which not only serves as a basis for establishing rapport in the beginning of the interview, but also eliminates the need to ask information already cited in the blank spaces.

Aptitude and proficiency test records are also additional sources of the applicant’s skills. You can also use Oral Trade tests to test the applicant’s knowledge in a given occupational area. From these sources, you may have now the firsthand information regarding the applicant’s background.

Next, you may also get a time schedule. In this way, both you and the applicant can maintain an unhurried atmosphere. Before starting the interview proper, let your applicant talk so he can ease the tension within him. However, you must not give initial impressions either leading to questions which might confuse your applicant.

Bear in mind that a trained or expert interviewer attends to all details, including the physical appearance, dress, emotional reactions, style of speech and the like. He attempts to avoid personal biases and prejudices. If you see something about the things the applicant is wearing or carrying like the brand of the bag, the accessories, the pocket folders, or anything at all, don’t talk or ask about it because you will sound informal.

In a sense, the expert interviewer is similar to the experimental psychologists who, after developing hypotheses, objectively looks for data which will either confirm of disconfirm his hypotheses. Such objectivity, although difficult to attain, is one of the most important qualities of an interview.

However, there are cases that interviewers commit mistakes. One classis example is when an interviewer approves one trait and then makes this to be his overall judgment of the applicant. For instance, a man with a pleasant manner may be judged as generally proficient; or a tensed individual may be thought of as lacking initiative.

Next is lack of rapport. According to the dictionary, rapport means “the establishment of a relationship of mutual confidence or friendly atmosphere.” Without this, communication problems develop between the interviewer and the interviewee, and the result of the interview becomes less reliable. Judgments about tense or suspicious interviewees, arising from lack of rapport may not be relevant to later job behavior. Especially for newly graduate applicants or first time job interviewees, they are more likely tensed and uneasy when having an interview. Always remember the saying “put yourself in someone else’s shoes.”

Lastly, a good interviewer knows how to close the interview. You should record your impressions on the applicant immediately after the interview.

Remember to meet these important details in order to be a trustworthy and worthwhile interviewer that your company can be proud of.

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