What Are Your Strengths?

What are your weaknesses? Where do you see yourself in five years? If you could be any animal, which would you choose? Hmm, very interesting, you say as you nod politely and write pit bull next to the candidate’s name. Does interviewing get any more ridiculous than this? In order to assess a candidate’s ability to do the job, you have to ask questions, right? However, knowing what to ask can make the difference between a meaningless session and one that actually provides you with some insight into your candidate. Fortunately there are some resources that can help take the guesswork out of your side of the process. Interviewer or Interviewee? Job-Interview.net is a site targeted toward candidates, but it can also serve as a resource for interviewers. The site includes articles, tips, questions and books. Although many of the books must be purchased, there are also some free downloads available. Two sections that may prove helpful are “Mock Job Interviews” and “Job Interviews Questions & Answers.” Select “Practice Job Interviews” under the “Mock Job Interviews” heading to get a listing of job categories that includes “Accounting,” “Administration,” “Human Resources” and “Information Technology,” among others. Each category features at least one sample position. Select a position to read its description and a practice interview. Because each practice interview is a series of questions for a particular position, the questions tend to be highly focused. For example, questions in the “Warehouse Worker” interview include “Tell us about your experience with handling hazardous materials, such as paint and cleaners” and “When would you use a pallet jack instead of a forklift?” Even if you can’t find the job for which you’re interviewing listed under “Mock Job Interviews,” reviewing a few sample interviews in the series will most likely give you some new ideas about the kinds of questions to ask your candidates. Selecting “Job Interview Questions & Answers” from the homepage leads to a page where you can choose to view interview questions from a “Job Function Index” or a “Career/Job Index.” Under “Job Function,” you’ll find categories such as “Delegation,” “Judgment,” Leadership” and “Teamwork.” Selecting an item leads to questions pertaining to that topic. Under “Career/Job,” on the other hand, you’ll find categories such as “Engineering,” “Information Technology,” “Marketing” and “Sales.” With more than 800 total questions, this section is likely to provide you with some ideas. Got the Tools? HRTools.com , a site featuring a variety of management tools, has two free interviewing tools you may want to explore. From the homepage, select “Hiring & Recruiting.” This leads to a list where you’ll find “Interviewing IQ Test” and “Email Training: Interviewing & Selecting.” “Interviewing IQ Test” can help alert you to the types of questions that could pose legal problems. The quiz is available online. “Email Training: Interviewing & Selecting” is a three-week email course designed to help with the hiring process. It covers the legality of interview questions and also offers guidelines for evaluating resumes and candidates. Questions, Anyone? Advantage Hiring is a company that provides tools and services to hiring managers. Its main product, Net-Interview, lets you create, print and store interview guides in order to expedite and standardize the screening process. Designed to be used online with Internet job postings, interview guides can also be used for telephone and face-to-face interviews. Guides are created using questions from the company’s database, but can also include custom questions. When used as an online tool, Net-Interview allows for automated scoring of candidate responses and ranking of candidates in relation to one another. Net-Interview is available on a subscription basis. After 90 days, pricing is structured according to projected number of hires. Details and sample user scenarios can be obtained by selecting “Pricing” on the homepage. Advantage Hiring also offers free interviewer training. Selecting “Interviewer Training” under “Free Knowledge” on the homepage leads to a registration form. Training modules, which are available at the Web site, cover such topics as “Building rapport with candidates,” “Asking follow-up questions,” “Pacing the interview” and “Conducting legally credible interviews.” Who, Me? Interviewer training is like any other training: the more it’s applied, the greater the skill level. Keep in mind though, it’s important to find what works for you. By taking advantage of available resources and practicing the basics, you too can conduct effective interviews that lead to successful hires. <*SPONSORMESSAGE*>

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Paula Santonocito is an e-recruitment strategist and columnist for AIRS, the global leader in Internet recruitment training, tools, news and information. AIRS News:www.airsdirectory.com/news/newsletters/ AIRS Training:www.airsdirectory.com/products/training/ AIRS SearchStation:www.airsdirectory.com/products/tools/searchstation/