Interviewing Skills Every Manager Should Have


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Whether it a major part of your job or a one –off task, interviewing candidates to fill positions can be complex, time-consuming process that requires careful consideration and planning. This section will help you device a strategy to eliminate many of the problems involved in interviewing , enabling you to recruit the best candidate every time. Clear information helps you to take effective action at each stage of the process, form the initial definition of job requirements, to the decision about how to recruit, to the conduct of individual interviews. Commonsense advice enables you to evaluate the suitability of an applicant and implement a follow up procedure. This section includes concise tips providing further essential information at a glance.

A self-assessment exercise that lets you chart and evaluate your improvement with each interview you hold is available upon request. Please contact us if you would like this self assessment exercise.

This month we will discuss:

1) Preparing For An Interview

The sub topic that we will cover under this section will be:

A) Identifying Objectives

Preparing for an interview

A job interview rarely lasts longer than an hour, but is consequences might last for years. In order to identify the most suitable candidate for a vacancy, prepare well in advance.

1) Identifying Objectives

An interview is a formal method of exchanging information between people. The interviewer needs to be clear about the purpose of the exchange to ensure that the time is used to give and obtain information that is relevant and revealing.

A) Defining The Purpose

The recruitment of new employees is one of the most important tasks a manager will undertake. Meeting candidates face to face provides the best opportunity for gathering information about their skills and experience and, ultimately, matching the right person to the job and to the organization.

In Preparing for interviews, remember that your purpose is not only to evaluate the candidate, but also to describe the job accurately so that they can assess whether it is the right one for them. You will also need to represent your organization in the best light possible to attract good quality candidates.


Evaluate every vacancy before calling for interviews

Look for new blood rather than “one of us”

Imagine the ideal candidate for a vacant job.

B) Assessing A Vacancy

Before any employer can set out to find a suitable candidate for a job, it is important that they establish the skills and experience the job requires. Start by referring to the existing job description. Consider whether the job has changed over time, with the introduction of new technology, for instance. Does it now require different skills? Ask questions about the previous employee to decide if there is anything new that can be bought to the job. Were they suited to the job? Is a similar mix abilities required in a new employee?


Review all job descriptions for your team when a vacancy is created.

C) Assessing Job Relationships

An interviewer needs to assess how a job will relate to the roles of other employees. Where does it fit into the organizational hierarchy, and what will the role of the new job be within the existing team or department? To whom will the new employee report, and who will report to the new employee?

Bear in mind that there is usually room for some flexibility within an organizational structure. Consider, for instance, whether using new technology would allow a more junior employee than previously to be appointed to take the responsibility of a job.

Gathering Information

Discuss the requirements of a job with the present job-holder and those who work in the same team or department. This may lead to a reallocation of responsibilities among all roles, and a reappraisal of the skills needed in a new employee.

The interviewer obtains valuable information about the job from all those who work closely with the job-holder.

D) Evaluating A role

A new vacancy provides you with an opportunity to look closely at a job to evaluate its role within the company. Set aside time to identify specific changes that can be made to improve the jobs value to the organization.

Start with the aims of the company. Have there been any directional changes in its goals, and has the job adapted to meet them? Ask other departments what their expectations of the job have been and whether these have been fulfilled.

Consider the assumptions you have about the knowledge and skills you think the job needs. Can you introduce useful new knowledge or skills into the company through the new appointment? Think also about the communication skills that are needed to make the job effective: are closer relationships with clients or other departments needed?

Redefining A Role

This case study looks at the way in which the role of librarian has been affected by information technology. Although the role was performed competently by the previous job-holder, a new applicant with updated skills shows how the scope of the job can be extended and improved to the benefit of the organization.

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Considering Conditions

When a job is vacated, consider whether you need to fill the job in the same way. If part of a job has become redundant, due to change in structure, for instance, consider appointing a part-time replacement. Use a job-sharing scheme in the role needs different skills, or to retain an employee who wants to work part time. If the work occurs only at care taking periods, use freelancers or contract workers. Look at your finances: can one expensive employee be replaced by two junior, or vice versa?

Manik Thapar (MBA)


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