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Interviewing Prospective Employees

    Interviewing Prospective Employees

    In our previous unit, we started to talk about interviewing prospective employees, and the different types of interviews we may use. Let’s expand now on those types.

    Have you ever gone into a job interview and there are four people at a conference table with a list of questions? This is called a structured or planned interview. In this type of interview, you will be asked the same questions, in the same order as all other applicants for the position.


    Check out this article for more information about structured interviews.

    This type of interview allows the hiring committee to:

    1. Learn a wide range of information about each candidate.
    2. A calmer interview setting, since the questions are predetermined.
    3. Learn the needed information in a uniform way, so it alleviates missing an important question.

    So, the opposite of a structured interview is an unstructured one! In this type of interview, the candidate comes in, and the questions are not structured, and are unordered. There may be one or more interviewers in this process. There are some good points and negative points to this type of interview as well:

    1. The interviewer can ask additional questions after one question is answered, potentially leading to more useful information about the candidates skills for the position.
    2. It may create a more relaxed interview setting, similar to just having a conversation.
    3. Unfortunately, it may not lead to as reliable of information as the structured interview as each person is not asked the same questions, and bias may play into the process.

    As an interviewer, it is your job to determine if an applicant has the appropriate education, skills and experience to complete the tasks required of the position. Personality may also be an important component, especially in the retail setting. If, for example, you are hiring for a clerk position, where the employee will have constant contact with the public, this person may need different skills than someone hired for the stockroom. The biggest goal of the interview process is to insure that the person you hire, can perform the functions of the position effectively and efficiently!

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