The best way to interview someone is to use a structured interview. In a structured interview you can be more objective as each applicant is asked the same questions and their answers are evaluated in the same way. This is particularly relevant for diverse workers who may have different mannerisms and different ways of answering interview questions.
HOW A STRUCTURED INTERVIEW WORKS
- Interviewers ask all candidates the same interview questions.
- Interview questions relate to the job description.
- Interview questions focus on ways that applicants behave and examples of their experiences at work, not on their opinions or how they evaluate themselves. Have the applicants describe situations with examples.
- Interviewers use a rating scale to rate each answer in the interview. The scale provides rates for different types of behaviours so that interviewers can rate all applicants consistently.
- Interviewers score the interview by totaling the scores for each question
- Interviewers take detailed notes of how the applicant responds to questions in the interview, not of their impressions of the applicant.
- Interviewers invite applicants to ask questions at the END of the interview. Click here for an Interview Question Template and an Interview Rating Guide that will help you select interview questions and rate candidate responses.
WHAT YOU CAN AND CAN’T ASK IN THE INTERVIEW
Human rights legislation protects employees and job applicants from discrimination. As an employer it is important for you to be familiar with human rights legislation in Canada.
CLICK HERE! To see what questions you can and cannot ask during an interview.
TIPS FOR DEVELOPING INTERVIEW QUESTIONS
- Avoid language that is too informal as well as wording that is more complex than necessary.
- Avoid questions that require a person to understand a specific culture.
- Avoid questions that may mean nothing to a person: words with subtle meanings, colloquialisms, or jokes.
- Make sure the interview questions are at the right level of comprehension for the job, not more complex.
- Think about conducting the interview in an applicant’s first language if the person does not require good communication skills in a specific language to do the job.
TIPS ON HOW TO CONDUCT FAIR AND EFFECTIVE INTERVIEWS
Before the Interview
- Review key documents (job descriptions, job postings, interview questions).
- Develop interview rating scales and create booklets for note-taking.
During the Interview
- If possible, have multiple people conduct the same interviews (a panel).
- Use a standard introduction that is the same for each applicant: explain the format of the interview, the questions to expect, and how the panel will record responses.
- Be aware of cultural differences when conducting interviews. For example, an applicant may not make eye contact as a sign of respect in his or her culture. Do not assume that the applicant is disinterested or disrespectful.
- Use follow-up questions to get more detailed answers from the applicant.
- Allow the applicant to ask questions.
- Conclude the interview by thanking the applicant and providing information on the next steps in the process (e.g. when the applicant will hear back from your company).
After the Interview
- Have each interviewer review and score the responses on their own.
- Once each interviewer has scored all candidates, compare the scores.
- Combine these scores with the other information you have collected from the applicants, such as resumes, job applications, and reference checks to make a final score for each applicant.
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