Interviewing and selection
Choosing the right person for the job through interviews and aptitude/personality
How to interview and select the right person
1. Start with your strategy
Look at your organization’s strategy and the types of people and jobs you need to maximize customer
satisfaction now and in the future.
2. Define the job
Clearly define the job’s responsibilities and terms of employment (pay, etc.).
This is called the job specification or job description and should be formulated in
collaboration with the new jobholder’s colleagues/managers.
3. Define the ideal candidate
Create a profile of the perfect candidate (the personnel specification) – essential and
desirable skills, qualifications, experience, personality and physical fitness.
Skills required will be:
- problem solving - analysis, attention to detail and planning/organizing.
- emotional intelligence - self-control and interpersonal skills, communication (oral
- personal development - self-motivation and lifelong learning/self-improvement.
- creativity - passion for new ideas and ability to put them into action .
- teamwork - working well with others.
- technical/professional/business knowledge.
- leadership - the potential to inspire others to perform.
This is the process of finding the best possible people for the job and requires:
- accurate and informative job advertisements (in the right newspapers/trade
- using recruitment agencies (if necessary).
- encouraging existing employees to apply.
5. Application forms
The form should ask the right questions (work history, education and training, self-assessment of strengths and
weaknesses and leisure interests).
Then choose a short list of candidates for interview after
- comparing the candidates' characteristics with the job and personnel specifications.
- examining the applicants’ references.
Application forms are better than CV’s because they are standardized, making comparisons much easier.
The interview's aims are to:
- give applicants the best possible chance (to effectively communicate their talents
and find out about your organization).
So an interview is a two-way process, that:
- puts the applicants at ease (with preliminary questions like ‘how was your journey?’).
- allows the applicants to ask questions and sell themselves - let the candidate do
about 75% of the talking and listen to what they say!
- doesn’t let personal prejudices affect your decision (this will be minimized with a
panel of interviewers).
- follows a question with a specific supplementary, if necessary.
Here are some questions you may ask:
• Why do you want the job?
• What are your greatest strengths?
• Why should I give the job to you?
• Who has been the most influential person (or book) in your life?
• What has been your most satisfying experience?
• What are the characteristics of the best employer or teacher you have worked for?
• What do you do to relax?
• What positions of responsibility do you hold in your spare time?
• What is the biggest problem you’ve had to overcome and how did you do it?
• Why have you decided to leave your present job?
• What are your ambitions for the future?
• What was your greatest achievement in your last job?
• How would you describe your present relationships with your colleagues and superiors?
• How would you deal with difficult colleagues or superiors?
7. Choose the right person
Analyse all the information you have for each candidate – aptitude/personality tests, references, application
form and interview.
Compare it with the job and personnel specifications and make your final decision.
Don’t select someone, if nobody is good enough – you will have to go through the selection
process again! But this inconvenience is much less than having to endure a bad employee.
Key quotes explained
“I’d rather interview 50 people and not have anyone than have the wrong
- Jeff Bezos,founder and boss
of Amazon (pictured right)
Don’t be tempted to hire the wrong person.
“Pick out associates whose behaviour is better than yours and you’ll drift
in that direction”
- Warren Buffett
, American businessman and share investor
Choose people who will inspire you to improve.
“Do not hire a man who does your work for money but him who does it for
love of it”
- Henry David
Thoreau ,American philosopher (pictured right)
Hire someone who is passionate about their work.
“A soundbite...is all that an interviewer allows you to
Benn, British politician (pictured right)
Interview success requires selling yourself in the shortest time possible.