Overview of the Interview
The objective of this assignment was to conduct a simulation interview for project planning and management and then to write an interview analysis and reflection report describing personal challenges encountered when designing and administering the interview, identified areas that require improvement, personal successes accomplished during the interview process, and the lessons learned from the whole interview exercise. The report covers issues and procedures involved in interviewing employees in an organization.
Challenges encountered during interview design and administration
The first challenge I encountered was how design interview questions that can solicit responses that help to gauge whether the candidates knowledge, skills, and job experience fit into the job description. From the word go, sought to avoid designing questions that would give me the answers that I did not want. However, creating questions that would give me the answers that clearly point out what I really wanted was difficult because I knew I was to interview candidates with a diverse background.
Another challenge was balancing between academic and practical questions. This challenge was brought about by the fact that the position for the interview required me to consider both soft skills and technical skills. Because my aim was to hire a competent project manager, it proved difficult to design questions that would solicit accurate social and technical abilities of the candidate.
Besides that, the open nature of the unstructured interview I adopted proved ineffective in soliciting specific responses in some instances. In the first question of the interview, for example, the most respondents could not give a specific strategy they would utilize to promote teamwork and cooperation between different project teams to meet project deliverables.
Areas of improvement
I identified several areas that I need to improve when conducting interviews. The first area is how to balance hard-skills and soft-sills. Just as Catano, Wiesner & Hackett (2013) suggest, I need to adopt a job content approach that explores both practical and interpersonal skills of the candidates that are relevant to the position being applied. In the interview, I placed a lot of focus on soft skills at the expense of hard skills. For instance, a number of my questions sought to identify soft skills like time management, conflict management, and cooperation with team members, which are essential in achieving project goals and targets. However, Catano, Wiesner & Hackett (2013) believed that they are both relevant in most positions. In future, for example, I need to learn how to delve into where and how the candidates applied certain hard skills.
Moreover, I need to improve the way I manage the interview schedule. According to Catano, Wiesner & Hackett (2013), many human resource practitioners fall into the trap of owning the entire interview process. This is driven by the desire to control the process. Although it is my responsibility to ensure that the interview process is conducted in an effective way right from the beginning, it is also important to allow the interviewee ample time to respond to the questions. This will help me not only to capture what the respondents say but also to critically examine how the respondents fit the job description.
There are several successes in my interview experience. Using unstructured interview was one of the major success during the interview design and administration. According to Catano, Wiesner & Hackett (2013), an unstructured interview is a traditional method of conducting interviews that involves no constraints on the questions asked, requires no standardized responses, and adopts subjective assessment of the respondent. I used this method successfully because its open-ended nature allowed impression management. That is, it enabled me to accurately read and adjust questions based on the job description.
Additionally, I assumed an appropriate tone by conducting the interview process in a relaxed manner. This consideration allowed me to create and foster a professional and open environment for the candidate to respond to the interview questions to the best of their knowledge. Besides that, my conversation with f the candidates was much more down-to-earth. In this conversation, I asked the candidate questions like What steps and actions will you put in place to ensure healthy working relationships with key project partners? These questions were not only straight and to the point, but also allowed for flexibility. This approach allowed me to motivate the candidate to answer the questions openly ad specifically.
Lessons learned from the simulation
One of the most important lessons I derived from this simulation activity is that as a human resource professional, one must do proper preparation and rehearsals when intending to do job interviews. Just as Catano, Wiesner & Hackett (2013) observe, this experience made me realize that adequate preparation for an interview can help to prevent embarrassing situations like asking questions that are not relevant to the job description. Another takeaway is that objectivity is paramount in recruitment and selection. An interview must strive to ensure that there are no instances of bias both in interview administration and potential candidate considerations. In this regard, it is HR practitioners need to ask the right questions or administer correct tests as only through these that the right candidates can get hired based on standard knowledge, skills, and abilities required. We need to do a much better job in preparing ourselves, for example, by preparing questions that are straightforward and clear in purpose.
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