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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Interviews must not be horrific

Interviews must not be horrific

Words by Francis Kahihu: kahihucareers@gmail.com

As much as many people look forward to being invited for interviews after sending out the CVs and cover letters, not many really look forward to the actual interview process. This results from experiences that many people have gone through at the hands of the interview panelists. Some of the experiences have been horrific, to say the least. Interviewees have been subjected to very embarrassing scenarios that have made many people loath opportunities to appear before panelists.

When it comes to interviewing, the truth of the matter is that not everyone can be a good interviewer. Interviewing, just like any other professional engagement, requires speciliased skills to get the best of the candidates that are shortlisted for consideration. During the recruitment process, the employer is usually in need of good candidates just as the job seeker is in need of a good job. There exists a desire both ways hence the employer should seek to present the company in the best light before the potential employees.

For the panel to get the best out of interview interactions, the panelists should be well prepared for the exercise. There are situations when interviewees have gotten into the interview room only to realize how ill prepared the panelists are. Panelists should keenly read the candidates’ CVs and cover letters to acquaint themselves with the basic information about the specific candidates. This arms them with relevant questions for probing during the actual interview. Interviewees easily tell between a well and an ill prepared panel.

As a way of making the interview process memorable for both the panel and the interviewer, it is recommended that the panel should desist from asking irrelevant questions. Any probing that the panel does should be strategic and aimed at enhancing the panel’s appreciation of the candidate’s capacities. In the process of asking questions during the panel discussions, the panelists should never ask questions aimed at pulling the candidate down. It is worth noting on the part of the interviewers that job seekers are human beings with feelings and expectations. These are people who are seeking opportunities to manage their livelihoods and enhance their professional development. They should be respected and not taunted.

In the event a candidate does not seem to possess the requisite skills and knowledge on any specific subject matter, the panel would only want to note it as such and not pursue certain discussions with the sole aim of embarrassing the candidate. I have overheard of panelists who ask candidates why they had even applied for the job based on the panelist’s perception of inadequacies resident in the candidate.

Even in cases where the candidates are weak and you do not intend to hire them, it is healthy to note a few outstanding traits in the candidates and capitalize on them at the point of parting. Seek to encourage the candidates along their lines of potential and encourage them that as much as they may not be successful. Their future still has a lot of potential that could be well harnessed for a great life.

Interviewers should seek to appreciate the interviewees’ entry behavior for them to appreciate the level of psychological position they usually are. By the time someone arrives at the interview venue, you would note that they would have gone through moments of hoping for the best in the process. They attend the interview having all the hope that they will at least succeed in this one thing. It is therefore necessary to treat them honorably and with the respect they deserve.

Good interview processes have been known to make potential employees consider lower levels in the company resulting from the first impression they get from the panelists. Companies have also enhanced their sales as a result of goodwill gotten from humane treatment of the persons they interact with at the interviews.

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