Questions 13 to 17.
You will bear five short recordings.
For each recording, decide which aspect of conducting interviews each speaker considers particularly important.
Write one letter (A-H) next to the number of the recording.
Do not use any letter more than once.
After you bare listened once, replay the recordings.
You bare 15 seconds to read the list A-H.
Now listen, and decide which aspect each speaker considers important.
We all forget how hard interviews can be. Applicants walk into a strange room and face what can be a long line of unknown people who fire a lot of tricky questions at them. It’s not surprising that their minds go a complete blank. If you’re the interviewer and you make an effort to put the interviewees at their ease, then they’re more likely to express their opinions coherently and give you a chance to assess them properly.
Interviews are often too theoretical. You get the applicant’s views on, for example, the principles of marketing and then throw in some tough questions to see if they’re up to speed on the latest developments. But introducing a hands-on activity can be more telling, because then you can assess how they approach everyday activities. I know some people argue that at senior level it’s a waste of time and you should be checking how they deal with clients and colleagues, but I’m not convinced.
You have perhaps thirty minutes to assess an applicant. I think considerable work needs to be done beforehand with the CVs - checking if they have appropriate qualifications and so on. What you can’t get from the application, though – except from references, and I don’t find those very reliable - is an idea of how people act in the workplace. I focus on that, by asking questions which should reveal how they’d react in different circumstances and with a variety of colleagues.
Interviewing isn’t something I’m good at, I’m afraid. I don’t trust my own judgement for such important decisions. That’s why I usually have about five other people with me, not necessarily from the particular department, though. I realise this prevents me from making the interview seem like an informal chat, but I’m not sure of the overall benefit of that - perhaps it provides an insight into how the applicant thinks and behaves outside work, but that’s not crucial.
One’s trying to assess so many different aspects of potential employees. Time’s limited, and you can get bogged down in asking challenging questions relevant to particular duties in the job description. It’s easy to forget to allow time for applicants to find out things that are relevant to them. It’s sometimes seen just as a courtesy or a way of making them feel comfortable, but it can give you real insight into how they think and react to the post.
Now listen to the recordings again.