Reflection: Job applicant
Interviews are part of any professional’s life. When undertaking an interview, the first impression of the person being interviewed is very important. It determines whether a person will pass the interviewee or not. The person should be calm and respond to the questions as effectively as possible. Generally, being calm always ensures that the interviewee can handle all issues raised during the interview comfortably and without any tension.
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There are various methods for conducting an interview. The interview may be conducted physically with the interviewer and interviewee being in the same room, or via the phone or virtually using other communication devices such as video conferencing in case the interviewer and the interviewee are not in the same place. The most common form of interview is the physical interview. During an interview, the person should first greet the interviewers or make comments that show that he/she is at ease. During the interview, I was not able to create a favorable first impression on the interviewers, as I was not at ease. However, as the interview progressed, I was able to feel at ease with the interviewers and answered their questions as effectively as I could.
I generally answered the questions giving varied answers to a single question. This would enable the interviewers to have a good understanding of who I am. In most of the questions, I would give three or more answers to the questions to answer the question posed by the interviewer. Some of the questions usually entailed giving only one answer to the question. Questions such as what is your greatest strength require the person being interviewed to have only one answer, which he can thereafter clearly elaborate to the satisfaction of the interviewer. This was proof that I was not ready for the questions, as I did not have an immediate answer to the questions. In answering the questions put forward by an interviewer, the person being interviewed should not answer questions that the interviewer has not asked (Hathaway, 2005). However, in giving many answers I provided answers to question which the interviewer had not even asked.
I need to undertake several measures to help improve my future performance in an interview. Among the most important factors to consider is being at ease. I should show the interviewers that I have no tension by being as friendly as possible, and by bringing out my true personality. I should also ensure that I am well prepared for the question posed by the interviewers.
In the interview, I was not able to come up with direct answers to the question posed by the interviewers. I mainly played around with the answer by giving so many responses even in questions, which required only one response. In the future, I will ensure that I am prepared as possible to enable me to answer the question effectively. To facilitate this, I will ensure that I undertake as much research as possible on the job or the company before the interview. Effective answering of the questions shows that the interviewee is knowledgeable of the job. Also, the method of presenting the answers shows the self-confidence of the interviewee, an attribute which most interviewers keenly observe. Most of the interviewers will recommend a self-confident person; sometimes disregarding whether some of the answers that he provided were wrong.
While undertaking an interview, the person being interviewed should mention any skill, which he has, regardless of how small or irrelevant to the job it is as the interviewer may use it to determine if the interviewee has the necessary abilities (Hansen, n.d). During the interview, I was able to bring out my experiences clearly as required. However, I did not mention particular instances in which my experiences could be helpful to the company. I mainly talked about things generally without referring to real life situations, as well as how some of my experiences could be beneficial to the company if they hired me.
In determining the candidates who should fill a certain position in an organization, the organization mainly looks at the qualifications of the candidates before performing an interview to determine the most appropriate candidates. Just like qualifications- mainly academic and experience – job interviews are also very important in the selection of prospective employees. The job interview enables the interviewer to understand the interviewer on a personal level and can therefore use the understanding to base his decision to determine whom to hire for the vacant position (Heathfield, n.d). The main aim of the questions in an interview is not to intimidate the candidates being interviewed but to extract information from the candidate which is important in coming up with a decision on who to hire for the position. The formulation of the interview questions is therefore very important to the interviewer. Good questions would enable the interviewer to get as much information from the candidates for the specific job whereas bad questions may generate information that is irrelevant to the job vacancy which is being filled by the candidates and ultimately leading to the selection of candidates who are not fit for the job.
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The job the company had advertised was for HR Administrator. This job mainly entails working with other people to increase the productivity of the company. It entails bringing out the best in the employees. The candidate should have good interaction with the other employees to enable them to have high productivity, enhance teamwork, and customer satisfaction. The personal attributes of the candidates are therefore very important in the effective handling of the above duties. The person should have strong leadership qualities and should be able to motivate other people. Also, the person should be able to help in building teamwork in the organization, which is essential for the high productivity of the employees and the provision of high-quality work that meets customers’ expectations.
The questions asked should therefore try as much as possible to bring out the personal attributes of the prospective employee since the screening process of the interview is expected to have removed all the people who do have the necessary qualifications. In undertaking the interview, the interview should first start by asking questions that the candidate can easily answer. This will enable the candidate to be relaxed before the interviewer starts asking questions, which are seemingly hard (Heathfield, n.d). Finally, when the candidate is relaxed the interviewer can have a better evaluation of the candidates’ behavior and personal attributes which will greatly help him in picking the right candidate for the job.
In undertaking the interview, simple questions were first asked the candidate to enable the candidate to be relaxed when answering other questions. By asking the candidate to first introduce him/herself, the interviewer enabled the candidate to have time to relax before asking the other question. Also, the other was relatively easy with the comparative hardness of the questions increasing as the interview progressed.
Also, the interview did not concentrate on the achievements of the candidates. The interviewer asked questions that tried to portray the personal attributes of the candidates, a very important aspect of the job advertised. The questions posed by the interviewer were mainly to determine how the candidate would be able to function under certain conditions that would be common if the candidate were hired for the specific job. The interviewer poses questions that try to make a connection between the personal attributes of the candidate to the job being offered to determine the relevance of the attribute to the performance of the job by the candidate if he was hired by the company. This, therefore, enables him to obtain as much information, which is relevant to the working of the employee from the individual as possible.
The last question posed by the interviewer is very important in determining whether the candidate can perform the job or not. The question tries to summarize all the relevant information that the interviewer has obtained from the candidate to get a clear picture of the candidate. The interviewer may ask a question, which is contrary to the general format of the questions that were asked before this question. In the last question, the interviewer asks a question that relates to the application of the academic work of the candidate to the job. This question deviates from the general formulation of the question in that it concerns the application of what is learned to the job and not the personal attributes of the candidate. The question underpins the importance of applying what is learned in class to the organization and uses that to determine the competence of the employee to the job.
As the observer, I filled the table below to determine how the interviewer and the interviewee behaved and the effectiveness of the interview.
|General appearance, punctuality & presentation||Comments |
The candidate was punctual and had good presentation skills
|Listening and answering skills (how much evidence provided and preparedness to address questions adequately)||The interviewee was not able to answer the questions which were posed. Some of the answers were vague and did not extract the required information from the interviewee. Also, the interviewee contradicted himself while answering some of the questions.||√|
|Understanding of job role (interpretation of the job description and tasks required)||The interviewee has a good understanding of the job description as he seems to have consulted some of the employees of the company regarding the job on offer and the working of the company.||√|
|Suitability to job role (ability to link previous/existing experience to the job role)||The candidate has no prior experience in the job. However, his ability to meet deadlines and targets make him suitable for the job.||√|
|Level of competency-based answers (ability to understand the question, give clear structured examples)||The interviewee could not answer the questions as was expected of him. He kept on contradicting himself. Also, he provided answers to questions that had not been asked and were irrelevant to the job on offer.||√|
|Level of responding to abstract questions (e.g. strengths, weaknesses, why should we recruit you? etc.)||The interviewee answered the abstract questions effectively giving appropriate answers in most of them. The answers were generally brief and to the point.||√|
|Awareness of and evidence of research on company culture and sector||The interviewee seems to have consulted widely regarding the company as evidenced by how he responded to some of the questions which were posed to him||√|
|Gestures, non-verbal signs, and actions showing suitable attitude (e.g. avoiding irritating noises and movements)||The interviewee was generally calm during the interview hence showing that he has a suitable attitude for the performance of the job.||√|
|Clarity of answers (tone, level, clarity)||Most of the answers could be easily comprehended by the interviewer as the interviewee was straightforward in his answering. However, some of the answers provided by the interviewee were wrong.||√|
|Closing of the interview: the final question by the interviewee||The interviewer asked about the relevance of the interviewee’s dissertation to the job. By so doing the interviewee would form a clear picture of the interviewee’s ability to work for the company hence the interviewer poses the right question to the interviewee. However, the answer provided by the interviewee does not show the relevance of the dissertation to the job.||√|
(5 = Excellent; 4 = Good; 3 = Average/Fair; 2 = needs improvement; 1 = poor).
Hansen, K., N.d. Job Interview Strategies for Teens: Part II — During and After the Interview. Quintessential careers. (Online). Web.
Hathaway, L. R., 2005. Savvy answers to tough interview questions. (Online). Web.
Heathfield, S. M., N.d. Job Interview Tips: How to Interview Potential Employees Hold Fair, Legal Job Interviews. (Online). Web.