Throughout this course this term one of the most important things I have learned is the importance of structured interviews. While I was familiar with the need to interview applicants, I lacked an understanding on the benefits and limitations of the different types of interviews that could be conducted. As an overarching theme in all of my learnings I learned that in order to be able to even productively structure your interviews for a position you must first develop a job analysis.
A job analysis is a complete 360 view of data surrounding all aspects, requirements and characteristics associated with a position in the company. The job analysis helps to provide you (the hiring manager or recruiter) with direction on the type of applicant you are looking for to fill a particular role. Not only is having a thorough job analysis helpful for structuring interviews but it also helps to ensure you are recruiting or not recruiting on a basis of job relatedness rather than unconscious biases that may lead you and the company to face legal actions for discrimination. An interesting side note to this is that I was actually performing a job analysis in my internship last summer although at the time had no idea. I worked with various people throughout the business and departments including SME’s to gather data on each department’s jobs and roles on a daily basis. I helped to gather data on the type of work each department did, key responsibilities, the equipment they use and need to work, any personal protective equipment as well as their overall impact on the businesses supply chain. I then used all the information I gathered to help create a job-specific training programme for each of the departments.
With having completed a job analysis prior to interviewing any candidates I have learned that it is better to have structured interviews as they produce better predictive validity. Structured interviews provide better predictive validity as interview questions are surrounded around aspects of the job analysis and job relatedness rather than personal and perhaps discriminatory questions made up on the fly. Another advantage I have learned about ensuring interviews are structured is about drawing comparisons between applicants when evaluating who has the most potential and is the best fit for the organisation. Structured interviews ensure that similar if not the same questions are being asked for each applicant providing you with a reference point between candidate response’s and likelihood of future performance on the job.