Most Important Takeaways

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. 


  1. What am I good at?
    I am good at organising and creating structure into my life. I am good when I am busy at being able to manage my time the best and being the most productive. I am good at being disciplined with myself to get what needs to be done, and only when it is done doing things that I want to do. 
  2. What do I value?
    I value being in a position where I am financially comfortable in that I do not have to constantly worry about the money that I do or do not have. I value being respected and recognised in a fair way for the work that I do and the efforts that I put into something. I value having the freedom to have flexible hours of work throughout the day allowing me some flexibility in my schedule.
  3. How did I get here?
    I got here by starting rowing 8 years ago. I was looking at universities and different options to continue studying and rowing at the same time so I began looking at schools in the USA where collegiate athletics is a big thing. I chose Oregon State because of the rowing program, my connection with the coaches, the location being in the Pacific Northwest and accessibility with flights from New Zealand. I chose the College of Business because it is a universal set of degrees and principles that I could take with me anywhere round the world.
  4. Where am I going?
    I am about to graduate from Oregon State and enter into the work force in these unprecedented times. I am going to continue applying for jobs, and am beginning to accept that I may not get my dream job straight away. Given the nature of the global climate I need to be open to any work as a temporary fixture for an income while I keep looking and applying for roles more aligned with my degree, values and career goals. 

IPIP Results, Strengths and Weaknesses

The results of my test were not particularly surprising to me in all honesty. My extraversion score is average meaning that I enjoy spending time with others and in group settings but there becomes a point when I need some alone time again (the introversion side). My agreeableness score is low meaning that I struggle to show concern for others and can be seen as tough, critical and uncompromising. I scored high in conscientiousness meaning that I have high expectations of myself with clear direction and goals. People see me as reliable and hardworking. My score on neuroticism is average meaning that my level of emotional reactivity is typical of the general population. While I do react to stressful and frustrating situations, I am able to get over the feelings and cope with the situation. I scored low on openness to experience meaning that I like things broken down for me in simple terms. I can be described as down to earth, practical and conservative. 

Looking the results from the IPIP Test employers would describe my biggest strengths as being reliable and hard working. Employers would seek this sort of personality out because it is the biggest predictor of performance on a job. Another strength that I believe employers would seek is my average level of emotional reactivity because it means that they are less variables and emotional reactivity when I would be working on a job. Another strength could be the fact that I can be described as down to earth and practical, especially in a job that does not require imagination but instead hard facts and knowledge to work with.

A strength but also a weakness I see in myself is my lack of compromise and critical eye. This could be considered a strength in a leadership role that requires the hard and unfavourable decisions to be made. However, It could also be considered a weakness in that people struggle to meet and live up to the expectation I put on them and myself. I can easily look for areas of improvement and sometimes will look for improvement before commending and acknowledging the good work that has already been done. This is an area that I need to work on balancing better which I think will help be considered a strength in both roles (leadership and all).

Hiring Typical Performance Over Maximal Performance Candidates

If I was in the position of a business owner, I would hire Jaime. While Jaime does not have the maximal performance capabilities of someone like Avery, they are more consistent and, on the average, a better worker. 

I would choose to not hire Avery, although they have a high maximal performance ceiling because the role is an essential position. Avery’s recommendations speak of them being a slacker and only applying themselves when it suits them. In an essential position like the one currently opens the business needs consistency and reliability to ensure it does collapse. Avery with their high maximal performance ceiling would be better suited to project work or sales where they are able to work in two-week sprints. By hiring a candidate like Avery into one of those sorts of positions it will allow them to utilise their maximal performance when needed and the business in crunch time without having to overexert Avery for long periods of time. 

In this instance I have chosen to hire Jaime as it is an essential role in the company meaning that they will be heavily relied upon. Jaime is consistent with every piece of work they endeavour to purse. Consistency I believe is essential for critical business functions as without any dependability the business would collapse. Being consistent in this role I think is important because it brings with it a hard-working attitude and reliability when the business needs it. A candidate like Jaime is better suited to a consistency role like this, because both they and the business know what can be expected now and in the future. While Jaime’s does not have the same level of maximal performance they have the ability to work at their peak performance for longer periods of time compared to someone like Avery. 

Branding Myself for Recruiting

This was a hard topic for me, especially now because I think I am in the process of changing brands per say. Up until now I would have branded myself as a competitive division I athlete rowing for Oregon State. With my senior season being cancelled and graduation around the corner I am beginning to look for jobs and in the process of figuring out who I am without rowing. Strengths of mine are that I am a competitive, very organised and disciplined individual who constantly seeks opportunities and challenges. My weaknesses are that I am so accepting of challenges and every opportunity that I am at risk of spreading myself too thin and not being able to accomplish everything I set out to do. And accomplishing it to the same high-level standard that I expect of myself. I have been unique in the sense that I have been involved with collegiate athletics, and I am an international student who has studied abroad for the last four years of my life. 

An idea that automatically comes to mind for me is framing myself in some sport and competitive related way because it is something that I so strongly identify myself with. By doing this I would try to incorporate a company job description into rowing and sport terminology and show potential ways that I could benefit the company and team I would be working with. I think this could be effectively portrayed in the form of a poster, something static with verbiage within the picture. I am good at organising and collating data and visuals so by creating something visual I would be playing at another strength of mine with the layout of the advertisement. The best method of distribution given the very much word of mouth culture in New Zealand would be to ask a select number of business professionals that I already have within my network to have a copy and share with anyone they know who they believe may be interested. The biggest risk I foresee in positioning myself in this manner is that the employers see me as a know it all, and someone who would dominant the environment rather than blend with the existing company culture. I need to be careful applying for jobs back in New Zealand that the culture and business culture is considerably different to what I have learnt about throughout my time at Oregon State. 

Job Descriptions

The last job I had was my internship with ATI last summer working in their continuous improvement team. In this instance the job description actually had very little effect over my decision to apply for the job as I had already heard positive feedback from previous interns and was set on applying to get a similar experience. The experience needed for this internship was very basic (Microsoft Office, High School Qualifications and Adobe Acrobat) as they were appealing to college students who yet had obtained their respective degrees. I had all of these qualifications already so was equipped for a smooth transition into the role upon my start date. Job descriptions as a whole I never fully understand and interpret what it will look like as an actual piece of work on a day to day basis. From my own experience they are often times jam packed with so much information and complex (company specific) jargon that it is difficult to interpret exactly what your job responsibilities are. Instead of focussing on the job descriptions I pay more attention to the company itself and qualification section which so far has given me enough information to know if I could be suitable for a position. I have found looking back over my job description now from my internship that the job description did in fact align pretty well with the role itself even if I had no understanding of my position prior to understanding. Interpretation versus actually completing the work in the job description are two very different things. By having an open mind and a willingness to learn I think aided me in the job process as it allowed me to learn aspects of the job description that I otherwise would have not known.  

Discrimination Factors Influence Company Views

Outstanding claims of discrimination on any company would impact how I feel about a company. Claims suggest to an outsider potential wrongdoing or discrimination which could feed into a bigger company culture problem. If one of my favourite company’s had discrimination claims I would be likely to first ignore the fact, because they are my favourite company after all. I would likely turn a blind eye in the first instance and put it down to bad luck. If more claims started to appear, I would then start to pay more attention to them all and my viewpoint would most likely change. In this situation I would change my viewpoint to more a negative association and would likely stop investing into the company and their products or services. I would also decide against applying to work for that company as it is not a culture that I wish to be affiliated with. I want to work for a company with a good company culture than treats their employees well and as equals. 

I think this highlights the importance of public perception and employee satisfaction. For a company to be successful and remain successful, they must treat all employees fairly and well thus building employee satisfaction. If employees are satisfied and feel treated as equals, they are more likely to work more productively with higher levels of engagement. The public will interpret this level of employee satisfaction and make their consumer decisions on this basis, whether positive or negative. People, like myself, are attracted to companies with ethical values and standards that align with my own which further highlights the importance of remaining ethical and treating your employees as equals to one another. 

How Important is the Staff Roster?

While employee recruitment and selection are key to good business productivity it does not sell products. Business success is evaluated by both revenue and shareholders perceptions not your staff roster. Areas that are more worthwhile investments are product design and development and marketing. Investment in design ensures innovation and that the business is able to adapt and carry forward its successes as market conditions change. Investment in marketing promotes and helps to sell the product, build a brand image and overall increase profitability of the company. It won’t matter how good a company’s staff are, without sales of a product or service there is no financially viable way for a company to survive. 

The strength in focussing on other areas of investment is the opportunity for the company to flourish with the resources and technology available without being tied to high recruitment costs.  The biggest potential disadvantage is not having employees with the right knowledge and skills to best utilise the resources and technology available to them. This being said, I am an advocate for people (skilled or not) being open enough to learn and adapt into the company’s mission. Hard work and perseverance can go a long way for existing employees in today’s digital and modern work environment. People motivated to learn and change with the current market will be unstoppable, regardless of their qualifications and skills prior to employment at a company. For these reasons a business needs to carefully balance its hiring and recruitment costs to allow for investments in other core business functions allowing the business to adapt and thrive in any market condition. 

Navigating the Hiring Process

The last job I applied was for my internship last summer. The hiring process was very straight forward in that I initially discovered the role through word of mouth. Unless you knew or looked at the company’s website specifically you would have struggled to identify the opportunity as it wasn’t advertised very publicly.  

As an applicant through word of mouth, I contacted the hiring manager directly and attached both my resume and cover letter into an email asking initially if any positions were available. The hiring manager responded through email asking for a phone interview which took place a couple days later. The phone interview was like any interview you could expect for a job position. Towards the end of the phone interview the hiring manager said there and then that he would love for me to join his team in the summer internship position and that HR would soon be in touch. Compared to other interviews I have done this was a point of difference where other interviews have gotten back to me a couple of hours later to offer me the position, they have not been on the spot like that before. 

The simplicity and efficiency of the application process made me want the role. As an applicant I liked that there was no wasting time by having to jump through several hoops, and instead could be honest and upfront with expectations and the process from the beginning. In this situation I think there was a level of trust already built between myself and the hiring manager as we both had a mutual acquaintance who had previously worked for the company in a similar role. This aided both of us in the process to make a decision in hiring and me accepting the position.