Effective and Ineffective Interview
I have had the privilege of undergoing only one professional interview outside of the military. This interview was specifically for my last job as a Deputy with the Sheriff’s office. As a first-time job seeker, I naturally felt nervous and uncertain about what to expect. After having successfully completed the written and physical assessments for the position, the upcoming interview marked the final stage of the hiring process. Upon my arrival, I was ushered into a conference room where three-panel members were seated. I confidently positioned myself in the center of the panel, directly opposite them, but my initial confidence quickly gave way to discomfort.
The interview commenced with an unstructured approach, with the panel attempting to acquaint themselves with me as a person for approximately five minutes before transitioning into a structured approach. They proceeded to ask me situational questions that were relevant to the job at hand and how I would respond in certain circumstances. The interview seemed to go on forever, and I was quite relieved when it finally came to a close.
I found the situational questions to be particularly effective as they assessed not only my character but also my ability to think on my feet and tackle problems. However, I felt that the first five minutes of unstructured questioning were not only ineffective but also a waste of time for all parties involved. If I were to offer advice on how to improve the effectiveness of interviews, I would suggest that employers abandon the panel interview setting and instead opt for a one-on-one meeting with the boss or a potential direct supervisor. Furthermore, I would recommend that employers eliminate small talk and dive straight into structured behavioral and situational questions.
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