Employment Interview
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Employment Interview. Frequently used to make selection decisions (over 90% usage) Social exchange (interpersonal) process Search for information. COMMON PROBLEMS WITH THE “TRADITIONAL” INTERVIEW. Variety of Interviewer Biases * 1 st Impressions

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Employment Interview

  • Frequently used to make selection decisions (over 90% usage)

  • Social exchange (interpersonal) process

  • Search for information


  • Variety of Interviewer Biases

  • * 1st Impressions

  • * Expectancy Effect

  • * Contrast Effect

  • * Stereotype Matching

  • Different Questions Asked to Applicants

  • (Lack of standardization)

  • Disagreement on the Desirability of Interview Responses

  • Little Formal Interviewer Training

  • Subjective (or no) Scoring System

  • Interview Conducted and Scored by One Person

  • Poor Reliability, Validity, and Job Relevancy (Open to Legal Challenge)

Overview of Situational Interview Process

  • Perform a Job Analysis Using the Critical Incident Technique

  • Place Critical Incidents into Relevant Job Dimensions (e.g., Safety, Responsibility, Interpersonal Skills)

  • Reword Critical Incidents Into Question Format

  • Incident: The employee was married for a year and a half and used any excuse to stay home. One day the employee’s children got colds and no one was around to care for them. So, the employee didn’t show up for work and didn’t phone in.

  • Question: Your two teenage children are home in bed sick with colds. No friends or relatives are available to watch them. Your shift starts in two hours. What would you do in this situation?

  • Decide on the desirability of responses [Think of how good, average, and mediocre workers would have answered such a question]

  • _____ _____ _____ _____ _____

  • 1 3 5

  • Stay homePhone in & Go in, they just

  • explain the problem have colds

  • 5) Conduct interviews in groups of two or more. Each interviewer scores applicant independently. A single score is given after group discussion

Pre-Interview Phase

  • Interviewers Knowledge Structure [experience, education, training, stereotypes, schemas, implicit personality theories]

  • Ancillary data about the applicant

  • Initial impressions formed based on:

  • 1) Physical appearance (any 1st impression information)

  • 2) Behavior

  • 3) Interpersonal relationships

  • 4) Context of behaviors

  • 5) Personal origins

  • 6) Internal characteristics

  • Interviewer’s pre-interview evaluation of KSAs

Interview Phase

  • Actual interviewer behavior during the interview

  • [role of pre-interview impressions; they often influence the way the

  • interviewer performs the interview]

  • Behavior of applicant [affected by the behavior of the interviewer, verbal and non-verbal; self-fulfilling prophecy]

  • Processing of interview data by the interviewer

  • [role of knowledge structures, initial impressions]

Post-Interview Phase

  • Post-interview evaluation of the applicant by the interviewer [role of knowledge structures, amount and clarity of information on job requirements and applicant characteristics]

  • Final evaluation of the applicant [role of decision rules]

DiscriminationCases Regarding the Interview

Key Factors

  • Demographic composition of the interviewers (e.g., all White, all male)

  • Unstructured format

  • No objective criteria for making decisions (e.g., pass/fail) *

  • Content of interview questions (e.g., different questions asked to males

  • vs. females, biased questions)

  • No guidelines for conducting and scoring the interview

  • No operational definitions of KSAs

  • Lack of similarity between interview questions and work environment

  • Vague instructions for rating applicant performance

  • No scoring standards or cutoff scores

Ways To Structure InterviewContent

• Base questions on a job analysis

• Ask the same questions of each candidate

• Limit prompting, follow-up questions, and elaboration on questions

• Ask better types of questions (e.g., hypothetical situations, ones indicative of past

behavior, indicating relevant background of candidates, requiring specific

demonstration of knowledge)

• Sufficient interview length and number of questions

• Withhold/control ancillary information

• Do not allow questions from candidate until after the interview

Ways To Structure The Evaluation Process

• Rate Each Answer or Use Multiple Scales

• Use Detailed, Anchored Rating Scales

• Take Detailed Notes

• Use Multiple Interviewers

• Use Same Interviewer(s) for All Candidates

• Don’t Discuss Candidates or Answers Between Interviews

• Provide Detailed Interviewer Training

• Use Statistical Versus Clinical Prediction