In a job interview, an employer evaluates a potential employee to establish how suitable he or she is to serve within the company. Such an interview always takes place in some form of the other before the employer makes a decision to hire. Before an interview, the employer scans resumes sent by various aspiring employees to shortlist the likeliest candidates. These resumes will reflect the minimum qualifications and experience that the employer requires for the post.
Interviewing as a method for selecting an ideal candidate is an inherently flawed process. This is because it is almost impossible to judge a candidate’s true aptitude and experience in a job interview. However, job interviews allow the employer to decide with which candidate he or she is most comfortable. A lot depends on personal insight and good judgment on the part of the interviewer. Unfortunately, modern HR procedures concern themselves with hiring candidates as quickly as possible. This is because HR personnel usually have a monetary stake in fast hiring.
A well-structured job interview process takes place at multiple levels. A telephonic screening round will usually precede an actual face-to-face interview. This allows the employer of human resources expert to establish the candidate’s overall capabilities and motivation. If a candidate passes this round, he or she may attend a personal interview with the HR personnel. The candidate may face a single interviewer or an interviewing board, consisting of two or more company representatives. These will question the candidate on various different aspects of his or her professional life, career aspirations and overall ability.
The gravity, complexity and difficulty of a job interview depend largely on the job for which the candidate has applied. ‘Blue collar’ or functional job interviews are generally less demanding than ‘white collar’ or executive job interviews. Accordingly, everything from dress code and the candidate’s overall presentation have different bearings on the job interview’s outcome.
In certain artistically oriented professions, job interviews can also include a form of audition. The candidate is required to display physically his or her skills in that particular profession. Apart from that, the candidate will also have to prove sufficient professional training in the field.
Often, parts of the interview may seem to have little or no bearing on the job in question. The behavioral aspects of a job interview seek to establish the candidate’s ability to tackle difficult situations. They also focus on the candidate’s ability to take personal decisions, shoulder responsibility, handle or interact with a team and effectively represent the employer’s company.
Nowadays, there is increased emphasis on pre-interview preparation. This is especially true in the case of selection procedures in business schools and high-end business jobs. By studying the requirements of such interviews beforehand, a candidate can greatly increase his or her chances of selection.