Interviewing Skills … your secret weapon!

Interviewing SkillsInterviewing skills are important in any business or professional organization. Most team leaders will find that a part of their responsibilities is to be involved in the hiring process for their organizations.

One concept is clarity. Why do we raise the issue of clarity? If you are not crystal clear about your goal, you decrease your chances of success. Brian Tracy’s Law of Clarity states that, “The clearer you are about your goals and objectives, the more efficient and effective you will be in achieving them.” This applies to the hiring of the right people into your organization who will help to achieve the overall objectives. Interviewing is only one part of a larger process called staffing, the entire process of hiring the right number and mix of qualified people into your organization at the right time and at the right cost.

Gap Analysis
Gap Analysis requires review of the organizational strategic plan to determine if you have the workforce to successfully execute the plan. This analysis should help you determine if you have the right skill mix and number of associates to accomplish the business plan goals and objectives.

Workforce Composition
The human resource assessment should include a study of you industry, called Bench-marking. This study examines and compares staff size and composition as it relates to market share. Your baseline staffing requirements can be forecasted based on this data. A “bonus” is that your data base can be used for future process improvements. Your analysis will help you respond to the possibility of a large number of projected retirees, who could be located in a critical department within the organization. Some of these skills may be very hard to replace or may need to be replaced with technology. Replacing a large number of less skilled associates can be just as or even more challenging that replacing a few highly skilled associates.

Job Descriptions
Basically, all job descriptions are summaries and should provide accurate, clear and useful information. I would caution everyone to make sure that the job description is up to date. In my experience, updating job descriptions always seem to be a process that can be deferred until a problem arises. Before you begin any recruitment effort, large of small, you need to know precisely what skills and other characteristics you are looking for. If you are involved in the interviewing process, you must become familiar with the job description of the position (s) for which you are interviewing.

Job descriptions should document the major functions, responsibilities, required skills, effort and working conditions. They may be specific and detailed or generic and general. Use them to your advantage.

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James E. McClain is the author of Successful Career Development: A Game Plan, the book upon which some of our training programs are based. He has over 30 years' experience as a corporate HR executive, small business owner with ongoing experience in career development and as a college instructor. His educational background includes a B.S. and Masters degrees Education and Certification in Financial Planning. Our promise is that "you can pay more for training but you can not buy better training." The mission is to deliver the most effective and cost effective training and development programs.

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