Interviews can be just as stressful for interviewers as the interviewee. In our four part series on interview tips for interviewers we will look at how to plan an interview; how to structure an interview; interview questions and topics to cover; and following up after an interview. In this post we look at planning an interview.
Part 1: Planning
Good planning will reduce anxiety and therefore enable panel members to give their full attention to the actual interview. Before the interview, the panel needs to take time together to sort out the following:
1. Clarifying and agreeing selection criteria
The selection criteria should be taken from the person specification. The panel need to take time to ensure that they are all agreed on these criteria with a common understanding of what they mean. Develop an interview marking form for each member of the panel with the names of the candidates and a list of the criteria. The panel should assess each candidate against each criterion. They usually do this individually directly after the interview.
2. Planning questions
From their agreed understanding of the selection criteria then develop a limited set of specific questions pertaining to the essential duties and responsibilities of the position to probe for the candidate’s strengths and weaknesses. The interview is for a limited time so it is essential that each question is focused and purposeful. The questions should be designed to make sure that the panel gets the information needed to assess whether this person will be the most suitable for the position.
Interview questions should only relate to the job requirements. When framing questions employment and equality legislation should be borne in mind. Care should be taken to avoid questions whose content or wording might be perceived as giving rise to unequal treatment of one candidate compared to another of a different age, gender, marital status etc. Questions should deal with a candidate’s skills, talents, qualifications and help him or her demonstrate their capacity to do the job.
The panel should decide in advance who will ask which questions and in what order. The panel also needs to clarify what information they should give to the candidates during the course of the interview, for example:
– Terms and conditions: It is important that the panel is clear about the range of terms and conditions being offered. Be clear about the period of probation, if there are unsocial hours to be worked, the nature of the contract, permanent or fixed term, and the salary scale.
– Making the decision: It is good to be explicit about the timing of the decision-making and how the decision is to be communicated to the candidates.
3. Interview practice
If one or more members of the interview panel have not interviewed before it is helpful to practise agreed questions to check that they are clear and well communicated. Role plays are very useful for practising interview skills.
4. Roles on the interview panel
The panel needs to allocate roles, responsibilities and question areas. It is important not to stereotype members of the panel in the process. It is advisable to have a chairperson of the panel. The four key tasks of the chairperson are:
– To facilitate the panel in planning the interview process together
– To facilitate and direct the interviews according to the agreed structure and timing
– To ensure that the panel reflects on how they are working as a team throughout the day as necessary and make changes accordingly
– To facilitate the panel discussion and decision making process
5. The panel as a team
The panel needs to work together as a team so it is very helpful for members to consider in advance how they will deal with potential problems and disagreements. They also need to ensure that they have shared understanding of what equal opportunities interviewing entails. It is advisable to discuss how they can interrupt each other if they think it is necessary. It helps to take time after the first interview to evaluate how it went and how the panel are working together.
6. Structure of the interview
The interview should be planned so that it relates directly to the job description, the person specification and the candidate. If it is a large panel it is important to ensure that the interview is not just a series of short, superficial exchanges with each member. It is useful to tell each candidate the plan for the interview at the outset.
7.Timetable for the interviews
It is wise not to cram too many interviews into one day, six to eight at maximum. To make the best selection and to be fair to all candidates the interview panel needs to be able to maintain attention and remember all the interviews with equal clarity.
There should be a copy of the timetable for the day, with the timing and spacing of interviews, breaks and running order with the candidates’ names, for each member of the panel and for the person working on reception. The length of interviews depends on the job and is usually from half an hour up to an hour. It is essential to give the panel adequate time to ascertain fully the interviewee’s skills and experience in each of the requirements specified in the person specification. If there are two sets of interviews for a position the first is usually shorter and the second is longer, giving the panel an opportunity to explore areas in greater depth.
8. Venue and physical environment
The physical environment for the interview and for candidates waiting to be interviewed is very important. The furniture in the interview room should be arranged to help both the candidates and the interview panel concentrate, feel comfortable and be at ease. Put up notices that indicate the interview and waiting rooms are in use and ensure that there will be no interruptions during the interviews. Make sure that there is somebody to let the candidates in, get them a cup of tea or coffee and show them where the bathroom is.
9. Agreeing a decision-making procedure
The panel also needs to agree in advance how they will make a decision. It is recommended that the panel takes time after each interview to score candidates individually according to each of the selection criteria and then to have a short collective discussion. Members should be reminded that in order to ensure fairness their assessments must be made on the basis of evidence from the interview rather than gut reactions or intuition. It is essential to have time for reflection and note-taking after each interview as people forget things easily. At the end of all the interviews, the panel should take time to make their decision by comparing their assessments and discussing each candidate. If the panel have used an interview marking form, the final decision may be on the basis of this.
The following official records should be kept for six months after the interviews are completed in order to be able to deal with any subsequent complaints:
- Job description
- Person specification
- Job advertisement
- Application forms
- Shortlisting procedure
- Selection criteria
- General framework for questions as planned in advance and where possible particular questions that arose during the interview
- Interview assessments for each candidate
- Any correspondence with candidates
- Final decision and the reason for making it.
It is important to clarify in advance what status will be given to references and at what stage in the selection process they will be sought. Generally references are not seen as a source of objective information so they should be weighted accordingly. References are most useful for checking out factual information, e.g. qualifications, length of service, sick leave record, attendance record, terms and conditions and reasons for leaving a job.
It is advisable to plan what information is required of referees and not to ask for more than is necessary.
It is important to consider the possibility that a negative reference may be due to personal bias. In the case of a negative reference about a candidate who the panel considers very suitable, it may be necessary to check it out further by discussing it with the candidate to get his/her version of events. One of the referees should be the candidate’s current or last employer.
Posted by Recruitment Consultant, Sigmar on 7 December 2017
World Employment Confederation Conference, Dublin | Event for HR Leaders
World Employment Confederation Conference, Dublin | Event for HR Leaders
The 2018 World Employment Confederation Conference will bring together a widely ranged high-calibre keynote speaker line-up, drawing from experts from employment and recruitment, HR practitioners, academics and policy makers in order to explore the rise of the an extended, just-in-time workforce and to seize new approaches and opportunities. This 3 day conference takes place in Dublin from June 6th-8th 2018. Why attend? Topics and sessions include: How to retain and attract new talent How to prepare for the Gig Economy in this new World of Work How to get your business investment ready How to grow internationally How to deal with an increasingly sophisticated Supply Chain in recruitment How to implement strategies to close skill gaps and avoid negative business impacts How to lead your team depending on the situation How to ensure that project based workers are as engaged and as performing as the permanent workforce How to build new forms of security and predictability for remote and independent workers How to avoid legal risks associated with the use of self-employed workers Speakers LinkedIn will present their most recent Global Trends Report and what the future holds for the Gig economy and the “New World of Work” while Google HR director Helen Tynan will give a “ Peek inside Google” of their diversity journey. Sigmar COO and President of the National Recruitment Frank Farrelly and Sigmar CCO Robert Mac Giolla Phadraig will both be speaking at the event alongside David McWilliams, Fons Trompeenaars, James Obsourne, Johnny Campbell, Dr. Peter Lovatt and many others. See the line up of speakers from around the globe in the event brochure. Tickets For tickets visit their website Group discount available - contact firstname.lastname@example.org About the World Employment Confederation The World Employment Confederation is the global body for recruitment Federations. Ireland (NRF) has been an active member of this Confederation for the past 20 years. The Confederations annual conference is held in a different country every year with Ireland being the proud host this year. The National Recruitment Federation (NRF) tendered in 2016 to host this event to provide for its members the opportunity to network, and learn from our global peers. The NRF in collaboration with the World Employment Confederation are bringing together a conference like Ireland has never seen before of this scale for recruiters and HR personnel. Last year it was held in France and with India, Canada, Italy, The UK and Belgium also recent hosts we are very proud to be counted amongst these countries as front runners for expertise and thought leadership in this industry. Beating off stiff global competition we are delighted to have the opportunity to showcase not only the recruitment Industry and how we have progressed to be a country of thought leaders in this space, but also to promote Ireland INC to the rest of the World.
The Talent Isle
The Talent Isle
There can be no denying that the Irish economy has benefited hugely from foreign direct investment, particularly from the US. The statistics speak for themselves; today there are 700 US companies with Irish operations directly employing 165,000 people. But, the historical economical and political US-Irish relationship works both ways. With Murphys, Kennedys and O’Neills making their presence known in boardrooms the length and breadth of the 50 States, Ireland is well represented in the highest echelons on US soil. Likewise, the statistics on that side of the Atlantic speak for themselves; there are also 700 Irish companies with operations in the US who employ 100,000 US citizens. Recent changes to the political environment in the form of US protectionism has undoubtedly threatened our status as the location of choice for US companies, making up 12.1% of US FDI investment into Europe despite accounting for just 1% of the entire European economy. At a time of green shoots growth in the aftermath of one of the worst recessions the State has known, this hard won reputation in now in jeopardy. Speaking at the Boston College Ireland Business Council symposium, John Harthorne, CEO MassChallenge described protectionism as grabbing the largest slice of the pie. The responsibility of leadership should be to increase the size, not of the slice, but of the pie itself. So, what can business leaders do? Well, of course we can leave it to the Government and State agencies to do their job, or else we can get out there ourselves and deliver the message that Ireland is still a great place to do business. That is exactly what Ireland Gateway to Europe did on Wednesday April 11, 2018, when a delegation of more than 40 Irish business leaders arrived in Washington to deliver the message that Ireland’s trade partnership with the US is stronger than ever, is truly bilateral and that Ireland remains the location of choice for FDI in Europe. Ireland Gateway to Europe met with their US counterparts and political representatives on Capitol Hill with the purpose of strengthening existing business relationships and create new ones. This initiative is a not-for-profit annual trade mission made up of professional advisory firms who travel the US annually to provide a secure resource network for business expansion to help US investment succeed in setting up operations in Ireland. Founded in 2012 as a response to the economic challenges at that time of global recession, Ireland Gateway to Europe is now in its seventh year of US, UK and global trade missions. Ireland has traditionally enjoyed a particularly strong business, cultural and political relationship with the US. However, in light of the recent announcements of trade tariffs, data privacy, immigration and other protectionist policies, our concern is that there may be a perception that Irish-US trade linkages may have subsequently diminished. The fact of the matter is that the transatlantic economy grew stronger, not weaker over the past year, as did Irish -US trade with US exports to Ireland up 9% and imports to Ireland up 6%. While the Washington mission was the focal point of the 2018 trade mission, the second leg of the trip saw the group travel to Boston to engage directly with the US business community at the stateside launch of the transatlantic Boston College Ireland Business Council (BCIBC). Having launched this side of the Atlantic in Dublin last October, the US BCIBC launch took the form of a Global Leadership Symposium where US CEOs met with their Irish counterparts. The event looked at Global Leadership, where a panel of global CEOs discussed how they, as a transatlantic leadership community, can create opportunities against the backdrop of economic challenges. The purpose of the BCIBC is to establish new, and strengthen existing, transatlantic business ties between the two countries, and it is designed to enhance transatlantic business between the US and Ireland through creating connections that allow for entrepreneurial ventures to grow and prosper. The Global Leadership Symposium is one of a series of planned BCIBC CEO Exchange events that will take place twice annually over the coming years, both in Ireland and in the US. The nest event is scheduled for Dublin this coming October. Founded by the Global Leadership Institute, Boston College, and Ireland, Gateway to Europe, and Chaired by Neil Naughton of GlenDimplex, the main aim of the BCIBC is to bring influential business leaders from both communities together once a year in Dublin and in Boston to create one deeply connected transatlantic trade artery. By establishing the BCICB, the tight commercial and social bonds we share with the US can be strengthened and build upon bilaterally, business to business, in spite of any potential external or internal protectionist political policies. It’s widely known that cultural ties between Massachusetts and Ireland are deep but possibly lesser known are the strength of economic ties with 11,000 people employed by Irish companies there and Ireland being the 6th largest exporter from MA. With threats from the uncertainty of the Brexit situation ringing in our ears from the East and murmurings of protectionism coming from the West, Ireland is again in a unique position to act as the economic transatlantic hub. What will the future hold? As it stands nobody knows for certain, but the community of transatlantic business leaders has a collective, critical role to play to ensure the future foundation of business relations is maintained for generations to come. Those business relationships benefit both Ireland and the US. Let’s both grow our slices of the pie by growing the pie itself. Article featured on The Business Post
Sir Ken Robinson's Keynote Speech at Talent Summit 2018
Sir Ken Robinson's Keynote Speech at Talent Summit 2018
Sir Ken Robinson, one of the world’s leading thinkers on creativity and innovation in the workplace spoke at Talent Summit 2018. As an advisor to Fortune 500 companies and governments in Europe, Asia and the United States, Sir Ken Robinson helps transform organisations’ corporate culture to focus more on fostering and developing creativity. His New York Times best-selling books also help people tap into their creative potential. His ideas and research have made him a popular speaker on TED Talks. In fact, his 2006 and 2010 presentations have been seen by more than 350 million people in 160 countries, making Robinson the most-viewed speaker in the history of Ted.com. Talent Summit was held in the Convention Centre, Dublin on the 22nd February 2018. Founded by Sigmar Recruitment, Talent Summit has grown to become one of the largest HR & Leadership conferences in Europe, showcasing the latest thinking on talent topics from around the world. Its mission is to share thought leadership on talent to build better workplaces and working lives in an increasingly complex world of work. Talent Summit 2018 Speakers included: Sir Ken Robinson - Worlds No. 1 TedTalk Speaker Dr Peter Lovatt - Dance Psychologist, University of Hertfordshire Johnny Campbell - CEO, Social Talent Dennis Layton - Global Deputy Leader, People Advisory Services, EY Karen Ní Bhróin - Conductor in Training, RTÉ Choirs, Orchestras and Quartets David Barrett - Chief Commercial Officer, cut-e Rob Williams - Director of Employer Insights, Indeed Find out more about upcoming events on www.talentsummit.ie
Recruitment Agency Myths
Recruitment Agency Myths
Recruitment agencies are often underestimated. A lot of people aren’t aware of the value a recruitment agency can have on a person’s job search or a company’s search for candidates. We have created a list of the most common myths associated with recruitment agencies, to set the record straight once and for all… “Recruitment Agencies are Expensive” One of the most common assumptions people have with recruitment agencies is, that you have to pay an agency to help find you a job. This is completely false. The way it works is that a recruitment consultant receives a fee from their client for placing relevant and qualified candidates in a job. You don’t pay the recruiter; the recruiter is paid by the agency they work for and the company who hires the jobseeker. “Companies can look after their own Recruitment. Agencies are Obsolete” Finding the right employee can be a long and complex process that even the most established human resources department in a large company can find difficult. Many companies utilize the expertise of recruitment agencies. With agencies having such a large bank of candidates on file and their own pool of specialist recruitment consultants dedicated to finding talent, recruitment agencies are invaluable to companies struggling to fill certain roles. “Recruiters don’t have Industry Knowledge” Often people think recruiters don’t understand the industry they are recruiting for. This is incorrect. Reputable recruitment consultants specialise in the areas they recruit for and have vast product knowledge of their market. Often a recruiter has a background in the area they recruit for or he/she is trained in that area so they understand what is required to work in that field. “Recruitment Agencies don’t care about Jobseekers” The perception of recruitment consultants is that they don’t care about their candidates and only want to place them in a job so they can make their commission. This may be true of some agencies, so you want to make sure you work with a reputable company. The success of recruitment agencies is dependent on the quality of the candidate’s they put forward to their clients i.e. your success is their success. Therefore, your agency should be working with you to find you a suitable position, provide you with detailed interview preparation and essentially hold your hand throughout the process.