How to conduct an effective interview.
The interview is a useful management tool. A skilled interviewer probes and explores the responses of an interviewee to glean the most information. The skilled interviewer doesn't rely on a list of questions but responds as the situation demands.
Interviews can influence the employee-manager relationship. Since it is cooperative relations between cooperative relations between managers and employees, interviews need to be a positive experience for both participants. Following are a few types of interviews.
Motivational. If conducted in a positive manner, interviews can be motivational. A performance evaluation interview is a good example of a motivational interview. If done correctly, an evaluation interview includes setting goals.
Persuasive. Interviews can also be persuasive. Much of a manager's time is spent trying to persuade and influence employees. Sometimes a manager and an employee must come up with a plan together. In an interview they can share and explore information.
An example of a persuasive interview combined with one that requires a decision is a counseling interview. For instance, an employee may be drinking too much. To change that behavior, the manager must talk to the employee so they can work out a solution to the problem together.
Exit. When a manager needs information on an employee's termination, an exit interview should be conducted. If an organization has high turnover, a manager may conduct an exit interview to find out why an employee who has been doing his or her job well has chosen to leave the organization. An exit interview can also be conducted to tell an employee who is being terminated why he or she is being let go.
Some basic guidelines apply to most interviews. First, any interview must be planned. The interviewer must decide on the purpose of the interview.
The interviewer should make an outline. Included in this outline should be explanations or background information that he or she should share with the interviewee and a list of questions that should be answered during the interview.
When conducting the interview, it is important for the interviewer to put the interviewee at ease. The best way to do this is to offer the interviewee some background information. This gives him or her the chance to relax and listen. It also clears up any confusion that he or she may have about the purpose of the interview.
Next the interviewee should be given the chance to ask questions. Once these questions have been answered, the interviewer should begin questioning. Most interviews start out with an open question such as, "How do you feel about your performance during this period?" Usually the interviewee answers some of the interviewers questions before they are even asked by the interviewer.
Once the interviewee responds to a question, the interviewer may need to respond to the response. During this stage of the interview, as well as all the other stages, it is important to let the interviewee ask any questions that he or she may have. This adds to the air of cooperation the interviewer is striving for.
To close the interview, the interviewer should follow these four steps:
1. Restate the purpose of the interview to the interviewee.
2. Briefly summarize the content of the interview.
3. Restate any decisions made during the interview.
4. Allow the interviewee to ask any questions that he or she is considering. Instead of the interviewer summarizing and restating, he or she may ask the interviewee to do it. This is allows the interviewer to see if the interviewee understood what went on during the interview. By ending the interview in this manner, both parties feel more positive about the interview and what has transpired.
Each interview must be treated as unique. As such, an interview needs to be tailored to fit its particular purpose and participants. Jay T. Knippen is an associate professor in the College of Business Administration at the University of South Florida in Tampa; Thad B. Green is a business author and consultant; and Kurt Sutton is president of Kurt Sutton & Associates.
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|Author:||Knippen, Jay T.; Green, Thad B.; Sutton, Kurt|
|Date:||Apr 1, 1992|
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