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how to intervieW
Key points to consider when interviewing applicants:
• Ensure that you present or check the same information with all
applicants. Use the job description and employee specification as
guides. Being consistent makes the selection easier because you
are comparing the same information.
• Keep to work-related issues. Avoid being side tracked into
pleasant but non-productive topics of common interest; the
interview is not a social event.
• Control the interview and make certain that all the important
aspects of the job are covered.
• Outline the expectations and standards required. Present the
facts about the job and discuss them with the applicant, eliciting
responses. Listen carefully for information you require to make a
decision. The applicant should do most of the talking.
• Take notes. Brief notes should be taken during the interview and
expanded after the applicant has left and while the interview is still
fresh in your mind. Always let the applicant know that you will be
• Make sure that you will not be interrupted. Interruptions will stop
the flow of conversation and key information may be missed.
• Ask open questions. These will allow the applicant to talk about
his or her experiences and achievements. Avoid closed and
leading questions that lead to a yes/no response; these will not
stimulate two-way communication. A good method is to use
prompts such as ‘Tell me about your worst experience in ... ’ or
‘How would you handle ...?’
• Be relaxed. The interview process should be as relaxed as possible
and applicants given ample opportunity to answer and ask
• Thank the applicant. Conclude the interview by thanking the
applicant and informing him or her when he or she can expect to
hear from you (ensure that you keep that commitment).
• Rate the applicant. At the conclusion of the interview expand the
notes taken and rate the applicant according to your set criteria.
10 TIPS FOR MOTIVATING YOUR
Do you know how to get your staff performing at their
best? Put a spring in your employees’ steps with some
practical motivational tips, suggests Ben Thompson CEO of
TOP 10 WAYS TO ENGAGE YOUR STAFF
1 Encourage idea sharing. Keep your employees informed about
business developments so they feel like they contribute to broader
2 Recognise and reward your employees for doing good
work. Clearly identify your valued behaviours and goals and
appropriately reward teams and individuals.
3 Create a comfortable workplace. Make small adjustments
to your lighting scheme and bring in fun desk lamps if you
can’t banish the overhead fluorescent glare. Keep the office/
store temperature at a comfortable level, and make sure all the
technology needed to do the job is available and working.
4 Recognise special events in the lives of your people.
Birthdays, weddings, births, the accomplishments of employees —
if you have a reason to celebrate, do it.
5 Smile more. The social environment at work is a big contributor
to burnout, and workers read the mood of the boss for clues about
performance and job security. So, smile more often, talk about fun
things like hobbies with employees or crack a joke — just make
sure it’s done in good taste.
6 Build a culture of trust. Try this three-tiered approach to
building trust with your employees: capability trust: let people
make decisions, involve them in discussions, and trust in their
opinions and input; contractual trust: keep agreements and
manage employee expectations; communication trust: share
information, provide constructive feedback and speak with good
purpose about others.
7 Encourage work breaks. Work goes much faster when you
are refreshed and ready to take on the assignment after a break
and it keeps employees from getting stir crazy. Have stubborn
workaholics in your office? Make your breaks ‘mandatory’.
8 Develop employee people ‘engines’. Strategically placing
passionate and inspired individuals around your organisation to
help keep other employees focused, motivated and happy is a
great way to keep employees motivated.
9 Build a culture of employee appreciation. Take some of your
short-term morale boosters, like recognising good work with a
handshake and a smile, or idea sharing, and turn it into a business
lifestyle. Thanking employees face to face on a regular basis also
helps improve their ability to accept constructive criticism.
10 Have fun! Introduce seasonal themes to the business and
reward with permission to dress up for occasions and sometimes
organise after work events. Be creative and create some friendly
competition between colleagues.
The questions asked in an interview should be designed to obtain information
specific to the position being applied for, without disadvantaging any applicant.
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