The Purpose of the Selection Interview

by Carol Deeb; Updated September 26, 2017

Reading resumes and determining the applicants' levels of qualifications is a monumental task at times. Once you filter out candidates who don't meet the requirements, you may be left with several applicants with the appropriate background and the potential to excel in the position. Conducting an effective selection interview is key to finding the right person for the job.

Benefits

Selection interviews can highlight where a candidate excels in experience and education, and it can uncover weaknesses that may not be apparent in a resume and cover letter. Meeting job seekers face-to-face, assessing their communication skills and determining the accuracy of the claims on their resume are vital to choosing the right person for the position. After the selection interview, when you compare the main duties of a position to an applicant's strengths, it should be apparent if that person is a suitable match for the job.

Job Analysis

Before you know what the job requirements are, you need to perform an analysis of the position. After you list all of the duties, rank them by the most important tasks needed on the first day of the job. Then, determine the level of education and experience necessary to perform the most complex job duty. Taking inventory of the position will allow you to effectively advertise the job and requirements, review the applications and interview the candidates deemed qualified to fill the position.

Screening Interview

When you have an abundance of qualified applicants for the same position, you can conduct a screening interview to narrow down your search. Thoroughly reviewing the collection of resumes before contacting candidates allows you to familiarize yourself with each applicant's specific qualifications and employment history. This will help you ask straightforward and relevant questions regarding the position. If the candidates can successfully articulate and apply their specific qualifications to the job, they may advance to the next round of interviews.

Selection Interview

After you significantly decrease the pool candidates to a manageable number, you can set up the interview board for the selection process. Contact each candidate with the scheduled interview time and use questions that developed through the job analysis. Asking open-ended questions that directly relate to the job duties can be indicative of how well a candidate will perform in the job. Be honest with the candidates about the demands of the job and place hypothetical scenarios before them to determine who will handle real-life workplace situations the best. Take detailed notes so that you remember what was said by each one and compare them when the process is over.

EEO Considerations

The federal and local equal employment opportunity laws prohibit discrimination in the hiring process. Protected classes, such as race, religion, color, national origin, gender or pregnancy, age (40 or over), disability or marital status, cannot be a consideration when deciding on who to select. These characteristics are irrelevant when predicting how well a candidate will do in the position. If you ask discriminatory questions or otherwise lead a candidate to believe that a protected class was a consideration, you may have a complaint file against you and your company.

About the Author

Carol Deeb has been an editor and writer since 1988. Her work has appeared in magazines, newspapers and online publications, as well as a book on education. Deeb is a real-estate investor and business owner with professional experience in human resources. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from San Diego State University.