In order to bring you the most accurate and useful information possible, Employee Selection and Development, Inc. will be issuing PRACTICAL RESEARCH REPORTS quarterly. Its purpose is to give you practical and useful information on hiring, motivating, and managing employees. Should you have any questions or want further elaboration, please contact us by email or call 800-947-5678.

Bert Zinkand


Employment Screening Tips – Part 1

The focus of Practical Research Reports #9 – 11 is on HOW TO INTERVIEW . Many managers are uncomfortable interviewing candidates as they do it infrequently. Also, interviewing involves both obtaining information from the candidate to determine if the candidate is suitable for the job and imparting information about the company and position to make the candidate want the job. In a way, you are both selling and being sold. To help you become more comfortable, here are some practical tips:

The Telephone Interview - Use the telephone interview to:

  • Fill in missing information or gaps in the candidate’s resume;
  • Query the candidate to determine his or her level of interest in the position;
  • Ask questions to determine the candidate’s skill level for the position;
  • Obtain a feeling of the candidate’s communication skills;
  • Decide whether to test the candidate and to invite him or her for a personal interview.

The Personal Interview


Start by reviewing the job description for the position. Identify the key job responsibilities and duties by asking yourself what do you want them to do. Decide what behavior traits and skills are needed to be successful in the position. Then:

  • Develop real world, open-ended interview questions that will make the applicant explain how he or she has applied these skills and traits in the past.
  • Avoid such over used questions as Tell me about yourself; What are your strengths and weakness, etc. At last count, there are over 1,200 websites that help applicants formulate answers to those questions.
  • Avoid any questions that deal with race, sex, religion, national origin, birthplace, age, disability and martial/family status.
  • Use the interview questions in our Personality Profile, Work Ethic and Integrity and Select Reports. They have been developed by professionals and are an excellent starting point.
  • Make your questions original by using real life situations from your industry and clients.

Starting the Interview

Start with a warm welcome to the candidate.them to be seated and offer a refreshment.It’s okay to ask questions like: “How was your trip or Did you have any difficulty finding us”with a brief self introduction explaining how you fit into the organization and describe your role in the the key duties and responsibilities for the job.the agenda for the interview and the schedule for the day.should take no more than five minutes and now, you’re ready to begin finding out about the candidate’s qualifications.

Number of Questions

15 to 20 experience based questions is about all you can ask in an interview that lasts from 45 minutes to 1 1/2 hours., the number of questions you ask is based on the number of distinct skills or behavior traits you are looking for.should have at least two questions per skill or behavior trait that you wish to explore.example, if my team was made up of three interviewers and we were all gathering data about the same six skills,would need to develop 36 questions (3 interviewers x 6 skills x 2 questions/skill).

Also, don’t give any two interviewers the same questions to ask.idea is to get as much data from a candidate as you can without giving the candidate and opportunity to rehearse.more than one interviewer asks the same question, you can see how this might compromise the quality of the data you get.

Listen and Observe

Many times managers are so concerned about selling the position that they forget to closely listen to the candidate’s response and observe the body language. Avoid the tendency to talk about yourself and the company. Intelligent candidates, particularly those who have attended Dale Carnegie courses, will attempt to get you to do most of the talking. While this may sell the position and the company, it reveals very little about them. Listen carefully to:

  • What the candidate has to say;
  • How the candidate says it;
  • And observe the body language during the response.

A good rule of thumb is for the candidate to do 75% of the talking. Almost never interrupt the candidate because he or she goes into an area you had not considered. The more the candidate reveals about his or her behaviors and skills, the better the hiring decision you will make. Remember, you will never learn anything about them if you are doing the talking.

More Tips To Come in Part 2 – Practical Research #10


All Assess for Managers, SalesMax, Personality, Select Position Specific and Work Ethic and Integrity reports from Employee Selection and Development, Inc. include interview questions to help you identify needed job behaviors, traits and skills. To see examples of these, please visit and click on Tests Offered or call 800-947-5678.