Aims and Objectives By the end of the workshop participants will be able to:
State and apply Company X’s policy and relevant legislation on equal opportunities and managing diversity
Apply the key principles of competency based interviewing
Put candidates at ease by adopting an objective, impartial and non-threatening interviewing technique
Formulate and ask open, clear and non-discriminatory questions which encourage candidates to talk about specific examples, relevant to a broad range of the elements of the agreed performance statements set out in the Core Competences
Listen carefully to candidates’ answers then formulate logical follow-up questions which test their ability to meet the criteria
Lead the interview so that you get the information you need from the candidate within a reasonable timeframe
Take full and understandable notes of interviews
Company XEqual Opportunities Policy No job applicant should receive less favourable treatment on the grounds of their sex, marital status, race, colour, creed, religion, physical disability, mental health, learning difficulty, age or sexual orientation All employees should be assessed on the basis of their ability to meet the requirements of the job Any selection criteria applied to a job should only be those necessary for its safe and effective performance Any job applicants who are disabled and meet the minimum criteria should be invited for an interview.
Applications from men, women, married and single people should all be treated in the same way
Questions at interview must be relevant to the job
Questions about marriage plans or family intentions should not be asked
Candidates should not be asked if their social customs or religious practices may affect their ability to undertake the duties of the role
Two Types of Discrimination Direct discrimination: Treating an individual less favourably on the grounds of race, sex, disability, age, sexual orientation or religion OR Having policies that would lead to an individual being treated less favourably on those grounds. Indirect discrimination: Whereby a provision, criterion or practice has an adverse impact on, or is to the detriment to a specific group, because a considerably smaller proportion of people sharing that characteristic are able to comply
“Two ticks” – Positive About Disabled People All disabled applicants should be considered on their abilities Do not use any desirable criteria that could inadvertently exclude a disabled person Guaranteed interview scheme established Monitoring progress of disabled applicants
Personal Circumstances Where it is necessary to determine whether a candidate’s personal circumstances may affect their ability to fully meet the requirements of the job (e.g. where it involves working anti-social hours), it is fair and lawful for the panel to satisfy itself on these matters, provided that both sexes are treated equally.
Other Relevant Legislation Data Protection Act Freedom of Information Act Both pieces of legislation allow individuals to look at information that is kept about them. This includes notes taken at interview. Please bear this in mind when taking interview notes as the candidate has the right to view any notes taken at interview up to 6 months after the event. * Never write anything derogatory or disparaging about a candidate*
Question Types: Open These invite more than a one-word answer. They usually start with: “What?” eg “What else were you aware of?” “How” eg “How did you tackle that?” “Why” eg “Why did you do that?” The same effect can be achieved by phrases used as questions, such as: “I’d like you to tell me about a time when …” “ I wonder if you can think of an example of …” or by direct requests like: “Would you enlarge on that a little for me please?” If used as a follow-up to another question in this way, these questions are sometimes described as probing. There may be times when you need to control the flow of information a little while you monitor its relevance.
Question Types: Closed These invite only a one-word or very brief answer. They often start with: “When? eg “When was that?” “Where?” eg “Where were you based?” “Who?” eg “Who else was involved?” “How?” eg “How many times did that happen?” The replies are likely to be explicit and factual – a date, a place, a name, a number. Equally, succinct responses will be elicited by direct Yes/No questions. These may start: “Did you …? “Have you …? “Could you …?” “Will you ….?” The replies should tell you whether the candidate did or didn’t or has or hasn’t. Judicious use of closed questions helps to clarify or confirm factual data. It also speeds up the pace of a slow-moving interview. They are therefore rather more useful than they might appear at first . Where they can be counterproductive is where the candidate is already inclined to staccato replies. Then you really will have to provide every encouragement for him or her to open up.
Variants of the closed question, leading questions are to be avoided at all costs.
You may think you know what you want the candidate to say.
Constructing your questions in a way that makes this a foregone conclusion adds nothing to the assessment.
Questions which state or imply “You do, don’t you?” demand the answer “Yes”.
Those that are phrased “You don’t, do you?” demand a “No”.
Avoid them unless you really do just want to see whether the candidate will contradict you.
Question Types: Multiple In trying to make your questions clear and easy to understand you may find yourself amplifying what started off as a simply worded question. When this happens you will probably end up with a multiple question. For instance: .“I’d like you to give me an example of something you found particularly hard to master … I mean something you tried to learn that you found difficult to understand, or perhaps something that you feel you learned in theory but then found hard to apply.” The candidate is faced with a choice of questions – and you may find it hard to interpret the reply. Try to avoid such confusion. Ask one question at a time
Question Types: Probing Whatever type of question you have asked, never be frightened to seek a more detailed understanding. Don’t feel inhibited from asking: “What else?” “What then?” “What do you put that down to?” “What influenced you?” or any other question that gets you closer to the situations described by the candidate. If a very positive picture is being painted, probe to see if there is another side to the story. If the picture that is emerging appears negative, be equally rigorous in probing for examples or information which may counterbalance this. Probing questions are the best method of gathering evidence competence, on the basis that past behaviour is the best predictor of future performance. See overleaf for some examples of competency-based probing questions.
Types Of Interview Bias Bias in interviews takes many forms. The old school tie, the shared hobby, social class, age, physical appearance, can all affect your judgement and predispose you in favour of a particular candidate – who may or may not have the attributes you seek……common forms of interview bias are Stereotyping Snap Judgements Negative Information Horns/Halo Effect Prejudice
Types Of Interview Bias Continued….. Stereotyping:“People whose eyes are close together are dishonest”, “never trust a man in a bow tie”. Generalising about people on the basis of what they look like or one aspect of their behaviour is potentially dangerous. Whether the stereotype is physical (“People with red hair have quick tempers”), racial (“Indians always work really hard”), or social (“He’s one of the lads; it would be good to have him on board”) – avoid them at all costs Snap Judgements: First impressions do count, but they are often wrong. Resist the temptation to put too much weight on the first few minutes of the interview unless you really need someone who makes an instant impact. Examine the evidence against all the relevant criteria, not just the physical appearance or interpersonal skills you register as the candidate walks in.
Types Of Interview Bias Continued….. Negative Information: One poor piece of evidence can easily outweigh three good pieces. For a balanced view, you must prevent this. If there appear to be some negatives, don’t write the candidate off or shy away from fear of mutual embarrassment. Probe fully to make sure you don’t jump to conclusions based on half the facts. If you investigate further you may find the candidate emerging in a much more positive light. Prejudice: The same factors which can bias you in favour of one candidate can prejudice you against another. The most insidious forms of prejudice are those based on race and sex – which are also illegal. You may well miss out on some of the best candidates.
Types Of Interview Bias Continued….. Horns and Halo Effect: HALO : The candidates who scores highly against one or two of your criteria is not necessarily perfect. Beware of assuming that the snappy dresser is intelligent or that the articulate speaker has good interpersonal skills. Examine each of your criteria separately. HORNS: The opposite is also true. Just because a candidate can produce no evidence to meet a particular criterion, don’t assume it’s a lost cause. It may be that there are compensating strengths in other areas.
Structuring An Interview Beginning - Welcome the candidate - Panel Introductions - Advise candidate of interview structure - Initial note-taking Middle - Competency based questioning - Note-taking End - Invitation to candidate to ask questions - Tell them of decision making process - Check contact details are correct - Thank the candidate for coming
Post Interview After the candidate has left the room each panel member and the Chair comes to their initial individual assessment of the candidate against each of the Core Competences. This should be done without discussion, so there is no undue influence on any individual’s assessment. Panel members may, however, wish to refer to each other’s notes of the interview. The rating scale for recruitment for most posts in the MOJ that are underpinned by competences is: 0 – No Evidence 1 – Some Evidence 2 – Demonstrated 3 – A Strength Panel members will then total up these ratings to arrive at their initial overall mark. The Chair will then ask the panel members to disclose their marks, then disclose his/her own. The panel should then discuss their ratings and attempt to agree a mark for each Core Competence. This is not essential but any major discrepancies should be resolved. An overall mark is then agreed and the rating form completed.
Recording Evidence Candidates have legal right to see their interview notes - they can be used as evidence in discrimination claims. AVOID:
Making general classificatory statements – such as ‘he was insensitive to others’ or ‘she showed poor leadership’
Interpreting actions – ‘sounds like she left her previous job because she couldn’t cope’
Imparting feelings to the actions – such as ‘he was disappointed about his performance’
Describing underlying personality characteristics – such as ‘she was conscientious and disciplined’
Making The Decision
Interview performance of all candidates should be discussed and scores awarded to each candidate
Any candidate who has not sufficiently demonstrated any “essential” interview criteria should not be appointed
Identify the candidate who has best demonstrated the desirable criteria (a candidate who has partially met the criteria may still be considered)
Should two candidates score equally, then identify which candidate scored higher against the most important criteria
If none of the candidates sufficiently meets your criteria, do not feel you have to appoint – but consider the implications on your service or department if you do……