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How to master interview skills

The interview is, perhaps, the most nerve-wracking aspect of the recruitment process, not just for the candidate but also for the interviewer. If an interview is conducted competently, it is a useful opportunity for a candidate to prove that he or she will be an asset to a prospective employer. It is, however, also an opportunity for employers to promote their organisation and therefore attract the best employees.

The interviewer

Given that people are the most important resource in any organisation, recruiting the wrong ones can be costly. In fact, replacing an employee can cost up to 50 per cent of that employee’s annual salary. It is far better to invest your time in fine-tuning your interview skills than to spend time on damage limitation after discovering that you have employed the wrong person. The interview is your opportunity to get the right employee, and good preparation is essential.

Structure of interviews

In recruitment the process starts from the moment you have a shortlist of applicants and a pile of application forms or curricula vitae in front of you. The interview is essentially a meeting to put the proverbial flesh on the bones of information provided by a candidate on their application form or CV. Your purpose is to satisfy yourself that the candidate meets the requirements for the job and fits in with the culture of your organisation.

You need to prepare questions in advance. Effective questions come from knowing what skills and attitudes a job requires. You should have already defined the job criteria before advertising a position and these criteria can be used as a basis for generating questions. Scan through application forms or CVs carefully and make a note of any key points that emerge. These could be achievements or successes in a particular area of work or you may require clarification on some aspect of the candidate’s application. For example, is there an unexplained gap in their employment history?

Decide on or agree with colleagues the areas that you wish to discuss during an interview. Having done this, you need to draw up an agenda. If you are going to “panel interview” with colleagues, identify in advance who will raise specific questions and at what point during the interview. Remember that you want to present your pharmacy as organised and efficient. If you appear disorganised at interview, you will send out a negative message to prospective employees.

The whole process needs to be carefully managed so that you allow sufficient time for the interview itself and also time between interviews for immediate reflection and analysis. It is useful to make a summary while the interview is still fresh in your mind, especially if you have many interviewees.

Download the attached PDF to read the full article.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal URI: 10979020

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