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shy away from saying anything negative is reinforced by the ability, in
many settings, for applicants to have access to their references.
Another common mistake is the use of unstructured interviews.
Fernandez-Araoz (1999) reports that the research since World War I
shows that interviews that are logical, have a set of relevant questions, and
are used in the same way with all applicants, get the best results. Be
sure, however, to consider the applicant's emotional intelligence: self-
awareness, self-regulation, motivation, empathy, and social skills. These
are key areas for all work requiring interaction with customers, clients,
and co-workers. The use of stress interviews (discussed in more detail
later in this chapter), where applicants are brought in as a group with
2 3 facilitators who judge the communication skills of applicants, is one
way to evaluate emotional intelligence when you use real-life work pro-
blems and ask each group member to offer solutions.
Using Structured and Stress Interviews in Hiring
Buhler (2005) states that a structured interview should use standard ques-
tions that have been determined in advance. The questions are asked of
all candidates. Buhler suggests two types of structured interviews, both of
which should be employed in the interview: behavior description inter-
views, where an interviewer asks about an actual situation that was
encountered in the past, and situational interviews where candidates are
asked how they would deal with hypothetical but relevant job-related
issues. Many search committees videotape the structured interview so it
can be seen by others who may not be able to attend the interview.
A videotape can also be analyzed objectively, after the interview, rather
than relying on memory alone. Interviewers always need to know which
questions cannot be asked by law, including age, marital status or living
arrangements, gender orientations, whether someone is pregnant or has
physical or emotional problems, religious orientations, or number of chil-
dren. Amazingly enough, these questions keep being asked and form the
basis for a large number of discrimination suits.
The Structured Interview
In the structured interview, the potential worker is asked a series of rele-
vant questions. The questions are the same for all workers. This is very
important. Interviews where different questions are asked can be subject
to grievance procedures by workers who didn't get the job, but follow-up
questions to get clarity or to expand your understanding of a statement
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