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made by the worker are fair game if they are done objectively; that is, the
follow-up question does not show bias, disagreement, or an opinion, and
is only meant to clarify what the interviewee said. The interview is usu-
ally done in a group by a small committee of people. Perhaps 3 5 people
are optimum. Some questions one might ask in a structured interview are
as follows:
1. You've read the job description. Please respond to the competencies
required in the description and tell the committee whether you pos-
sess those competencies and at what level.
2. Tell us about your reasons for wanting to work in this agency.
3. Tell us about your past work and educational experiences.
4. Our agency works with a very diverse population. Could you tell us
how you might help a (gay male, a Hispanic client, a Black client
experiencing anxiety/depression, or any number of diverse clients
the agency might treat).
5. Why did you become a (mention the profession or type of work
6. How can you contribute to the agency?
7. Do you prefer working with a team or alone?
8. If you saw something unethical happening in the agency, would you
report it and to whom?
9. Describe your notion of the function of a supervisor.
10. What areas of the work are you most excited about?
Once the interview is completed, members of the committee should
score the interviewee on a 10-point scale for answers to each question.
It's important that each member of the committee understands and cor-
rectly uses the scoring system. Some discussion of how it works should be
done before the actual interviews begin, perhaps using a videotaped role-
played interview. Colleagues who score Advanced Placement exams
(a program to provide college credit for courses taken in high school
taught at the college level) using a 5-point scale assure me that, with dis-
cussion and practice, inter-judge reliability is very high. Comments, if rel-
evant, should also be written down. The scores and comments should be
used to choose the best candidate. If this is not done, there is ample room
for other workers who were not hired to raise grievances on the selection.
Notes and scores are routinely subject to scrutiny, particularly in large
bureaucracies where such proceedings have a quasi-legal status.
Be aware that some interviewees lie and they do it well. A recent
study by the University of Southern California reported by Hotz
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