first_img Comments are closed. Related posts:No related photos. Letter of the week: Advice on how to sell yourself • I refer to your article regarding interview questions which causecandidates consternation (30 November). It is a pity many employers seem towant to catch candidates out with difficult questions. I like to think ourcompany uses such questions to test how candidates respond in a difficultsituation.In our recruitment processes, I would say the HR department tends to ask theawkward, “touchy-feely” questions which aim to find out about theperson, whereas the managers are generally more keen on job-related questionsin terms of experience and knowledge and so on.Here are some favourites.How do you like to be managed? Invokes some interesting reactions as usuallytheir prospective manager is in front of them.What irritates you in other people? An excellent way to find out what getson their nerves and how they cope. Some candidates are nervous about this oneas they think it may cast a negative light on their personality.If we offered you the job on Friday, what would you do on Monday? This sortsout those people who have thought about how they would go about the job whenthey got it, and those who are attending for interview sake.What would you do if you did not agree with your manager’s decision? Thiscan often make people feel uncomfortable, especially if they are strong-minded.I would agree that candidates could be better prepared for interview andshow greater enthusiasm. The candidate who has not prepared some sort ofpresentation, supplied details of qualifications and achievements etc, or shownsome question preparation, is clearly not the person for the job. The candidate has only a short time to impress and, while they may have beenable to sell themselves on paper, they are not through the woods. Writing notes is an excellent way to train the mind, especially if someoneis nervous. I am very impressed if candidates have notes with them – it showspreparation and commitment.You refer to three areas in which it has been found that candidates fail toimpress – I agree with all of these. Inappropriate dress, I find, is more afailure of internal than external candidates – there is nothing wrong with asuit, shirt, tie and trousers, skirt and blouse or similar. Clean shoes are amust. Finally yes, monosyllabic responses are a problem with lot of people. Anysuggestions of getting more out of these people would be greatly welcomed.So, candidates, beware the killer questions. Don’t panic, take your time andif you cannot answer, be honest. Dress smartly, don’t be arrogant and answerquestions fully. Prepare for the interview, have questions ready and, mostimportantly, sell yourself – you only have one go at it.Ayshea Christian, MIPDHRofficerBanner Business SuppliesInvest to stop corporate killing • I am stunned that the offence of corporate killing (7 December) is onceagain news. Why are businesses still not managing their staffs’ work hourseffectively? As a personnel manager for a software company which provides working hourssoftware, I know that effective management of hours is neither time consumingnor expensive. If more companies invested in such a package, the horrendous incidents thehorrendous incidents of stress, neglect and long working hours in the workplacemay be eliminated.Jenny ShervellPersonnel managerSmart PeopleTimeIs that question really relevant?• I don’t have a killer question but I would suggest candidates faced withone should ask which of the selection criteria it relates to. Good interviewpractice suggests such questions are irrelevant and should be avoided. (Theycould also be discriminatory). If the interviewers really want to know if a candidate can think on theirfeet, an appropriate question should be designed to test the candidate’s skillin this area. Alternatively a well-designed group exercise relevant to the jobwould determine it.Organisations allowing poor recruitment practice should be targeted by theIPD, the EOC and so on to improve their standards rather than having theirpractice encouraged by such agencies.If I were asked an irrelevant question at interview I would challenge it andif I failed to receive a satisfactory answer I would thank the panel for itstime, say the organisation was not for me and leave.Laura Hurst, Assistant staff development manager, South Bank University Previous Article Next Article LettersOn 11 Jan 2000 in Personnel Todaylast_img

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