Are Your Interview Practices Sound?

When interviewing job applicants, do you use standardized practices, or are your interview protocols as varied as the candidates? A study in the Canadian Journal of Administrative Sciences (2007; 24 [1], 30–44) has discovered that many human resources (HR) professionals may not be offering applicants interview equality. As your personal training business or group exercise department grows, being a savvy interviewer may come in handy.

The study included more than 300 Canadian HR professionals and sought to learn whether interview questions were based on the structure set forth by the Canadian Human Rights Tribunals (CHRT). Participants were asked to complete a survey that measured adherence to six components of the Tribunals’ structure: “use of job analysis, standardized administration, use of behavioral questions, training, note-taking and use of interview panels.”

Overall, researchers noticed little interview uniformity, leading them to believe that applicants might not be treated equally. The authors noted that “standardizing the interview process is strongly recommended by employment interview scholars and highly favored by Human Rights Tribunals” and stated that improvements were called for among HR professionals. The researchers also observed that, in instances where standard­ization was high, applicant grievances relating to unfair interview practices were low. The bottom line: maintain uniformity in questioning, note-taking and use of a job description based on a job analysis.

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