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Interview questions that are behaviour-related target issues in human relations and organisational behaviour, while ''technical'' or functional questions focus on the candidate's abilities. During interview, the line managers are accountable for assessing interviewees' job knowledge. HR professionals can be observers during the process.
The questions must be structured to address the job contents in brief but these should be specific and relevant. Some interviewers would ask fundamental questions that make the candidates look less smart. In one interview for an HR Director role, a panel member asked: Do you know how to update HR policies and procedures? How do you correct habitually late employees? Are you familiar with the UAE labour laws?
The questions did not sound appropriate for the job level. It would be ideal to ask situational and problem-solving questions like: How many projected openings are you estimating for the next five months? What is your HR headcount ratio over your total manpower? What was your company's payroll cost in percentage over revenue?
For senior HR roles, interviewers need to assess a candidate's HR measurement skills. Sample questions to determine this are: Wouldn't outsourcing cost even more? Do the cost savings come at the price of workforce value? Why should our costs be the same as the industry's? Can an HR scorecard prove a connection between people and strategic outcomes? Which numbers and drills are more critical to our success?
Recruiters must avoid asking routine questions; otherwise, a potential candidate may walk away from an offer.
Experiences show that behavioural questions frame the entire picture of the organisation, whereas ''technical'' questions only colour the background even though these are vital. It is suggested to look for candidates who appreciate the critical role of emotional issues and excellent business know-how in the interview process.
• Situation-based questions show how well one handles issues
• These help identify problem-solving, conflict-resolution skills
• Appoint those who can provide excellent business know-how
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Source: Dr. Pon Mohaideen Pitchai, Special to Jobs & Careers
The writer is a Dubai-based HR and Management Consultant