Interviewing Prospective Employees

Learning Objectives

  • Describe the information a retail manager wants to get from interviewing a prospective employee

In our previous unit, we started to talk about interviewing prospective employees and the different types of interviews we may use. Let’s expand now on those types of interviews.

Have you ever gone into a job interview and there were four people at a conference table with a list of questions? This is called a structured or planned interview. In this type of interview, you will be asked the same questions, in the same order as all other applicants for the position.

This type of interview allows the hiring committee to:

  1. Learn a wide range of information about each candidate.
  2. Experience a calmer interview setting since the questions are predetermined.
  3. Collect the necessary information in a uniform way, so it alleviates missing an important question.

Learn More

Check out this article for more information about structured job interviews.

The opposite of a structured interview is an unstructured interview. In this type of interview, the candidate comes in, and the questions are not structured and are unordered. There may be one or more interviewers in this process.

There are some good points and negative points to this type of interview as well. This type of interview allows the hiring committee to:

  1. Ask additional questions after one question is answered, potentially leading to more useful information about the candidates skills for the position.
  2. Create a more relaxed interview setting similar to having a conversation.
  3. Complicates, unfortunately, collecting reliable of information as the structured interview since each person is asking different questions. Thus, bias may play into the process.

As an interviewer, it is your job to determine if an applicant has the appropriate education, skills and experience to complete the tasks required of the position. Personality may also be an important component especially in the retail setting. If, for example, you are hiring for a clerk position, where the employee will have constant contact with the public, this person may need different skills than someone hired for the stockroom. The biggest goal of the interview process is to insure that the person you hire can perform the functions of the position effectively and efficiently.

Practice Questions