Training and development is an important HR function as it provides basis for growth to the employees in general and organization on the whole in particular. Training programs may vary in their type, contents, audience and duration. Imparting training about interviewing skills is an important objective emerging in modern organizations which are experts in technical and specialized fields. There is strong need to include technical people in the recruitment interview of technical people.
Training & Development
Human resource management is an integral department for all business organizations (Naik, 2009) serving the industry of 21st century. The importance of human resource management department can be understood through the fact that its presence is one of the regulatory requirements of company registration. It is because, the modern world considers employees as the most valuable assets of the organization and their development is one of the essential goals of corporate organizations.
One of the functions of human resource management department is to hire the right employees for the functions performed in the organization. As the functions can belong to technical and specialized domain, it may not be possible for personnel working in human resource management department to judge the potential of candidates applying against the announced vacancy. In order to hire the best talent, the presence of representative for technical department in interview panel is mandatory. However, it often happens, that technical experts are totally unaware of the managerial skills related to potential judgment of the candidate. It is, therefore, important that technical people are trained about interviewing skills so that they can play the effective role in conducting interviews.
This paper is about a training session of interviewing skills mainly arranged for supervisors. The training session is three hours long hence only the main contents are included in it with the view of transferring the best quality of information to the respondents.
The program consists of an interactive session in which HR consultative delivers a presentation and audience listens to him. They are allowed to ask questions and discuss the ambiguities and concerns if they have any. The training session is not a classroom session in which theoretical knowledge is imparted to attendants. It is a professional training program designed for supervisors hence it can contains of techniques to transfer the knowledge. The outline of the training program is as follows.
Background of training program
Objectives of training program
Why interviewing skills are important
Important interview skills
Key Interview Questions
Practical Activities / Demo Interview among the Participants
There are two main objectives of the training program.
To equip technical and specialized supervisors with required interview skills so that they can assist human resource management department in selecting the right person for the right job.
To groom technical supervisors on managerial lines so that they can learn how to monitor the performance of their juniors and subordinates.
Both the objectives are important from organizational perspective as it is often observed that people serving the technical department get expert in technical field gradually but they are weak in interpersonal skills. As they grow in their field, they get juniors and subordinates whom they need to manage. Since they lack in communication and interpersonal skills, they do not perform up to the mark. It is, therefore, important that they are trained in these grounds as well so that organization enjoys a perfect blend of technically and interpersonally skilled professional who are dynamic and can serve the organization in multiple ways.
Training Techniques and Activities
Since the training activity is conducted for adults, the selected techniques and activities should follow the principles of andragogy so that maximum learning objectives can be achieved in the minimum possible time (Wang and King, 2009).
Activity I: Mock Interview:
This activity will be arranged for imparting the critical interviewing skills in the participants through practically experiencing the interviewing environment. All the participants will be required to prepare their questions for the interviews. Then, the participants will be divided into two categories, i.e. interviewers and observers. The interviewers will participate in the mock interviews while the observers will observe the interview session.
Upon conclusion of the mock interview, the observers will give their ratings and comments about the mock interview to the interviewers. They will highlight the strengths and weaknesses of the interviewers. The participants will then swap their observer / interviewer roles in another session of mock interviews and subsequently its rating and comments on the same will be carried out as mentioned above.
This activity will allow all the participants to observe and practically undergo the experience of conducting interviews. Moreover, being adults, practical and mutual learning will be very effective in imparting the intended skills in the participants. By identifying the strengths and weaknesses of the others, they will learn the key weaknesses they require to overcome and the key strengths they need to have for ensuring a successful interview in reality. The preparation of the questions for their mock interviews elucidates to the participants the importance of being prepared before the interviews like the interviewee.
It is a long activity, while each mock interview will take at least ten minutes.
Activity II: Videos
The second activity will comparatively take lesser time as it is not interactive. The total duration of this activity may be fifteen minutes. In this activity, the participants will be shown a collection of videos of real interviews, including the successful and unsuccessful ones. They will be required to critically evaluate and comment on the strengths and weaknesses of the interviewers in those videos and the strong and the weak areas of the interview as a whole. The participants will also be required to mention the effects of the strengths and weaknesses identified by them on the success and failure of those interviews.
In addition to the aforementioned activities, the participants will be required to recall their own interviews and share the loopholes of their own interviews with the participants along with suggestions for improvements.
This activity is proposed as,
As the participants will be adults, therefore, learning through observation and participation will be more effective as per the principles of andragogy.
It will help the participants to learn the key skills and avoid the mistakes, all identified by themselves.
The videos of the real interviews will maintain interest in the participants.
When the participants will recall and share their own interview of their organization, the trainers of the HR Department will indirectly come to know the weak areas of the interviews conducted by them and will help them improve their recruitment and selection function through the honest evaluation of the participants.
Participant Evaluation Criteria and Methodology
Evaluation is an important component of training activity to measure whether the desired objectives are fulfilled or not. Though the correct evaluation can be made only after the supervisors have participated in a real interview with HR department, the evaluation activity at the end of training session can only provide an idea about the contents learnt during it. As mentioned in the activities that observers will evaluate the interviewers about their strengths and weaknesses, it already gives an idea about the learning curve of the participants. It is most obvious that as time passes, the concepts printed on mind will be faded hence there is strong need to include the participants in interview sessions as soon as possible.
Importance of Selected Activities
As mentioned earlier, training program is conducted for professional supervisors who are experts in their technical fields, the theoretical concepts of human interaction may not appear interesting to them. It is most likely that they will lose interest in the…