Conducting Interviews

It is always different when you are the interviewer instead of the interviewee. Schools have taught us a lot about how to ace your interview (speak clearly, dress properly etc.) but not how to conduct an interview (questions to ask, attention on details etc.). Even though I had interviewed people for clubs and societies before, I feel that interviewing people for yep is a totally different ball game.

Prior to the interview, I spoke to many people who have been to YEPs before and from Project Happy Feet, to understand what were some of the key questions to ask and find out from the applicants. At the end of the day,  I realised that an interview is the opportunity for both parties to know more about each other. The idea of the interviewer making life difficult for the interviewee or the interviewee trying to smoke his/her way through is uncalled for. This is the time for genuine conversation and clearing of doubts.

Jacqueline and I grouped the questions into personal, behavioural, situational, commitment and miscellaneous. Just before the interview, we would read the resume and preferred role of each applicant. observe the applicant. We would take turns to ask questions and observe the applicant.

Even with the preparations, many a times we still had to think on our feet. Also we had to portray a professional image during the whole process (which did not suit my character).

I learnt that it is important for an interviewer to ask the correct questions and at the correct time. Sometimes when you hear something that raises an alarm, it is important to clarify or probe further. Apart from that we always give applicants the opportunity to ask questions. Lastly we would make it a point to let the applicant knew when he/she would receive the result.

Ultimately, both interviewer and interviewee have to make an effort in preparing for an interview.