In order to bring you the most accurate and useful information possible, Employee Selection and Development, Inc. will be issuing PRACTICAL RESEARCH REPORTS quarterly. Its purpose is to give you practical and useful information on hiring, motivating, and managing employees. Should you have any questions or want further elaboration, please contact us by email or call 800-947-5678.

Bert Zinkand

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Employment Screening Tips - Part 2

The Personal Interview

Take Notes!

It is difficult to remember everything about a candidate when you have several to interview, so be sure to take notes. Try to do it discretely. However, if it makes the candidate uncomfortable explain that this is your way of remembering the unique qualities and skills that they will bring to the job and the company.

Is the Candidate Telling the Truth

Some candidates will attempt to exaggerate their strengths and skills in the hopes of impressing you and thereby getting the job. How can you separate the fact from the fiction

  • Ask the applicant to describe a work experience they have had that is related to a specific job related skill you are attempting to evaluate.As the candidate responds, probe for detailed information.Be sure to take notes as the candidate responds.Then say, “Who can I talk to in order to verify the information you have just given me”Be sure to contact this person as part of your reference checking process.
  • Watch the body language. If the candidate will not look at you when answering, chances are he or she is exaggerating.
  • If it sounds to good to be true, it probably is. Ask for more verifiable details and check them out.
  • Our Personality Profile provides a Confidence Factor to help you determine if the candidate is swaying the results or if his scores are situational. Similarly, our Work Ethic and Integrity Survey has a Validity Index that tells you if the candidate is either consciously or unconsciously attempting to distort the results. When this occurs, be sure to use the in depth interview questions to dig deeper for the facts.

Keep It Light and Professional

Keep the interview light. You are not their to change their opinions or interrogate them. You are simply after the best information possible to fully evaluate the candidate. Use humor, in good taste, when possible and be professional. Remember, the candidate if evaluating you and your company as well

Closing the Interview

Close the interview in the same manner you would any business meeting. Thank them for coming. Do not make any promises. If this interview was a screening interview and you wish to proceed further with the candidate, schedule their next interview at this time. If you are ready to make a hiring decision, tell the candidate you will contact them with your decision with 48 hours. This will give you time to reflect on the candidates qualifications and prepare the employment offer.

Checking References

Checking references is something many managers have given up on and with good reason. References are often reluctant to give you information because they fear that they may be subjected to a lawsuit or other legal action.Fortunately, in most states, the reference provider is protected by law unless this person gives false or slanderous information.When calling references indicate the candidate recommend you call. This usually results in more information about he candidate.

Ask references to verify specific information you received about the candidate’s qualifications during the interview.Ask such open-ended questions as:

  • “What was this person’s most valuable contribution to your company
  • Please summarize this person’s performance in the technical aspects of the job
  • How well did this person’s work habits help or hinder her/him
  • How much supervision did he/she require How well does he/she take direction
  • In what areas would this person benefit from additional training or coaching”
  • “Who else should I contact regarding this person’s past performance”

Finally, be sure to ask references to verify information you received via test results. For example, if you used our Personality Profile and Sales Skills assessment ask, We gave (candidate’s name) several assessments and they showed he was aggressive and a strong closer. Could you give me an example of this

More Tips To Come in Part 3 – Practical Research Report #11


All Assess for Managers, SalesMax, Enet Hire, Personality, SelectSelect Position Specific, and Work Ethic and Integrity reports from Employee Selection and Development, Inc. include interview questions to help you identify needed job behaviors, traits and skills. To see examples of these, please visit and click on Tests Offered or call 800-947-5678.