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March 29, 2005

I Need Help

Yeah, yeah. Don't go there.

Hhhhhhhanyway, with my supervisor having given notice, it has now apparently fallen to me to become the designated Interviewer for the candidates applying for our Research Assistant position.

There's only one problem with this - I have no idea what I'm doing.

What do I ask? What DON'T I ask? What qualities (aside from job qualifications) should I be looking for? What red flags should I be aware of?

At this point I'll be leaning towards people who a.) can do the job, and b.) I like. However, I realize that B is probably not the best thing to use when judging potential job candidates (beyond a certain point - if the person is a total twit, and I don't like them because they're a total twit, then I think that's relevant).

If anyone has any words of wisdom, pleeeeeeeeeease help me out.

Posted by Highwaygirl on March 29, 2005 09:20 PM to the category Work

I used to interview lots of people. I found that staring at the resume a lot when you don't know what to say really helps. ;)

There are a lot of good sample questions here: http://www.indiana.edu/~libpers/interview.html

I found that open ended questions give people a lot of room to hang themselves. My favorite questions was what is/was their favorite part about their current/previous job. If two people are equally qualified you have to go with your gut.

Posted by: sherpa melissa at March 29, 2005 09:43 PM

Hey, sherpa, that's my favorite question(s) to ask too!

I find sometimes it's good to just try to shoot the shit a bit before getting to business (i.e. the list sherpa linked to). You can get a really good feel of people that way.

I'm also always impressed when people admit to having a weakness other than faux-weaknesses like, "I'm a workaholic," for example.

Here's a really good list of what not to ask during an interview: http://www.berkshirejobs.com/pdf/23a.pdf

Posted by: Teem at March 29, 2005 11:19 PM

The list Teem linked is a good one to go through. Depending on the level of experience you're expecting from your research assistant, there are some questions I wouldn't ask. Certain "canned" questions are bad in that anyone that has a few interviews under their belt can give you a "canned" answer - and then you aren't really learning anything about the person. I recently went on an interview where the employer asked at the end of the hour we spent together .. "Okay, one word, your greatest strength and weakness?". I had to close my eyes to stop myself from rolling them before answering. If he hadn't lost me before that moment, he absolutely did then.

I usually use a conversational approach as well. You'll get more out of a person that way, and you'll learn more than you will with direct questions. Both links provided really good info.

Posted by: TVJ at March 29, 2005 11:41 PM

My sugestion is to not interview at all until the nice people at your work either give you the supervisor job or pay you more. Or switch you to salary.
Remember, no good deed goes unpunished!

Posted by: Mike at March 30, 2005 08:45 AM

Thanks for the help, guys! I've printed out the information from both of those links and using it to come up with a list of 4-5 questions for the interviews. Still, I have a feeling I'm going to be saying, "I'm not sure about that, you'd need to ask the president of the company" a lot.

Posted by: Highwaygirl at March 30, 2005 08:45 AM

Actually, I wouldn't take the supervisor job no matter how much money they offered me, and I like being paid hourly. As for refusing to help interview people ... that wouldn't go over very well.

Posted by: Highwaygirl at March 30, 2005 08:47 AM
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