After studying this chapter, students should be able to understand the following:
A. Explain Employee Tests
B. Describe Job Interviews
A. Employment Tests
I. Administration of selection tests:
A personnel testing is a valuable way to measure individual characteristics.
Hundreds of tests have been
developed to measure various dimensions of behavior. The tests measure mantel
physical abilities, personality, interest, temperament, and other attitudes and
behaviors. Evidence suggests
that the use of tests is becoming more prevalent for assessing an applicant’s
qualifications and potential for
success. Tests are used more in the public sector than in the private sector
and in medium-sized and large
companies than in small companies. Large organizations are likely to have trained
specialists to run their
• Advantages and disadvantages of using tests:
Selection testing can be a reliable and accurate means of selecting qualified
candidates from a pool of
applicants. As with all selection procedures, it is important to identify the
essential functions of each job and
determine the skills needed to perform them.
• Potential Problems Using Selection Tests
Selection tests may accurately predict an applicant’s ability to perform the
job, but they are less successful in
indicating the extent to which the individual will want to perform it. Another
potential problem, related
primarily to personality tests and interest inventories, has to do with applicants’
honesty. Also there is the
problem of test anxiety. Applicants often become quite anxious when confronting
yet another hurdle that
might eliminate them from consideration.
II. Characteristics of Properly Designed Selection Tests
Properly designed selection tests are standardized, objective, based on sound
norms, reliable and—of
1. Standardization: Refers to the uniformity of the procedures
related to administering tests. It is necessary for all to take the test under
conditions that are as close to identical as possible.
2. Objectivity: Achieved when all individuals scoring a
given test obtain the same
3. Norms: Provide a frame of reference for comparing applicants’
that of others. A norm reflects the distribution of scores obtained by many people
similar to the applicant being tested. The prospective employee’s test score
compared to the norm, and the significance of the test score is determined.
4. Reliability: The extent to which a selection test provides
consistent results. If a
test has low reliability, its validity as a predictor will also be low. To validate
reliability, a test must be verified.
5. Validity: The extent to which a test measures what it
purports to measure. If a test
cannot indicate ability to perform the job, it has no value as a predictor.
• Types of Validation Studies
There three main approaches that may be followed to validate selection tests:
content validity, and construct validity.
a. Criterion-Related Validity
It is determined by comparing the scores on selection tests to some aspect of
job performance. A close
relationship between the score on the test and job performance suggests the test
b. Content Validity
It is a test validation method whereby a person performs certain tasks that are
actually required by the job
or completes a paper-and-pencil test that measures relevant job knowledge.
c. Construct Validity
It is a test validation method to determine whether a test measures certain traits
or qualities that are
important in performing the job. However, traits or qualities such as teamwork,
leadership, and planning or
organization ability must first be carefully identified through job analysis.
III. Types Of Employment Tests
Individuals differ in characteristics related to job performance. These differences,
which are measurable,
relate to cognitive abilities, psychomotor abilities, job knowledge, work samples,
vocational interests, and
personality. Various tests measure these differences.
a. Cognitive Aptitude Tests
It measures an individual’s ability to learn, as well as to perform a job. Job-related
abilities may be classified
as verbal, numerical, perceptual speed, spatial, and reasoning.
b. Psychomotor Abilities Tests
This type of test is used to measure strength, coordination, and dexterity. It
is feasible to measure many
abilities that are involved in many routine production jobs and some office jobs.
c. Job Knowledge Tests
This sort of test is designed to measure a candidate’s knowledge of the duties
of the position for which he
or she is applying.
d. Work-Sample Tests (Simulations)
It identifies a task or set of tasks that are representative of the job. The
evidence concerning these tests, to
date, is that they produce high predictive validity, reduce adverse impact, and
are more acceptable to
e. Vocational Interest Tests
It indicates the occupation in which a person is most interested and is most
likely to receive satisfaction.
f. Personality Tests
It is a selection tools, personality tests have not been as useful as other types
of tests. They are often
characterized by low reliability and low validity. Because some personality tests
interpretation, the services of a qualified psychologist are required.
g. Drug and Alcohol Testing
Basic purpose of the drug-testing programs contends that it is necessary to ensure
security, and productivity.
h. Genetic Testing
As genetic research progresses, confirmed links between specific gene mutations
and diseases are emerging.
Genetic testing can now determine whether a person carries the gene mutation
for certain diseases,
including heart disease, colon cancer, breast cancer, and Huntington’s disease.
i. Honest Test/Polygraph Tests
For many years, another means used to verify background information has been
the polygraph, or lie
detector, test. One purpose of the polygraph was to confirm or refute the information
contained in the
application blank. Special tests have been constructed to measure the orientation
of the individuals toward
the issue of the honesty and personal integrity. Honesty tests are the most frequently
tests in industry. These tests contain questions regarding such situations as
whether a person who has taken
company merchandise should be trusted in another job that involves handling company
individual’s response to the test statements indicates the individual’s attitudes
towards theft, embezzlement,
and dishonest practices. Extensive research has shown that some of these instruments
not only produce
reliable information that validly predicts dishonest behavior, but that they
also are free from biases of age,
race, and sex. These honesty tests represent a valuable selection tool for choosing
employees who will
occupy positions that involve handling company money.
j. Internet Testing
The Internet is increasingly being used to test various skills required by applicants.
B. Job Interviews
THE EMPLOYMENT INTERVIEW: Interview is a goal-oriented conversation in which
and applicant exchange information. The employment interview is especially significant
applicants who reach this stage are considered to be the most promising candidates.
I. Interview Planning
Interview planning is essential to effective employment interviews. The physical
location of the interview
should be both pleasant and private, providing for a minimum of interruptions.
The interviewer should
possess a pleasant personality, empathy and the ability to listen and communicate
effectively. He or she
should become familiar with the applicant’s qualifications by reviewing the data
collected from other
selection tools. In preparing for the interview, a job profile should be developed
based on the job
II. Content of The Interview
The specific content of employment interviews varies greatly by organization
and the level of the job
1. Occupational experience: Exploring an individual’s occupational
requires determining the applicant’s skills, abilities, and willingness to handle
2. achievement: In the absence of significant work
person’s background takes on greater importance.
3. Interpersonal skills: If an individual cannot work well
with other employees,
chances for success are slim. This is especially true in today’s world with increasing
emphasis being placed on the use of teams.
4. Personal qualities: Personal qualities normally observed
during the interview
include physical appearance, speaking ability, vocabulary, poise, adaptability,
5. Organizational fit: A hiring criterion that is not prominently
mentioned in the
literature is organizational
fit. Organizational fit is ill-defined but refers to
management’s perception of the degree to which the prospective employee will
in with, for example, the firm’s culture or value system.
III. Types of Interviews
Interviews may be classified in two types by the degree to which they are structured.
a. The Unstructured (Nondirective) Interview
Unstructured interview is an interview where probing, open-ended questions are
asked. This type of
interview is comprehensive, and the interviewer encourages the applicant to do
much of the talking.
b. The Structured (Directive Or Patterned) Interview
An interview consisting of a series of job-related questions that are asked consistently
of each applicant for
a particular job is known as structured interview. A structured interview typically
contains four types of
1. Situational questions: Pose a hypothetical job situation
to determine what the
applicant would do in that situation.
2. Job knowledge questions: Probe the applicant’s job-related
3. Job-sample simulation questions: Involve situations in
which an applicant may
be actually required to perform a sample task from the job.
4. Worker requirements questions: Seek to determine the
applicant’s willingness to
conform to the requirements of the job.
c. Behavior Description Interviewing
A structured interview that uses questions designed to probe the candidate’s
past behavior in specific
situations. It avoids making judgments about applicants’ personalities and avoids
hypothetical and selfevaluative
questions. Benchmark answers derived from behaviors of successful employees are
use in rating applicant responses. Questions asked in behavior description interviewing
are legally safe
because they are job related.
IV. Methods of Interviewing
Interviews may be conducted in several ways.
a. One-On-One Interview
In a typical employment interview, the applicant meets one-on-one with an interviewer.
As the interview
may be a highly emotional occasion for the applicant, meeting alone with the
interviewer is often less
b. Group Interview
Several applicants interact in the presence of one or more company representatives.
c. Board Interview
One candidate is interviewed by several representatives of the firm.
d. Stress Interview
Intentionally creates anxiety to determine how an applicant will react to stress
on the job.
V. Realistic Job Previews
RJP Conveys job information to the applicant in an unbiased manner, including
both positive and negative
VI. Legal Implications of Interviewing
Because the interview is considered to be a test, it is subject to the same validity
requirements as any other
step in the selection process, should adverse impact be shown. For the interview,
this constraint presents
VII. How To Avoid Common Interviewing Mistakes
a. Snap Judgments:
This is where the interviewer jumps to a conclusion about the candidate during
the first few minutes of
the interview. Using a structured interview is one way to help avoid this, as
well as properly training the
b. Negative Emphasis:
When an interviewer has received negative information about the candidate, through
references or other
sources, he or she will almost always view the candidate negatively. The best
way to avoid this is to keep
references or other information from the interviewer. If possible, have different
people do the reference
checks and the interviews and not share the information until afterwards.
c. Poor Knowledge of Job:
When interviewers do not have a good understanding of the job requirements, they
do not make good
selections of candidates. All interviewers should clearly understand the jobs
and know what is needed for
success in those jobs.
d. Pressure to Hire:
Anytime an interviewer is told that he or she must hire a certain number of people
within a short time
frame, poor selection decisions may be made. This type of pressure should be
avoided whenever possible.
e. Candidate Order
(Contrast) Error: When an adequate candidate is preceded by either
an outstanding, or a poor candidate,
by contrast he or she looks either less satisfactory or much better. This can
be countered through
interviewer training, allowing time between interviews, and structured interviews
with structured rating
f. Influence of Nonverbal Behavior:
Candidates who exhibit stronger nonverbal behavior such as eye contact and energy
level are perceived
as stronger by the interviewers. This can be minimized through interviewer training
VIII. Guidelines for Conducting an Interview
1. Plan the interview.
2. Establish rapport.
3. Ask questions.
HR in Practice gives do’s and don’ts of interview questions.
4. Close the interview.
5. Review the interview.
Standardization: Refers to the uniformity of the procedures and conditions
related to administering tests.
It is necessary for all to take the test under conditions that are as close to
identical as possible.
Objectivity: Achieved when all individuals scoring a given test obtain
the same results.
Norms: Provide a frame of reference for comparing applicants’ performance
with that of others. A norm
reflects the distribution of scores obtained by many people similar to the applicant
being tested. The
prospective employee’s test score is compared to the norm, and the significance
of the test score is
Reliability: The extent to which a selection test provides consistent
results. If a test has low reliability, its
validity as a predictor will also be low. To validate reliability, a test must
Validity: The extent to which a test measures what it purports to
measure. If a test cannot indicate ability to
perform the job, it has no value as a predictor.
Snap Judgments: This is where the interviewer jumps to a conclusion
about the candidate during the first
few minutes of the interview.