The Interview

Managers use three types of interviews to collect job analysis data – individual interviews with each employee, group interviews with groups of employees who have the same job and supervisor interviews with one or more supervisors who know the job. They use group
interviews when a large number of employees are performing similar or identical work, since it can be a quick and inexpensive way to gather information. As a rule, the workers’ immediate supervisor attends the group session; if not, you can interview the supervisor separately to get  that person’s perspective on the job duties and responsibilities.

Whichever kind of interview you use, you need to be sure the interviewee fuly understands the reason for the interview, since there’s a tendency for such interviews to be viewed rightly or wrongly as “efficiency evaluations.” If so interviewees may hesitate to describe to describe their jobs accurately.

Pros and Cons
The interview is probably the most widely used method for identifying a job’s duties and responsibilities and its wide use reflects its advantages. It’s a relatively simple and quick way to collect information, including information that might never appear on a written form. A skilled interviewer can unearth important activities that occur only occasionally or informal contacts that wouldn’t be obvious from the organization chart. The interview also provides an opportunity to explain the need for and functions of the job analysis. And the employee can vent frustrations that might otherwise go unnoticed by management.

Distortion of information is the main problem – whether due to outright falsification or honest misunderstanding. Job analysis is often a prelude a changing of job’s pay rate. Employees therefore may legitimately view as an efficiency evaluation that may affect their pay. They may then tend to exaggerate certain responsibilities while minimizing others. Obtaining valid information can thus be a slow process and prudent analysts get multiple inputs.

Typical Questions
Despite their drawbacks, are widely used. Some typical interview questions include:
What is the job being performed?
What are the major duties of your position? What exactly do you do?
What physical locations do you work in?
What are the education, experience, skill and (where applicable) certificate and licensing requirements?
In what activities do you participate?
What are the job’s responsibilities or performances standards that typify your work?
What are your responsibilities? What are the environmental and working conditions involved?
What are the job’s physical demands?
What are the emotional and mental demands?
What are the health and safety conditions?
Are you exposed to any hazards or unusual working conditions?
The best interviews follows structured or checklist format.

Interview Guidelines
Keep several things in mind when conducting a job analysis interview.

  1. First, the job analyst and supervisor should work together to identify the worker who know the job best – and preferably those who’ll be most objective in describing their duties and responsibilities.
  2. Second, quickly establish rapport with the interviewee. Know the person’s name, speak in easily understood language, briefly review the interview’s purpose and explain how the person was chosen for the interview.
  3. Third, follow a structured guide or checklist, one that lists questions and provides space for answers. This ensures you’ll identify crucial questions ahead of time and that all interviews (if there’s more than one) cover all the required questions. (However, also
    make sure to give the worker some leeway in answering questions and provide some open-ended questions like, “was there anything we didn’t cover with our questions?”)
  4. Fourth, when duties are not performed in a regular manner – for instance, when the worker doesn’t perform the same job over and over and over again many times a day – ask the worker to list his or her duties in order of importance and frequency or
    occurrence. This will ensure that you don’t overlook crucial but infrequently performed activities – like a nurses occasional emergency room duties.
  5. Finally, after completing the interview, review and verify the data. Specifically, review the information with the worker’s immediate supervisor and with the interviewee.
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