Interview questions and structured interviewing
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Building Interviews

Let’s now go to the fourth button on the left toolbar, “Interviews.” This is where you go once your planning is done and you are ready to create an interview guide. Once you click on “Interviews,” the top of the screen says:

Creating custom interviews is quick and easy! How do you want to proceed?

Help Creating Interviews

As you see above, the choices are to:

  • Create Your Own Interview
  • Modify or download a Library Interview
  • I’m not sure
  • Go to my “in progress” interviews
  • Go to my “completed interviews”

The choice of “I’m not sure” can be a helpful place to start and is page will tell you that you have two options in customizing a job interview: create your own interview from "scratch", or start with a Library Job from our database and simply edit the content to customize it.

A general rule of thumb is that you will probably want to create a new interview if the job is very unique, or different from the jobs already in the library. Simply look through the interview titles by clicking on the appropriate Job Family on the Interviews screen, shown above.

If you are new to IG, you will want to select the first option, Create a New Interview, and then the Instructions for Creating Interviews. These instructions can be printed; you may want to have printed instructions handy as you go about designing your first few interviews. On the Instructions page there is a clickable worksheet (shown below) you can use in your job analysis preparation with subject-matter experts.

Help Interview Worksheet

This worksheet is also downloadable from the Resources for Interviewers section inside the IG site.

Other materials to have on hand when you develop an interview guide

Before you begin building or even editing an interview guide you (or someone in your area) should have already drafted a job posting for the open job that you will need to have in front of you when you are ready to create an interview guide. Before you start, review the job responsibilities and requirements. When you start to create an interview guide you’ll want to be clear about the key factors for which you and the interview team will focus so you can select the best candidate for the job.

Other materials you might want to have at your disposal might be any advertisements for the job that have been created, job specification or classification documents, and any other descriptive documents that can help you better understand what it takes to be successful in the job. Sometimes it can be helpful to talk to, or even interview, successful job incumbents – past or present -- to get a better sense of job demands and success factors. Sometimes leaders can become out-of-touch with the realities of the jobs they supervise since they are somewhat removed from the day-to-day work itself, which is why there is no substitute for talking with the people who are closest to the work – job incumbents. Another factor to consider in preparing for the selection process is to consider technological or system changes that may have occurred since the job was recruited for previously. An up-to-date job description is essential to effective staff selection.

Creating vs. Editing Interviews

IG is highly flexible in that it offers the user various "short cuts" to generating interview guides. The most time-consuming option within IG is to Create a New Interview yourself. The next most time-consuming option is to Edit an Existing Interview from the Job Library. The quickest option is to simply select a job from the library "as is" (e.g. without editing).

If you select “edit an interview guide” you will get a pop-up message that says:

Editing this interview guide will result in a new interview guide being
created. You will need to change the title of the interview guide to
reflect the nature of this new, edited interview guide.

This caution tells you that the original job you are choosing to edit will be maintained in the system and that your edits should be saved under another job title, even if it is only slightly different, so as to differentiate it from the original and allow other IG account users from your organization to use it for their edits, as well.

What is in a Library Job?

The interviews under the Job Families in the library were constructed through thorough and careful research by the system authors. Each Library Job includes an overview of the job so that you can decide if it is sufficiently similar to the job you are working on to be used as a base. Library Interviews include:

  • Job Title, or the name by which the job is commonly known;
  • Job Description, listing the core duties and responsibilities;
  • Level (1 - 4), at which the job is typically associated;
  • Job Family the library job belongs to;
  • The 6 - 10 Competencies associated with successful performance of the specific duties and responsibilities;
  • Two - four (2-4) Target Behaviors / Interview Question pairs for each competency selected to elicit relevant, job- related information from the interviewee.

What Can Be Edited?

If you select a library job to edit, you can change as much or as little of any of the elements listed above (i.e. title, description, competencies, etc.) as you like. For example, you may want to change a job title from "Sales Representative", to "Marketing Associate", or you may want to add company-specific language to the job description, or take out a pre-selected competency and add a different competency that you think is a better fit with the job you are working on. You can also remove, or add to the question/behavior pairs.

Help Interview Details Screen

The Job Family can be changed and also new job families can be added, however you may want to set up new Job Families carefully and in line with your organization’s job structure.

Editing Competencies for the Job

Still in edit mode, the next task is to review the pre-set competencies for the position and see if you want to change these, or leave them “as is.” You will see these listed on the same page as we just looked at, only further down the page, so you may need to scroll down a bit. You will see the text:

The competencies below were pre-selected for this Library Job Interview. You may keep the competencies as they are, or change some or all of the pre-selected competencies, as you wish. You are limited to a maximum of 10 competencies at one time.

Help Interview Competencies


In the screen-shot above, there are 8 competencies listed that include:

  • Ability to Take Initiative/Responsibility
  • Analytical skills
  • Change management ability
  • Leadership ability
  • Levels of innovation
  • Negotiation skills
  • Organization / planning skills
  • Teamwork orientation

You can remove any of these preset competencies and you can select new ones by clicking on button just above the list that says: Select Competencies, which brings up a menu of the 60 competencies with the pre-selected ones in a navy color, the unselected ones in red, and you can check off any that you want to include.

Help Change Competencies

Be sure to hit the SAVE button at the bottom of the screen of
60 competencies to save your changes.

Selecting the right interview questions

Once you have picked the competency categories you want to include in your interview guide, the next step is to click on each competency individually and review the list of target behaviors and interview questions and check those you want to include.

The first two pairs of questions/behaviors will usually be checked automatically – these are the default selections. As your review the list, simply uncheck any material you do not want to include and check the box next to the pairs you do want to include. The screen-shot below shows two, pre-selected pairs.

Help Select Behaviors

Be sure to review this material carefully and select the target behaviors and interview questions that fit the job optimally. Remember from the section earlier on Target Behaviors/Questions that you can always add new material to the system if what you want is not there. If you want to do this, you can save your interview for further editing as “in progress”, go back to the Target Behaviors/Questions button and add new material as you like. Then, when you are ready to resume building your interview guide you can find it again in the Interviews section under My Incomplete Interviews and choose to edit it again. Just remember that you may need to delete copies of copies if you go in and out of an interview guide repeatedly, as the system will always retain the earlier version for safety (so nothing is lost).

Once you have selected the correct pairs, scroll to the bottom of the list and hit UPDATE. The system will then re-sort the list with your selections at the top so you can do a final review. Once you are ready to move on, select Back to Interview Details and repeat this process for all competencies until you have selected all of the questions you want to use in your interview.

What Cannot Be Edited, or Changed?

1. Levels. IG will not allow the user to select question/behavior pairs from different levels within the same job. That is, you cannot "mix and match" questions or behaviors from a higher or lower level within the system. This is because the questions and behaviors were written to support the degree of sophistication and scope associated with jobs at each of the four levels.

2. Editing Questions/Behaviors. IG users can choose any to all of the question/behavior pairs to be included in the interview guide. However, users cannot edit the wording within a specific question or behavior while in "library edit" mode. Users can, however, go into the Target Behaviors/Interview Questions section of IG and create a new target behavior and interview question, update, and then select the new behavior/question from the database when editing a library job.

Creating a New Interview

You always have the option of building your own interview “from scratch” yourself. This process is easy to follow once you have been through the process of editing an interview guide to suit your own purpose. Thus, it is recommended that you not start with this option, but instead, go through at least one editing process first, and then you will be ready to build your own interview yourself. The same steps are followed, but you must be prepared with a concise job description, accurate job title, clarity about the job family and Interview Generator level, and your job analysis to set competencies and select interview questions and target behaviors. You may want to get help from your human resources contact in this event, as well.

Help Create Interview

In the screen-shot above you can see that a blank screen comes up in which you should enter the correct information about the new interview guide.

Completing Interviews

Once you have started building an interview from “scratch” or in edit mode, you may want to finish it all during one session, or you may choose to set it aside and go back into the site to finish it at another time -- IG gives you this option for no additional charge.

Help Interview Complete

At What Point Does IG Take Off a Unit?

Or, when am I charged for generating an interview using the system? IG subtracts one unit from your account (if you have purchased groups of units rather than a license) at the point that you select Create a New Interview, or Edit a Library Interview (even if you elect to generate an interview guide "as is", without editing it). You can always check your account balance (i.e. remaining time on a license, or number of units left) anytime by clicking on System Credits.

IG allows you to delete an incomplete or completed interview guide if you wish. IG also allows you to Edit this Interview from your Library Interviews, and Completed Library Interviews, however one unit will be subtracted from your account if you choose this option.