Advance Hiring Interview Skills That Improve Your Batting Average Part 5


The remarks here are my own opinion. I made the opinions based on my many years of work experience as a HR practitioner. You are entitled to accept, reject or ignore them.


Parts 3 to 8 will cover the interview proper. This part will cover the organization and the job. As the employer, you should ask yourself whether you will appeal to prospective employees and if yes, who are the likely ones. Doing so will give you a sense of reality in your recruitment efforts.

There are 3 aspects that job candidates would consider:

  • The company’s industry.
  • The company’s management staff.
  • The job nature; reporting structure and with whom the job incumbent interacts with.

By better understanding why you are getting the number and quality of job candidates that you are getting, then you are in a better position to take any positive actions to help your business. Of course, these considerations can be overwritten by job candidate’s motivation to obtain a source of income to meet basic economic needs.


Which Country is Your Business Located?

It is a private observation that the best and brightest IT graduates would leave India to find jobs in Silicon Valley, USA. Some of them and the better graduates may look for a job in Europe. Some of the better graduates and a majority of the average graduates may migrate to Asia to find jobs.

In certain countries, such as India and even Japan, gender stereotyping and discrimination means that you are going to find less women in management jobs; specific occupations, such as gynaecologists and more women in specific industries such as adult entertainments.

Which State or Town

In large country such as USA, China, India, it is common to observe people moving from the rural areas to the city to find work. In some of these countries, people from the rural areas are often offered the manual and low paying jobs or work of more risky nature such as construction industry work, usually due to their education level and work experience but sometimes there may be a social stigma attached.

Which Industry Are You In?

If your employer is in the non-profit or not for profit industries; chances are the best candidates will avoid applying for a job with your employer.Some of the organizations include:

  • Old folks’ home
  • Rehabitation Centers
  • Columbarium, funeral parlors and undertakers.
  • Religious or religion-related organization, for example church, temple, YWCA, YMCA
  • Private member’s club for example golf and country club

In reverse the nature of your company’s business (for example religious organizations) would make some candidates unsuitable.

There are 4 primary reasons: the organization is run by a social group of volunteers. It is likely that operational policies and processes are minimal and the compensation and benefits packages are below market. Usually the organization is strapped for money to embark on specific improvement projects that are badly needed

If your employer is in the media, airline or hospitality industries; you will find that there will be numerous job applicants.Some reasons include better profit margins, hence enough funds to support transformation projects and pay better compensation packages.

If your employer is in the banking and heathcare industry, then you will find that the working hours may be very long or the work may involve shifts, working on week-ends and public holidays and work is likely to move at a fast pace and stressful.

If your employer is in the logistics; retail; and food and beverage industries, then you will find a lot of manual workers and the staff turnover is regular.

What Nationality is the Company Ownership?

The nationality of the company say something about:

  • The corporate culture.
  • The nationalities of the bulk of the staff that you may be dealing with.
  • The possible location of the head office and the working hours if the job requires regular communication with the head office.

On the first point, if the company is a Japanese company,

  • You will expect that the department head or business head to be a Japanese national.
  • You will need to adapt to management that demand conformity, for example wearning uniform; having morning exercises.
  • You may have to put in long work hours.
  • Your compensation package will be behind the general market. If it is aligned with the general market, then your work may involved a bigger than expected larger geographical area.

On the second point, if the company is an Indian company, for example, the branch of an Indian bank, located in Singapore. You can expect:

  • The operations heads, even in the Asian regions, to be Indian nationals.
  • A significant portion of the local staff to be Indian Nationals.
  • Instead of handling personnel problems independently as a department or business hedd manager, they will shift the problems to the HR practitioner to provide coaching.

How Big and Profitable is the Company?

A big company does not implies that it is very profitable. Huge logistics network (35,000 staff worldwide) may make the same net profit margins as a large local bank (9,000 staff worldwide) but the gross profit margin for the bank is much higher. For instance, banks also make a big financial efforts to ensure that their operational staff are properly trained.

In addition, banks has the financial muscle to deploy expatriate staff in major city locations; to build and maintain numerous bankwide IT infrastructure; to pay good bonuses. Usually, only the big logistic companies can provide good pay packages but there will be little fringe benefits because they cannot afford them.

Who Run the Company?

Prospective employees are always skeptical of family run businesses because they may hire relatives of the family in different areas of the businesses.

The services of relatives are harder to terminate and they are harder to discipline for misconducts. Sometimes, the relatives may be taking money under the table from company’s vendors or they may run a similar business in secret and quietly siphoning away cash and customers. In other cases, departments could be run in silos and it is very hard to implement projects that requires collaboration.

Another category is businesses run or controlled by a social group instead of full time professional staff. For example, recreational clubs are controlled by members sitting in various committees.

Understanding Your Budget

Being an employer and having the power to decide who to get selected to be interviewed and who to be hired can be an seductive and intoxicating feeling.

However, you need to brush these feelings aside and be realistic of what the company can afford in terms of compensation and benefit package for the vacant position.

I have experienced situation where a better candidate is not offered the job because he or she had asked for a salary that is a bit more than the budget, maybe $50 to $100 more but the company simply cannot afford it.

Understanding Your Brand

Every business has a brand, but not every brand stands out There are 2 ways to promote brand awareness. One way is to spend a lot of money on implementation of branding strategies.This happens only when the firm has deep pocket.

Another way is through the business’ philosophy on how it treats its employees. This is rare.

Video: How Air Asia founder Tony Fernandes’ dream came true (2010)

Thinking about what your business stands for will also provide you a beacon on what type of people you should hire to enhance the image or brand that you want to project. The job applicant’s attitude will impact his behaviors and that is important to the business.