About bill morton

I worked for over thirty years as a Management Consultant mostly doting personnel selection and training Managers at all levels. I have a web site. - Lawn Bowls plus Management

Avoid Actions and Statements which cast Doubts on the Ethics of the Interviewer (Part C2)


Some statements which Iinterviewees make cast doubts on their ethics. This section discusses: (a) breaking an employment contract (i will harm my current employer in order to help you) (b) breaking confid­entiality (i will tell you some confidential information) and (c) criticising other people – without good reason.

Breaking an Employment Contract

1 Applicants should watch for situations where they show that they will act unfairly towards an Organisation.

2 Example. An Applicant (Alan) stated that he had promised to work for four months for his current Employer. In the first three weeks of that time Alan became a Finalist for a position.

3 Our Client wanted to know how quickly any Finalist could join them. Alan said that he had an obligation to his current Organisation but, if it meant that he could only get the job if he resigned, he would do so.

4 The Interviewer knew that, if Alan left, it would leave his current Organisation in a very difficult situation. They would have very little chance of replacing Alan and the rest of the staff would have to take over his work.

5 The above example showed that the Applicant would let down his current Organisation by leaving them before the time he had promised to stay with them. Thus it raised doubts about how he would treat other Organisations – e.g. the one he wanted to join.

6 Applicants might compare the above approach to one where an Inter­viewee says quite firmly: “Sorry, but I will not leave my current Organisation before my contract expires. I have to do the right thing by them”.

7 Applicants who make such comments appear to want to do the right thing by any Organisation.

Breaking Confidentiality

8 Applicants should take care not to talk about confidential infor­mation of a former or current Employer. Will Interviewees who cannot keep the secrets of others keep the secrets of a prospective Employer?

Criticising People

9 Interviewees should consider the approach they will take to criticising other people with whom they have worked. Some Inter­viewers may downgrade an Interviewee who criticises others.

10 Some Interviewers encourage such criticisms to check the Interviewee’s ability to evaluate people. Sometimes Interviewers know the people concerned and want to see how their views compare with those held by the Interviewee.

11 Wise Interviewers will distinguish between Interviewees who criticise others without any prompting by an Interviewer. However some Inter­viewees make non-Prompted criticisms because they need to use the content of the criticism to support their own actions.

12 Example. I left the ABC Company because my General Manager asked me to authorise accounts which an Invest­igator would soon learn did not exist.

13 Wise Interviewees will try to give both good and bad points about any person they feel obliged to discuss in an interview. This attempt to give a balanced view will probably suggest a mature Interviewee to most Interviewers.

Plan how to deal with a Request to do Psychology Tests (Part C3)


Interviewees should plan how they will react to a request to do psychology tests. if they have no objection, they have no problems. if they object, they enter a catch-22 situation: refusal suggests they have something to hide and/or fear. poor results will reduce their chances of obtaining the position. if interviewees intend to refuse, they should realise what they risk. this section also discusses what interviewees can do if they have already done somle psychology tests and why psychologists will ask for additional testing. Interviewees should arrange that they do the tests when physically (and psycho­logically) fit (well).

Some Selectors use Psychology Tests

1 Some Interviewers follow an interview by asking the Interviewee to do some Psychology Tests. Applicants should decide how they will deal with this request.

The Applicant would like not to do the Tests*

2 Applicants may believe that tests prove nothing or even mislead. However they should ask themselves – what effect will a refusal have on the attitude of the Interviewer and/or Client.

3 A refusal provides evidence about the Applicant. At the least, it upsets the routine cf the Selector. Further it insults the Selector’s selection techniques.

4 Applicants find themselves in a Catch-22 situation. If the tests provide evidence which reduces their chance of getting the job they would want to avoid them. If they refuse to allow collection of the evidence, the Selectors will ask what have they got to hide? It follows that Applicants should think very carefully before they refuse to do psychology tests.

The Applicant has done some Psychology Tests previously

5 Sometimes Applicants have done tests before. If so, sometimes they can save themselves some time by telling the Selectors. In this case Selectors may seek information from previous Testers.

6 Psychologists should not release details of testing (and other information) without permission of the individual concerned (except to the Client who commissioned the testing). Thus Applicants should find that they have to contact the Psychologists and give permission to release their results.

7 Applicants can decide just what information they release. They can release test information and/or interview information and/or information collected from Referees.

8 If a written report exists, Applicants can give permission to the previous Tester to provide that written report to another person. However the Consultant/Psychologist may charge something for that service.

* Experience about one in fifty refuse to do

The Applicant has done Tests before and has a Copy of the Report on the Testing

9 Some Applicants provide copies of a Personnel Appraisal (which includes test results, if the Appraisal included Psychology Testing). They include it with their application or bring it to an interview,

The Need for Additional Testing

10 Applicants who have done tests before should not expect to avoid testing altogether. Most Psychologists in Australia use tests supplied by the Australian Council of Educational Research* but they will vary which ones they use for particular purposes. In addition they have tests which they know a lot about and thus prefer to use.

11 If other Psychologists use a different (say) personality test they will want the Testee to do their particular personality test.

Preparation for Testing

12 Testees who attend for psychological testing should make sure they have prepared themselves. They should have a good nights sleep and try to do the tests earlier in the day or at least, not after a tiring and stressful day.

13 However most importantly they need to put forward effort. Few people ever reach their physiological limits only their psychological limits. Most people who want to try hard to do something can lift themselves for the time involved.

* Some will use other sources of tests as well.

Plan how to deal with Applications for Other Jobs (Part C4)


Interviewees should give full information about their applications for, and interest in, other jobs because it helps selectors decide whether to try to speed up the selection process. telling lies on this topic can count against interviewees.

Why Interviewers ask about other Job Applications

1 Some Interviewers will question Applicants about other applications they have in progress. This information helps Selectors decide how fast they want to carry out their own selection. If they particularly favour an Applicant who may get an offer of a different job in a week’s time, the Selector can try to hurry up the selection process.

2 Thus Applicants should give accurate information to Selectors. If they give inaccurate information they risk not getting a chance to ‘ receive consideration for the job at a time suitable to them.

3 Selectors may also ask Applicants to rate their interest in the other job applications. This information allows the Selectors to decide how much they should try to speed up the selection process.

The Dangers of lying – and why do so?

4 Some Applicants lie about their job applications – they say they have none in progress. Then a few days later they withdraw because they have accepted another position. Interviewees should appreciate that a lie about this topic can count against an Applicant just as much as giving inaccurate information about their past history.

5  The questions arises -  why should Applicants  keep secret other job applications.

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Help Interviewers obtain the Names of Referees (Part C5)


Interviewees should plan for when interviewers ask them for the names of people that can provide information about the interviewees (i. e. referees). they should select people who can provide useful information. if the interviewers wish to select the people, interviewees should avoid trying to stop interviewers from talking to particular people (unless from their current employer). however tell the interviewers which people probably will make unfavourable coments and on which topic.

Identify some suitable Referees

1 Some Interviewers seek to obtain the names of people (Referees) with whom they can discuss the Interviewee.

2 Interviewees should plan for this possibility. However many Selectors will not seek Referees until the later stages of the selection process.*

Which People rate as suitable Referees?

3 Most Selectors will pay little attention to written references because they will have rarely, if ever, seen an unfavourable written reference presented to them by an Interviewee.**

4 Similiarly they will not put much weight on the views of people who rate as friends of the Applicant. However, if short of other suitable Referees, they may use them. In that case if a friend gives some points which rate as rather critical of the Interviewee then, probably, the Interviewer will give them a significant weight.

5 Wise Interviewers will seek information from people who have worked inside the same Organisation as, and close to, the Interviewee. Thus Interviewees should consider the people with whom they have worked in more recent times and offer those names that have an exten­sive knowledge of the way they work. Continue reading

React appropriately when Interviewers interrupt you (Part C6)


Interviewees should recognise when Interviewers interrupt them: Then they can consider checking the reason. Interviewers might interrupt because they have (a) little interest in the topic (b) a need to finish the interview, (c) classed the Interviewee’s answers as generally too long.

Recognise an Interruption has occurred

1 Interviewees should recognise when an Interviewer has cut off their answers. If they feel reasonably relaxed in the interview, they should consider what that action means.

Possible Reasons for Interruptions

2 Interviewees should consider seeking an explanation for one or more interruptions.

3 They might say “I didn’t finish my answer on that particular question. Have you received enough information on the topic for your purpose?”

4 If the Interviewer answers “Yes’, they will know that the Interviewer aimed to stop them talking further on that topic.

5 If an Interviewer cuts them off three or four times, the Interviewer may (a) have a deadline and want to finish the interview faster by reducing the length of the Interviewee’s answers or (b) rate the Interviewee as answering in too much detail.

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Watch whether the Interviewer only appears finished (Part C7)


Wise Interviewers still observe Interviewees carefully – even though they have put down their pen or chat with them on the way out.

An apparently-finished Interview may lower the Defences of some  Interviewees

1 Some Interviewers put down their pen and chat to the Interviewee at the end of the interview.

2 Sometimes this action makes the Interviewee think that the interview has finished. Thus they tend to relax and give a somewhat different picture of themselves than they have done previously.

3 Interviewees should realise that Interviewers can, and do, record comments after Interviewees have left the interview.

Avoid Speaking when Interviewers Read (Part C8)

Interviewees should stop speaking if the Interviewers start reading to avoid conflicting communication signals. Interviewees can use the silence to relax, observe their surroundings, consider the performance of the Interviewer, and/or consider ways they can improve their own performance.

Listening and Reading (at the same time) conflict

1 Interviewees should remember that if they speak while the Interviewer reads, the Interviewer cannot either listen to them or read the material very well. Thus they should allow the Interviewer to read in silence.

Make good use of Silence

2 In that time Interviewees can relax and look around the room for useful information (See Section B4). If they feel confident and relaxed they can go over what has happened in the interview to check for (a) areas that they have not handled well and/or (b) other topics they would like to see discussed before the interview closes.

3 They could think about the Interviewer. They might evaluate the Interviewer’s performance and ask themselves what more information should the Interviewer aim to obtain from the Interviewee?

Expect Intervewers to take Notes (Part C9)


Wise interviewers take notes because they cannot recall the content of an interview – especially a long one

Interviewees should observe when their interviewer takes notes and stops doing so. it may indicate areas of specific interest. it may also suggest a lack of interest in the interviewee’s answers and the interviewees may wish to try to increase the interviewers interest when they consider the topic important.

Only experienced confident interviewees should consider pacing what they say in relation to the interviewers note taking – unless giving important specific information.

Note taking by Interviewers helps accurate Information gathering.

1 interviewers cannot recall all, or even most of, the information given during selection interviews. wise interviewers will take notes. wise interviewees will expect interviewers to take notes.

2 interviewees should note when their interviewer takes detailed notes. it may help them to discover more about what interviewers want to do in the interview and what interests them.

3 an interviewer who takes notes fairly continuously will indicate less interest in some things if they stop taking notes on particular topics. in that case interviewees should consider whether they should reduce the length of their answer and stop talking about the topic.

4 if they rate the topic as important they should consider how to interest the interviewer in the topic and/or check the interviewer’s interest.

5 if they do try to interest the interviewer, they have a positive indication that they have succeeded if the Interviewer starts taking notes again.

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Part D – How to become an effective Interviewer in Job Interviews Part D1 – Ask Questions about the Job and the Organisation


Applicants usually have a chance to ask questions about the new organisation and the job. how they do so gives the interviewer some evidence about the interviewee.

Interviewees should choose questions which help them decide whether to give time to the next stage of the selection process. basically they should decide what information they must know at this stage before they will proceed further.

The following lists information interviewers often seek: (a) time it will take to travel from home to the workplace (b) likely career opportunities (c) remuneration (d) likely future of the organisation and (e) time away from home.

Ask Interviewers wise Questions – but remember this Action also provides Evidence about the Interviewee

1 interviewees usually have some chance during one or more interviews to ask questions about the organisation and the job.

2 the way they ask questions, the number, and their content also provide interviewers with further evidence about the interviewees. thus interviewees should consider their questions from this viewpoint as well as their own. Continue reading

Questions for Prospective Employers (Part D2)


Interviewees should find out many things about prospective Employes and their new job. most interviewees ask p4r too few questions and obtain too little information. this section gives an illustrative case and offers a list of possible questions which interviewees should consider using before they accept a job offer.


1 Once Applicants become Finalists for positions they should think seriously about whether they would accept the position, if offered.

2 To help decide, they should find out information about the Organ­isation and the Position.

3 Applicants should seek information from the Executives involved in the selection process. They should also consider seeking information from other people both inside and outside the Organisation. Often people who have left the Organisation in the last year or so will provide useful information.

4 The objectives and questions in the section after the next should help Interviewees become wise Interviewers. However first an illustrative case sets the scene.

An illustrative Case

5 An Accountant applied for a position with a Company. He had an interview with one of the Partners and a second interview with both Partners. They offered him the job.

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