Recruitment of team

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Development Co-Ordinator


Recruitment of team
I have been tasked to recruit a small telesales/telemarketing team which is selling solutions. I have organised inductions, telesales training, product and technical training etc. The basics are in place, can anyone please advise what are excellent questions to ask in an interview to determine if they can make the grade. Quetions specifically for this type of role?




What's your benchmark?
Hi Maisie,

It really depends on what your benchmark is, how you are measuring it and how you know if you are achieving it.

Salient competancies to look out for are

Influencing skills

Other competancies such as

Team work
Problem solving
Customer service focus

may be involved to a greater or lesser degree depending on role.

Good luck

WFM & Business Telephony Manager

Healthcare Insurance

Interview questions
Is it worth asking any questions relating to the candidates technical background?

IMHO there's nothing wirse than asking a salesperson a 'simple' technical question and getting "I Dunno" as an answer.

You don't have to go too deeply into the background but a few simple questions
can save alot of trouble down the line!

I've had one candidate for a job selling B2B webspace that didn't know what
HTML was for!!!! I don't mind explaning the acronym but inthat case I shouldn't have had to explain what it was!

I know you probably can't tell us TOO much about the solution you are selling but if you can give a
>little background I might be able to give you a few ideas.



Telemarketing Manager


Excellent questions
I would ask, If I were to ask your mother to describe you what would she say?
This will give you good insight into what they think of themselves.

One of my personnel favourites is, what are your 3 favourite films and why. People are caught totally off guard by it and tell the truth, this gives your allot of information about the person on a more personnel level.

The line "what's your understanding of" works well with any product but I would say its down to whether you like the person or not at the end of the day. You can train people on products but like Dave said if you have to explain HTML to them forget it.




Interview questions
Hi Maisie,

Have you considered the use of psychometrics?

I fully support the view offered in that your interview questions should be based on the competencies needed for the role.

However I would go one step further and introduce a psychometric test. From the test you could develop specific questions, based around your competencies, which target areas that may be of concern to you regarding the particular individual.


Austen Field


Gately Consulting

the right questions to ask
You could use a sales assessment, such as our Sales Indicator,
or use a job fit assessment, such as our Profile Assessment. The
Profile is more effective because it assesses a more areas that
are critical for job success. You can a sample report at our
sample reports page "" and
notice that there is no "www." at the beginning of the web
page address.

Training Consultant

Management Introductions

Questions for Telesales
Hi Maisie,
The advice you have been given in the posts is all very sound; however, an additional question to ask them is:

"If you were a TV show, what TV show would you be and why?"

There are three reasons for this!

1) The chances of them being asked it before are slim at best which means they cannot prepare for it and give you a pre-prepared answer. (Which people can do to most questions)

2) If they are a really good salesman then it means they are good at thinking on thier feet; thus if they stall too much, they will do the same when on the phone and posed a new query; if however they answer quickly then they are a natural!

3) Finally, the answer itself will dictate what type of person they are; i.e. if it is logically related to the first part of their answer, then they are a logical thinker; or if it is a funny answer, then they are a bit of a comedian (No bad thing in telesales!) etc!

I hope this helps!




Jumping through hoops.
"If you were a TV show, what TV show would you be and why?"

From an HR point of view I'd be concerned about a question of this nature. If the candidate is declined on the basis of this question and the potential employer cannot provide a sound legal basis for declination then an employment tribunal may take a dim view. The question would not appear to provide such a basis.

From the candidate's point of view the question lacks objectivity and relevance.
If the candidate is from a different ethnic background to the interviewer and answers with a TV show specific to their culture/gender (eg Asian Eye, GayTV) and is declined purely on this basis there are grounds for discrimination. Furthermore given those answers and a possible cultural void, the interviewer is none the wiser regarding skills, thus nothing significant has been added.

Some candidates will not see the relevance of the question and may react negatively towards its inclusion.

The question itself is abtract and unfocussed, it does not direct the candidates abilities or skills significantly it merely highlights a programme and asks the candidates themselves to justify why they ought to be that programme. Whilst this may highlight creativity, use of logic, reasoning and influencing skills, it doesnt cope adequately with objection handling techniques, matching, closing, resilience, questioning techniques, motivation, target setting, vigour, structure, clarity, rapport building, powers of expression, confidence, assertiveness etc all of which are highly desirable skills and qualities in a salesperson.
Furthermore there are plenty of good salesperson who are not quick thinkers, logical or creative or funny, they rely on other skills (and experience) and an employer may miss them. To reiterate as an employer you must have and be able to justify a sound legal basis for declination and your process must be fair to all.

If you want to find out what type of person they are and match that to the job description then there are many psychometrics or SHL or other tests you could use.

Competency based assessments including structured interviews and role plays are becoming very popular in probing for specific competencies and are rapidly becoming HR best practice in the assessment of skills and behaviours.

Recruitment has moved on considerably from the "sell me yourself" questions.

Training Consultant

Management Introductions

TV Show Questions

Chill out there! It was just a bit of advice for Maisie!

I wasn't suggesting that they sit the candidate down, ask them solely that question, and base the whole recruitment decision on that one answer!

I complimented the other suggestions (Of which, one was yours) and merely threw mine in as an aside! An additional question that can bring a human element to a process that is stressful to budding candidates; whilst still achiveing the goal of information retrieval.

Jason Dickson (Another respondee) suggests, amoungst other things, that they ask the candidate how their Mother would describe them!
Going by your logic; boy would that be opening a can of worms!
What if their Mother had passed away, or they were an Orphan!!!
The candidate would start crying, and they could take them a tribunal for emotional distress and constructive rejection!

"From an HR point of view" you'd be concerned....from a reality point of view I'd be concerned that political correctness leaves us with the ability to ask a candidate nothing more than their name and would they like a cup of tea!



Thanks for your response Paul and I take them in the spirit of cooperation.

No offence meant and I'm sure you weren't advocating asking one question but neither should that single question form the basis of any rejection either.

I am sorry, I did notice Jason's responses after I'd made the posting, you are correct they suffer similar deficiencies. A far more productive question for assessing teamwork capabilities and one that is frequently used is "How would your colleagues describe you?"

Your interpretation of political correctness in this instance is misplaced,
certainly whilst interviewing candidates they do sometimes mention time off to visit their childs graves or the anniversary of the death of a partner. These issues should be treated with the fairness and sensitivity we would all expect any reaction on the candidate or interviewers part should not impinge on the process. Equally the presence of dyslexia, learning difficulties or disabilities may also create issues. Your jest of an ensuing tribuneral may appear extreme however the reality for that candidate and their own unique tragic circumstances should in no way place them at a disadvantage.

I'm not so sure that political correctness has crept into recruitment processes techniques moreover a concerted effort has been instigated (and legislated) to ensure all candidates are assessessed fairly and the bias of the interviewer has been eradicated. This is for the benefit of all genders, cultures and abilities, isn't that something to be proud of?

Maisie, if you are in any doubt please speak to the HR team in your respective country.

Good luck

Vice President

Destination Excellence

Another Question About Hiring
My father used to say: "If you can learn how to get 10 pounds of (dirt, let's say) into a 5 pound bag and stuff it into a 2 pound hole, you'll always have a job."

He was right. Some people will complain that there's too much (dirt, let's say), or that they need a bigger bag, or more bags, or that they need to form a committee to decide who will make the hole bigger. But there's always one person in the crowd who just get's it done.

So, how do we attract, identify and hire that kind of person?

To quote an esteemed colleague on a recent post, "At the end of the day though, they are just theories with identifiable faults and human beings will always be much more than a set of specified categories."

Looking forward to more excellent responses.


Telemarketing Manager


Recruitment of team
Hi people,
I have been watching the site with interest since xmas but have not posted anything as, not much of interest has come up. My colleague highlighted this thread to me which I had written on last year. I think its says allot, given the initial question was,
"Can anyone please advise what are excellent questions to ask in an interview."
I find it quite surprising at the amount of people who have responded and the number of actual questions put forward. I don't have time to count them but there aren't many.

I would be interested in seeing actual questions more than concepts, we are interviewing at the moment and I could do with strengthening my armoury.

CCT are the winners of the 2002 Avaya EMEA Business Partner Best Business Practice Award



Fishing in the wrong pond
Jason said: "I find it quite surprising at the amount of people who have responded and the number of actual questions put forward. I don't have time to count them but there aren't many. "

In my experience HR professionals hang out at HR websites and not Call Centre sites, perhaps also because HR professionals know the commercial value of this knowledge - you will see that no responses are from anyone with an HR job title, there are however several freelancers and consultancies who have contributed with generalised answers, methodolgy and best practice.

On most HR/Training and recruitment websites you wont find too many quoting their own methods and processes, most HR professionals do discuss best practice and methodolgy but not too much specifics. In a commercial world this is commercial information, I'd be willing to tell you more but thats called consultancy and methinks you want the info for free.

The thread is indicative of the maturity of the industry, lots of contributors most with passing on the job exposure and potted examples however a lack of discipline specific qualifications or awareness of best practice. Thats not a criticism merely an observation and if there are any qualified HR professionals who've contributed I stand corrected.

Vice President

Destination Excellence

What do Interviewees ask YOU?
I'm no HR person, but I did read a pamphlet on an airplane once on the topic. Or was that a diagram of the safety features of the aircraft....? Ah, either way, to paraphrase Robert Heinlein, "...specialization is for insects."

A couple of quick points, and I'll get out this sandbox:

1. I agree, true HR people should have an excellent working knowledge of local and federal laws as they pertain to fair hiring. One of the key responsibilities for any HR person is to ensure that their company is never accused of unfair hiring practices.

2. HR cannot be expected to come up with creative (and presumably proprietary) methods for recruiting and hiring excellent people without first having a clear and consistent directive from executive management as to criteria. Without a clear job function, position description and performance criteria, HR will have limited success in profiling, recruiting, or much less interviewing, candidates who may be a good match.

3. Again, I don't have the HR club membership (I eat in the pantry with the kitchen help), but some of the most revealing aspects of a candidate come not from their answers to your questions, but from their own questions to the interviewer. A few non-proprietary examples, from which each may draw their own conclusions:

"How often am I evaluated for pay raises?"
"Is there a dress code here?"
"Can you tell me more about your company's operating philosophy?"
"How much training will I receive prior to starting the job?"
"What was your company's turnover percentage last year?"
"Does your company evaluate employee satisfaction?"
"How long do I get for lunch each day?"
"If I quit, could I ever be eligible for re-hire?" etc, etc, etc

Oh, and Paul, welcome to CCV. Hope your first posting experience won't keep you from sharing your views in the future.


WFM & Business Telephony Manager

Healthcare Insurance

To go off topic for a moment because there are very few
serious Heinlein fans around.

One of the most astute quote ever.

A human being should be able to change a diaper,
plan an invasion, butcher a hog,
conn a ship, design a building,
write a sonnet,balance accounts,
build a wall, set a bone,
comfort the dying, take orders,
give orders, coorperate,
act alone, solve equations,
analyze a new problem, pitch manure,
program a computer, cook a tasty meal,
fight efficiently, die gallantly.

>Specialization is for insects.

I typed this up for one of my frinends for his 30th

OK back on topic.

I must admit the interview question i
"Tell me (us) a little bit about yourself."

It makes me shudder. All I want to do is turn round and say

"About what?"

Questions to ask (as a Non HR person)

"What can you bring to the role?"

"Can you give a recent example of where you have exceded the clients expectations"

Quite a telling one is..

"Can you give an example of where you've failed in something"
It's the total athesisis of standard questions and will show how
someone deals with adversity.

"Can you give an example of how you've influenced someone (NOT persuaded)
to come around to your point of view?"

Just a few and I'd welcome comments/


(We'll skip the penguin logo tonight)

WFM & Business Telephony Manager

Healthcare Insurance

The above post
Oh well.

It looks like proof reading doesn't work for me.

Back to the Mavis course for me.

Sorry for the typos


John is there any way we can edit our own posts?





Recruitment of team
I dont know much about Heinlein but a far longer established and more widely used phrase is "master of all trades and jack of none." It worked for my mother and countless others before here, she didnt read much science fiction but she understood insincerity and vieled insults.

"Hope your first posting experience won't keep you from sharing your views in the future." Another one is "If you've got something to say why not just come out and say it." Brent, the inference in your comments is both patronising to Paul and rude to me.

I'm sure Paul is well able to decide whether to share his own views and would continue to share them if he felt appropriate. Given that you've just bashed me and "dissed" HR professionals the world over perhaps he wont feel so inclined.

The great enemy of clear language is insincerity.
George Orwell (1903 - 1950)


Dave said "Just a few and I'd welcome comments/ "

OK here goes.....

I must admit the interview question i DREAD is
"Tell me (us) a little bit about yourself."

Agreed, it doesnt add much, it works as a good introductory question and is good for putting the candidate at ease, all to often though the candidate will steer their reply to show them in the best possible light and relevance and depth is lost.

It makes me shudder. All I want to do is turn round and say

"About what?"

Usually the question is "Tell me a bit about the job you are currently doing..."

Questions to ask (as a Non HR person)

"What can you bring to the role?"

Err not helpful, the candidate frequently responds with what they think you want to hear not what they can actually bring to the role. If the job desciption is full and detailed then the interviewer and candidate should both know what needs to be brought to the role.

"Can you give a recent example of where you have exceded the clients expectations" .

Great question unless all clients expect excellence. (Its never come up but I'm sure it will.......)

Quite a telling one is..

"Can you give an example of where you've failed in something"
It's the total athesisis of standard questions and will show how
someone deals with adversity.

Agreed, it must always be followed up with supplementarie "How did you deal with that?", "What lessons did you learn from it". Having asked this question hundreds of times with varying answers eg. "I had to remove a person from a shop who was threatening me with physical violence...I called the police". That example doesnt illustrate too well how they dealt with the adversity, more their ability to apply processes and highlighted the bad customer service that went beforehand. Where this question comes into its own is in assessing ability to keep problems in perspective and learn from them as well as coping with demanding situations and/or personal or work oriented goal setting.

"Can you give an example of how you've influenced someone (NOT persuaded)
to come around to your point of view?"

Great question.

Now all you have to do is decide the benchmark and ensure those that talk the talk can walk the walk.

Hope that helps Dave and yes I'd like a spellchecker on this window as well !!


WFM & Business Telephony Manager

Healthcare Insurance

Recruitment of team.

I'd disagree about the "Tell me a little bit about your self" question
putting people at ease. As I said I think it's one of the hardest questions to answer as it's so ambiguous. As a few people here know I'm very into Scuba Diving but I doubt an interviewer wants to hear about my introductory Trimix course! {GRIN} Does anyone here want to know about it? Go on you know you want to! {/GRIN}

I must admit the job I had now I actually had to say in the interview "I don't want to mislead you and let you think I'm and Access Guru."

Still, horses for courses.

What were you doing posting the reply at that time of night? I htough I was up late!


Vice President

Destination Excellence

Thanks and Sorry

Glad you liked the Heinlein reference, it's one of my favorites, too. Thanks for posting the entire quote, it does provide a much more favorable frame of reference to the 'insect' comment. Thanks again.


Obviously I've upset you. For that, I apologize sincerely and without qualification. My attempts at levity in this forum are usually taken as they were intended, and are nothing more than an effort to lighten the mood a bit.

But I must remember that viewing the written word without the benefit of voice inflection, body language, winks and smiles leaves much open to interpretation. In an excellent forum such as this, the open exchange of ideas and opinions should be paramount, and I wish only to encourage, not to discourage, this premise.


Training Consultant

Management Introductions

Going off at tangents!
Hey Y'all!

Boy is this an interesting thread! We've kind of side-tracked from the point (Poor Maisie) but then I guess you can't stiffle interesting debate?

Thanks for the welcome Brent! I only found this site last week and as a Trainer and someone who has a passing interest in HR matters; I find it fascinating and do hope that I can genuinely contribute some intersting stuff! (As well as finding new contracts and ripping off other peoples qoutes to use as my own!)

This site reminds me of my days at the University Mooting Society....although we don't all go get drunk afterwards; shame!


Telecom/Reporting Analyst

Outsource callcenter

Getting way off topic: But what is Mooting?


Training Consultant

Management Introductions

A Mooting is when cows get together to discuss a topic! (Ha ha ha - I am SOOOO funny!)

But seriously; mooting is basically another word for debating! My University had a society where the Law Students would get together and discuss a set legal point and all the related cases!

More fun than you can shake a big stick at....or maybe not! The drinking afterwards was usually the best part!


Telecom/Reporting Analyst

Outsource callcenter

Ahh... that would fit my theory that it was somehow related to the term 'moot point'.


Team Leader

Finance Industry

Recruitment Questions

Hi all

I am currently a Team Leader but participated in a recruitment course last year and facilitate one on one interviews for our Contact Centre Staff (please note, I am not by any means noting myself as a professional HR or Recruitment person). My views are mainly based on Customer Service, although we do also offer products. It is however my firm belief that the same basic principles apply in both Sales & Customer Service.

Yes, political correctness has gotten somewhat in the way of discovering the real person (position applicant). The question is; do you really want to know the "real person" or do you simply need to know the "work person"?

As both an interviewee and an interviewer I find questions like "what television show are you like" and "what type of person does your mother see you as" highly offensive in the professional scope. I myself am a very different person outside of work, although my values are generally aligned. I believe that interview questions should be based around relevant to areas like:

>Ability to gain agreement/resolution
>Conflict resolution
>Professional rapport versus rapport
>General aptitude (a degree means they are good at learning but not necessarily applying)

A good specific question is "what do you know about our organisation?” This is a question not often asked but very valuable.

There are many job hunters out there with aptitude and they know about your organisation. They know about it at least in general term’s i.e. your products, company values or general reputation. You may not be a high profile organisation, but they know what there is to know. This establishes an interest in the culture of the company/organisation itself, not to mention a lot of "proactivity" on the behalf of your potential future employee; two great qualities in any type company.

There is however the question of relevance of question to the type of position offered. As someone stated in an earlier post, specific questions for interviews should be based mainly on your KPI's and general position description. You are more likely to get a professional candidate back for the second interview if promote a more open but professionally based culture.

Anyway, thank you for posing the question Maisy. I have enjoyed reading everyone’s comments for the first time and have saved this on my task bar. I suppose the most important thing for us all to remember is that all opinions are valid. Let’s assume that we all speak from experience (unless otherwise mentioned) and we quote the experiences that have worked for us. Yep…it’s a forum. Enjoy!


Ps…typing words in Word works for me…it has spell check *S*

WFM & Business Telephony Manager

Healthcare Insurance


Damn that sneaky Cut and Paste Command.

Goes and sulks in corner.


Market Development

K2 Solutions

Response to Mr. Preece
Mr. Preece-- in your earlier posting, you wrote:

"true HR people should have an excellent working knowledge of local and federal laws as they pertain to fair hiring. One of the key responsibilities for any HR person is to ensure that their company is never accused of unfair hiring practices."

Personally, I disclaim any knowledge *whatsoever* in the area of distinguishing "true" HR people from those who are not. But if you are under the impression that 'working knowledge' of "local and federal laws as they pertain to fair hiring" should be HR's job, it seems to me as if whomever you are using for legal talent is falling down on the job.

First off, it is impossible to ensure that one's company is never accused of unfair hiring practices-- in the U.S., at least. It is simply a litigious environment, where people have acquired the habit of using legal threats to get what they want. You can get sued for no good reason.

Your legal talent should be teaching HR how to **manipulate** the fair hiring laws. Memorizing them is a waste of (expensive) time.

Vice President

Destination Excellence

May I call you Wiggle?

Please, call me Brent.

Thank you for your post, but I'm afraid I do have to stand by my comment.

A couple of points:

1. While I agree that the 'legal group' must help the HR department learn and understand about fair hiring practices, it is ultimately the job of the HR department to ensure that these practices and laws are adhered to.

2. I'd wager that most anyone who has had to 'run something by legal' before they can make a decision will tell you that it's a lot like sitting in the waiting room at the doctor's office: no telling when they will get to you, and when they do, you will be asked to make any number of superfluous changes unrelated to your initial inquiry.

That's a true waste of (expensive) time, I think. :)

3. Yes, the US is quite the litigious society. Unfortunately. But most 'legal groups' do not reside at the call center itself. They are usually located at 'home office' and are not readily at the call center staff's disposal.

In my humble opinion, the legal staff should only be brought in when absolutely necessary. And the HR staff has the responsibility of protecting the company's interests within the realm of fair hiring practices (among other things, of course).


Market Development

K2 Solutions


Feel free to call me whatever you like ;).

I suspect that we probably disagree on little. The tone of my earlier post was perhaps a bit *off*...What I was intending was more along the lines of indirect commentary on (what I'm guessing is) the performance of *legal* where you are.

I entirely agree with your comment,

"While I agree that the 'legal group' must help the HR department learn and understand about fair hiring practices, it is ultimately the job of the HR department to ensure that these practices and laws are adhered to."

I am just not sure that your 'legal group' is doing a particularly good job, mostly because I read the tone of your comment (perhaps incorrectly) to suggest that fair hiring practices are complex to learn and difficult to implement. If they seem that way, this (I suspect) is the 'legal group's fault, for not explaining them in a practical manner that makes intuitive sense.

And in response to your other points, please forgive me for saying this, but it sounds as if you have a case of bureaucratic sclerosis. The legal group should be *more* accessible to the other units of your organization than most, not less. Yes, their time is *cruelly* expensive, but it is better spent identifying the standard problems that tend to arise, and fixing them *before* they happen-- instead of fixing problems *after* they have already escalated.

If the lawyers have been permitted to organize themselves into an inaccessible bureaucratic hierarchy (as is their tendency, left to themselves), they should be brought into the 21st century.


Vice President

Destination Excellence

True, Wig

Thanks for your reply, and I agree with your stance on the legal teams. My experience with legal teams in the call center has been on a national level, meaning that not only is legal not accessible to the disparate local centers, but their knowledge of state-specific hiring practices is often lacking.

If a company has 10 call centers in 8 different states, and the legal department resides at home office only, it is usually up to the individual call center's HR groups to be resonsible for understanding the variations in hiring laws in their own individual state. The 'big guns' at corporate are usually held in reserve for things that *don't* get done correctly. To your point, it would certainly be better if they were utilized before the fact.

I'm enjoying your posts, WP, and looking forward to reading more of them.



Sai E Seva Dot Com Pvt Ltd

Telesales team selection
Hi Maisie

Apart from other things mentioned by others, one thing you could do is to have telephonic interview with prospective team members. Let them pich themselves for the said position.This works well to have the basic team which is capable of convincing a prospective client; including you-who is essentially a buyer in this case.They sell themselves.

Here if they are able to convince you as to why they should be considered positively by you, for the position, they must be conversant with fundamental telephonic conversations and sales pitch.

You could derive benchmarks for such an interview.



Telephone interviews
Telephone interviews can be faked. I've known people use their relatives to answer for them and pretend they are the candidate, also its sometimes easy to get help from friends and family to help with answers whilst on the phone as well.
Reagrding the sales pitch of their own skills, I've known candidates who had excellent influencing and objection handling skills yet no awareness of their own strengths and weaknesses thus they cannot describe the 'product' and despite being adept fail due to self awareness which isnt a critical factor in sales.

In the area of recruitment face to face communication is always preferable, however a structured role play is often incorporated into the visit/event to assess predicted performance.


Kathy Sisk Enterprises Inc.

telephone interviews
One can try and fake a telephone interview but eventually that person will need to come in for a face to face. There are ways to re verify the telephone discussions as well as validate how qualified the candidate is. In the 28 years I have been recruiting for clients, not once have I had encountered someone who faked the pre interview call. A recruiter should build their recruiting efforts based on the majority of the positive results achieved and not the negatives. If there are people who do fake it, I am positive that it is such a small percentage of them, eventually they will be found out. We conduct two pre interviews over the telephone before deciding if this candidate is good enough for an in person interview. If they sound good over the telephone (this is my primary objective), then it will warrant my time for an in person interview. We make it a challenge for candidates to get a job in a call center, as all too often call center agents act as if the center is fortunate to have THEM as an employee instead of the other way around!

Kathy Sisk
consultant and trainer

Market Development

K2 Solutions

thanks Brent
Hi again, Brent.
Thanks for the compliment, by the way.

I do feel I should respond to your comment:

"If a company has 10 call centers in 8 different states, and the legal department resides at home office only, it is usually up to the individual call center's HR groups to be resonsible for understanding the variations in hiring laws in their own individual state. The 'big guns' at corporate are usually held in reserve for things that *don't* get done correctly. To your point, it would certainly be better if they were utilized before the fact."

If you do not mind me asking, just how large is your legal department? Because real-time tracking of the changes in 'hiring law' jurisprudence in 8 states is hardly an insurmountable task, even assuming that two of the states are NY and Cali. By 'hardly insurmountable' I mean that one lawyer, with IT support, could probably do this. Part time. IF tracking disparate states is somehow a concern, then you just segment the work out to several different lawyers, and have it occupy a smaller portion of each one's time.

I do not want to sound as if I am telling your legal dept. how to do their jobs, but if I understand your organization's existing approach...well, it seems *wasteful* to me.

To use an admittedly poor analogy, if an auto engineer were to say something like this:

We do not use our top safety engineers for design purposes. Rather, we use the ergonomics specialists to do the safety work, design and testing. We only call in the safety engineers **after** the brakes fail on one of our models, and it smashes into something. Then the safety engineer inspects the wreckage to figure out what happened, and fix the problem. If the car is really wrecked, our safety engineers call in outside consultants, and **they** figure out what happened. Then we issue a recall on all the cars of that model out there on the roads, and get (most of) them fixed.

It strikes me as if HR has enough to do, just keeping call center environments adequately staffed. Asking them to be (amateur) lawyers seems a bit much-- I for one, would spend those salary dollars on getting HR to beat the staff attrition monster back into its cave.




Take into account cultural differences
A staffing manager at a multi-billion-dollar technology company interviewed a job candidate from India. The staffing manager felt the candidate was a terrific match for the open position so he arranged a meeting between the candidate and the vice president. The meeting with the vice president only lasted about five minutes, and when the candidate returned to the staffing manager's office, he looked upset. The candidate said that when he walked into the vice president's office, instead of introducing himself or getting to know the candidate, the executive abruptly said, "Why should I hire you?"

The candidate was not accustomed to such blunt behavior. He thought it was offensive and he felt hurt and bewildered as to why the vice president didn't want to learn more about him and his qualifications. In his culture, building a rapport with people was an important part of any communication

- Develop a rapport with candidates. Take time for small talk and introductions. Thank candidates for coming. Provide some information about the organization. Such efforts exemplify respect.

- Don't use the "lazy person's interview question," which is asking—as the first question—"Why should I hire you?"

- If a candidate seems humble or reluctant to talk about personal accomplishments, it may be because the candidate is used to work in a team environment where individuals don't talk about their own accomplishments. To help draw out the information, take the time to ask questions about the team. "Allow the candidate to talk about what others did on the project," Then ask the candidate what was his or her role was on the team.

- Don't assume that taking more time with a candidate during the interview is a negative, or a strike against an individual's performance. Rapport- and relationship-building is highly valued in many cultures. Don't assume the fast-paced way is the best way to communicate.

Body language. Do not assume that lack of direct eye contact is a sign of shyness, lack of assertiveness or not being truthful. In the Latino culture, sustained eye contact can be interpreted as disrespect and is particularly discouraged between members of the opposite sex because of its implied sexual connotations.

Self-marketing. Because of cultural values that discourage self-promotion, many Latinos will use “we” as opposed to “I” when describing their accomplishments.

Senior Operations Manager

West Corporation

My experience
As a Manager that has climbed up the ladder from the bottom rung, I have had extensive opportunities to work not only with local ER/HR but also Legal, in regards to hiring practices..

Since I work at a satellite site, instead of the home office, one would think that to be quite challenging. But in reality, it has been very thorough, quick in response time, and quite satisfactory.. But that could just be due to the quality of our legal/HR/ER teams.

Typically, during an interview, we have a standard set of questions, designed by our HR department, for each specific position. Very few questions are asked outside of that guideline. And any questions I do ask outside it, must be asked of all applicants that I interview. I can't pick and choose which questions to ask, and which not to ask. Overall, the questions given for each position have been quite satisfacory for the job. But, when it comes time for the interview to end, "after" asking all of the standard questions, I do ask pretty much the same question...

1. Well, you have answered the questions so far, pretty well. You have told me what experience you have, but we both know that all of the candidates I will interview, have enough experience.. So I need to know what it is about you, that you believe sets you above the rest?

(This question allows the candidate to break out of the "routine" of just experience, and embellish on their own talents/accomplishments a bit. It also gives you a sense of their own confidence level.)

Typically, I only interview the top 10% of all applicants. I allow my HR department to weed out those non-qualified, and then recommend to me, whom I perform 2nd interviews on, based on thier 1st interviews. This has been extremely successful, and usually nets some fine candidates.. And it frees up a great deal of my time and allows me to focus on people I know HR will approve of, and that I know are qualified.

Whatever you decide, I strongly recommend that you ask your HR group for recommendations in regards to what you ask..



Watch your language
>>>1. Well, you have answered the questions so far, pretty well.

HR would advise against this approach in the UK; any subjective judgement given during the interview eg "you've answered pretty well, excellent, good, that was fine" can be interpreted by the candidate that they have ACTUALLY done quite well, the candidate will be most peeved if they are later rejected.

Casual use of superlatives is not advised in the UK as you could well find yourself in an employment tribunal as a result causing the company bad publicity and a great deal of legal cost as well.

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