Job Specification and Employee Interview

Job Description for the Position

The process of determining the person to employ in every position within a firm requires an understanding of what the officeholder is expected to do. Job description entails what the office should achieve, roles and responsibilities of the occupier of the office, the person the officer in that office will be answerable to, and the remuneration that the office caries. Snell (2013) says that job description helps in matching the skills of the occupier of the office, and the expectation of the entire project. It helps in determining the office that will be responsible for every single activity within the implementation process. In this case, the job will involve junior management. The officer for this office will be responsible for managing sales agents of this firm. The sales agent will be reporting to this office, and the officer in charge will report to the marketing manager of this insurance firm. It is the responsibility of the officeholder to ensure that employees in this department are always motivated and able to meet the set targets in their respective tasks.

In this particular position, the candidate will be a human resource manager who will be reporting to the human resource general manager. It is important to understand the main tasks that this officer will be responsible for in this firm. The following are some of the main tasks that the successful candidate who occupies the position of the human resource manager will be responsible for.

  1. Supervision of the 60 employees who are working in this firm to ensure that they undertake their duties as expected.
  2. Working closely with the head of other departments (such as the marketing, finance, logistics, and production units) to ensure that they have the right workforce for their tasks.
  3. Implementing the policies of the firm through the employees of this firm as directed by the Human Resource General Manager.
  4. Ensure that all the employees remain motivated within the firm by acting as a bridge between employees and the top management of the firm.
  5. To coordinate with other supervisors and heads of departments within the firm to promote or transfer employees as may be appropriate.
  6. To nature talent among employees by having a direct engagement with all the employees under his or her jurisdiction.

The candidate for this position must be able to undertake the above tasks with diligence and many other tasks that may be assigned to him or her by the Human Resource General Manager.

Job Specification for the Position

According to Roberts (2000), job specification is very important in describing the kind of employee that is needed for the task assigned. It is the description of the person who should hold the position. Person description involves describing the person that would hold a particular office within the project. When describing the person, care should be taken to ensure that there is a match with the job description. Person description would simply be the characteristics of the person who would be fitting into an office whose requirements have clearly been stated. The characteristics of the person would always be analyzed based on the descriptions given when describing the job. In this case, the desired candidate must be able to work in teams. The candidate should be computer literate and be able to work under minimal pressure. This candidate should have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in human resource management or an equivalent academic qualification. Below are some of the key areas of the specification that should be checked when selecting the right candidate.


In this case, the quality that will be checked is the capacity of that particular candidate to handle the tasks. Competency is probably the most important virtue that a prospective candidate for this position should hold. In this case, the ideal candidate should be competent enough to handle the employees, and follow the instructions of the human resource general manager. In handling employees, the competency will be based on the ability of the candidate to manage their needs, address any of their concerns, and be a good link between them and the top management. Employees should feel that with him at the office, their interests are cared for. They should feel that the officeholder can drive them to higher heights in their respective duties. On the other hand, following the instructions of the human resource manager or any other senior officer involves ensuring that the policies of this firm can flow freely from top management to the junior employees.

Not every instruction or policy from the top office can be pleasant to the employees. However, it is the responsibility of the human resource manager to ensure that such a policy is implemented without making the employees feel that they are oppressed. It is through this that this officer will ensure that there is a harmonious implementation of policies within the organization. The candidate should also be able to meet the targets set by the management on what employees under his or her jurisdiction should achieve.


The level of knowledge that a candidate has is also very vital information that the recruiting panel will be interested in. This is a managerial position, and the officeholder of this position should be able to address various issues in a diligent manner and in a way that will deliver the best results. As Elearn (2009) says, people will always handle various situations differently based on their level of education. The approach that a graduate will give to an issue that may arise in the firm will be different from that of an individual without a college certificate. For this matter, there is a need to ensure the person holding this office can be trusted to make sound decisions based on the knowledge he or she has in this field. As was mentioned previously, the minimum academic qualification that the holder of this office should have his bachelor’s degree in human resource management or related qualification. However, the preferred candidate should have a minimum of a master’s degree in human resource management or business administration. This academic qualification would help ensure that the candidate has the right intellectual knowledge that can enable him or her to make the right decision. This is because the decisions made by this officer always have a direct impact on the entire firm.


According to Sims (2007), the trait of an employee within the firm is always a determination of how issues will always be approached within the firm. The trait of an employee will also dictate how such an employee will relate to fellow employees and the employer. When the candidate is supposed to occupy a managerial position, it even becomes important to define the trait. In this case, the trait can be analyzed from two fronts. The first front is to analyze how this candidate’s trait will impact the junior employees working under him or her. The candidate should have a trait that will always make employees motivated. The candidate should always be jovial and respectful towards employees. He should also have strong persuasive skills which are not considered coercive by the employees. To the employer, this candidate should have a go-getter attitude in his activities. The candidate should always be in a position to deliver good results whenever assigned duties by the management. This candidate should also be able to work under very minimal supervision. The person occupying this office will be trusted to make rational judgments on behalf of the top management whenever there is a need.


It is always important to have a candidate with enough experience in handling employees. As Lengnick-Hall (2003) says, the experience is the best teacher as it exposes an individual to a practical situation to every problem that is presented. This scholar says that when hiring an employee in a managerial position, it is always important to ensure that the candidate has enough experience that can enable him or her to handle various situations when they arise. In the business environment, there are cases where classwork may not be relevant. In such occasions, the most important thing is always the experience that an individual may have a similar issue in the past. This way, such an individual can use the previous incident as a precedent upon which a decision can be made now. For this position, two years of experience in a similar position is desirable. However, the recruiting panel should also consider an individual with two or more years of experience in a lower position than this. This should be done with the hope that the candidate must have had experience by being engaged in various activities related to this position.

Open-Ended Interview Questions

In the process of recruiting a candidate for specific positions, it is always necessary to ask relevant questions that will ensure that the right candidate is picked for this position. This is always done during the interviews. As Cooper (2001) says, it is very common for the recruiting panel to finally pick the wrong candidate for various posts just because of asking the wrong questions. This scholar says that interviews offer the recruiting panel a rare opportunity to understand the applicant beyond what is presented in their resumes and other testimonials. In most cases, an applicant is always a stranger to the recruiting panel. The panel may not have a record of the trait of the applicant or how well he or she can perform assigned tasks. In the current society where technology is advanced and fraud is rife, there is a possibility that what is presented in the papers presented by the candidate may not be the truth about him or her. For this matter, the interviews are always used to ensure that the capacity of the candidate is determined beyond any reasonable doubt. The following are some of the questions that should be asked in different categories.

Job knowledge

It is important to determine the level of knowledge of the candidate on the job. To do this, these questions are necessary.

  1. Where did you previously work before deciding to join this firm?
  2. What do you know about this position that is being offered to you?
  3. Why do you think that you are the best candidate for this position in this firm?
  4. How do you intend to undertake your duties when you are finally confirmed as the holder of this office?
  5. Who are the officers you think will be very vital in helping achieve your duties in this position and why?

These questions should act as a basis for helping the recruiting panel understand the level of knowledge the candidate has over the job to be offered.


As was mentioned before, the experience is important when recruiting a candidate for a managerial position. In this case, the following questions will be important in helping ensure that the most experienced candidate is picked for this position.

  1. How long have you worked in a managerial or related position?
  2. What were some of the memorable events you had on working in this position, and how did they transform your thinking as a human resource manager?
  3. What are some of the challenges have you faced as a holder of this position, and how did you overcome them?
  4. Why do you think that the human resource manager is always considered as the bedrock of a firm in the current competitive market?

The above questions will help the panel determine the experience that the applicant has in this field, and how well equipped he or she is in handling crisis or any abnormal occurrence in his or her line of duty.


The behavior of the employee in this position is also very important because it is through it that the 60 employees will become motivated or otherwise. The following questions may be relevant to understanding the behavior of the applicant.

  1. How do you always manage yourself when exposed to an unpleasant situation?
  2. How do you view employees with a lower rank than yours in terms of respect?
  3. How would you communicate an order from a higher office that employees may consider unpleasant?
  4. When would you consider bringing in a formal or informal relationship between you and:
    1. A higher office?
    2. A junior office?

These questions are closely related to the questions in the section below.


In this section, the following are some of the questions that should be asked.

  1. How would you behave when you have to make a decision that may be controversial?
  2. When would you consider involving higher authorities in making decisions?

These questions will help determine how the employee will behave in different situations.

Review of Articles on the Effectiveness of Interview Sessions

Most of the selection panels consider interviews as the most appropriate process of understanding the applicants due to its high validity. It is for this reason that has made this process the most important part of a selection process because it offers the management an opportunity to understand the applicants. The process will be used in this recruitment process to increase the validity of the selection process and ensure that finally, the most qualified candidate will be the one to be selected. As Mathis (2012) says, this not only increases the chances of selecting the best-qualified candidates but also eliminates the possibility of an applicant using the credentials of others. The following are some of the activities that may be tested.

Testing of the Skills

It is always important for the selection panel to test the skills of applicants whenever this is possible. Most of the recruiting specialists currently prefer testing skills using Alpha-Numeric Data Entry Test for the officers who would be responsible for managing records within the firm (Billsberry, 2007). The test can be administered to specific individuals with varying qualifications. The applicants can also be assessed at the Assessment Center by relevant authorities.

The Cognitive Test

According to Molander (2009), a cognitive test refers to the process of testing the strength of the mind. It is a process that is meant to test the mind. In any of the identified managerial positions, there will be a need to conduct a cognitive test to determine the mental capacity of the applicants. Various scientific approaches can be used in testing the mental capacity of an individual. This cognitive test is very vital in determining the capacity of an individual to perform a given duty within a specified time. The test is very important for managerial positions because this position would always demand that an individual makes a decision that will affect other employees and the firm during its normal operations. These individuals must, therefore, be in a position to make rational decisions.

Testing the Personality

The process of testing the personality of an applicant is always important in determining how effective an employee would be within a firm. Personality testing helps to determine how, upon successful recruitment, such an individual would manage self, and other situations when faced with them in a practical setting. The selection team can use the NEO PI-R test. This test will help in understanding such qualities of the applicants as the attitude, emotions, motivational style among other personality traits. This will help in identifying candidates with the ability to manage their attitude, feelings, or emotions when faced with situations that may be challenging (Storey, 2007). The entry-level managers should be subjected to this test because of their role within the firm. Anyone in the leadership position should always have a strong personality that would enable him or her to meet the challenges that come with their position. They should be able to control their emotions and be able to motivate others to work effectively.

Other skills

The process of assessing these employees should happen within the assessment centers. The assessment centers should be under the direct supervision of the head of the human resource department, with the help of Human Resource assistants. The human resource manager will ensure that the other HR assistants, who will be the assessors, understand the assessment strategies that are appropriate when assessing the applicants. They should understand the matrix method used to assess innovation, influence, analysis, and empathy of the employees. These assessors will be focusing on the candidates’ leadership capabilities, oral skills, attention to detail, and persuasive skills.


Billsberry, J. (2007). Experiencing recruitment and selection. Chichester: John Wiley & Sons.

Cooper, D. (2001). Recruitment and selection: A framework for success. London: Thomson Learning.

Elearn L. (2009). Recruitment and selection. Amsterdam: Pergamon.

Lengnick-Hall, C. (2003). Human resource management in the knowledge economy: New challenges, new roles, new capabilities. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler.

Mathis, R. (2012). Human resource management: Essential perspectives. Mason: South-Western Cengage Learning.

Molander, C. (2009). Managing human resources. London: Routledge.

Roberts, G. (2000). Recruitment and selection: A competency approach. London: Institute of Personnel and Development.

Sims, R. (2007). Human resource management: Contemporary issues, challenges and opportunities. Greenwich: Information Age Publishers.

Snell, S. (2013). Managing human resources. Mason: South-Western.

Storey, J. (2007). Human resource management: A critical text. London: Thomson.