Psychological testing

For selection purposes, the panel interview can be useful. The reason for this is that there are a number of people applying for this job and each of them submitted the application form, hence their strengths and weaknesses could be shown on the forms, but in order to better discern which candidate is best suited to the position, it is necessary to find out more about their skills and experience. There are many advantages to the panel interview, for instance, it may provide additional technical expertise necessary for a complete evaluation of applicants’ backgrounds.

Also the applicant has the opportunity to meet several representatives of the organisation and therefore may be provided with more complete information about the job and the organisation. As well as these factors, interviewers are able to base their decisions on the same sample of behaviour. Finally, the panel interview is less time-consuming and repetitive for the applicant than serial interviews (a series of individual interviews). On the other hand, there are several disadvantages to the panel interview. Firstly, establishing rapport is difficult.

Given the potentially intimidating and overwhelming atmosphere of the panel interview, panel members need to make every effort to establish rapport with the applicant and put him / her at ease. Secondly, there may be a tendency for one panel member to dominate the interview and overly influence panel discussions. Finally, as the size of the panel increases, there is a tendency for similar questions to be asked by the different panel members. To overcome these problems, it is necessary to ensure the applicant feels as relaxed as possible, perhaps by having an informal chat prior to the interview.

Also, it may be advisable to hold a formal meeting in which interviewers should make their opinions known concerning the importance of collective opinion as opposed to one interviewer having too much input. To prevent repetition, a formal list of questions should be agreed and adhered to. ‘Psychological testing increases the predictive validity of selection decisions and measures some factors that can not be assessed through the application form and interview. Psychological tests cover a range of human characteristics and may assess intelligence, ability, interest, motivation and personality.

‘ Ability testing appears to be a suitable final selection method for this position, because each applicant can be tested on specific and measurable job-related skills, such as typing, shorthand and word processing. As the administrator has to take on the general support and administration duties, computer and shorthand skills are very important for this job. Ability testing can also check candidates’ ability, in relation to the skills which they claimed to have in the application form. It is for these reasons that the group have decided to choose this as the final selection method.

There seem to be very few disadvantages with this method, as it is a measurable and accurate means of assessing a candidate’s ability to perform the necessary duties involved in the role. Also, it is far more reliable than references, because there is much less opportunity for bias and dishonesty to become a problem. In order to discover how effective the selection methods chosen are in reality, it is necessary to apply them to the short listed candidates: Applicant number two’s application form suggests a significant degree of suitability. This is evident from his NHS experience.

However, it is not certain whether his position as an office manager has required him to carry out administration tasks like typing and filing or whether he has only worked in a management role. Secondly, although he has seven years experience in the NHS, he has worked as a nurse, not an administrator. Therefore it may be necessary to learn about his role in more detail in the interview and also test his administration skills, if he claims to have any, which may be unlikely. Applicant six appears to be a more suitable potential employee as she has all the relevant skills including NHS experience.

Again it may be a good idea to use additional interview questions and ability testing to confirm these claims. Applicant eight appears to be the strongest candidate on paper. Not only does she have all the relevant skills and experience, but her shorthand is better than applicant six. One potential negative factor however is her past reluctance to retain a position for any significant length of time. Her six years in her current job may however, be an indication that she has realised this problem. Again this could be raised at interview and testing will confirm her abilities.

Overall, from the research which was undertaken to produce this essay, it can be seen that there are no perfect methods of selection and no perfect combination of methods either. Rather it is a case of applying the relevant academic theory to each selection method and then trying to come up with a combination of methods which best fit the situation in question. This is the reason why the three selection methods were chosen for this assignment. In order to select the best applicant, panel interviews, application forms and testing were chosen.

These methods are not designed to be perfect but rather to provide the solution which is as near to the ideal as possible under the circumstances. Each method has advantages and disadvantages, but it was considered that the various methods chosen would complement each other in such a way as to limit and to some extent overcome any of the disadvantages which each method has on its own. For example ability testing can confirm application form details and possibly reveal any false claims made in application forms and interviews as well as providing verifiable evidence of ability.

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