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The latest news, trends and information to help you with your recruiting efforts.

Posted April 18, 2016 by

3 tips for a successful situational interview

Business cartoon showing psychologist asking interviewee dog a question courtesy of Shutterstock.com

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Have you ever had a situational interview? In situational interviews, interviewers ask candidates questions on how they might handle specific situations in the workplace; these interviews differ from behavioral interviews. When recruiters ask you behavioral questions, they ask you how you have handled situations in the past. When recruiters ask you situational questions, they want to know how you would hypothetically handle situations should they occur in the future. For students and recent grads who may lack work experience, situational questions give you a chance to shine and showcase your problem solving and critical thinking skills. These interviews also tell potential employers whether or not you’re the right cultural fit for their companies based on what you will do in the future, not what you’ve done in the past. Whether you’re a college student, recent graduate, or other job seeker, here are three tips to prepare you for a successful situational interview.

1. See yourself in the job.

When answering questions, answer them to explain the way you might behave in real settings in the workplace. Describe the action you would take as an employee and explain why you would take that action.

2. Research potential employers.

You don’t want to go into any interview without researching a potential employer. Understanding a company’s policies and company culture will give you a better idea of what it expects of employees. This can help you answer situational interview questions because you can, at least partly, base your responses on research.

3. Avoid profanity and stay positive.

Be careful not to use profanity during your situational interview. You may not only offend the interviewer, but you also leave a negative impression of how you might talk to co-workers. Stay positive, and keep focused on how you will help a potential employer. Never bash former employers or focus on what has gone wrong in the past. Situational interviews give you the chance to discuss what you might do differently if given the chance, so focus on being positive, hopeful, and optimistic.

Situational interviews foreshadow what job seekers could be like in the workplace. Prepare to answer questions relevant to the job and company you’re interested in, so employers will see you as the best fit for them.

Do you need more information on interviewing for your job search? Click on over to the College Recruiter blog and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube.

Posted March 30, 2016 by

Narrowing your candidate pool

When recruiting college students and recent grads, it’s important to narrow your candidate pool as you go through the college recruiting process.

This article and accompanying three videos, hosted by College Recruiter’s Content Manager, Bethany Wallace, feature The WorkPlace Group experts Dr. Domniki Demetriadou, Partner and Director of Assessment Services, and Dr. Steven Lindner, Executive Partner. The videos are part of a 15-video series featuring The WorkPlace Group experts.


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Employers can become overwhelmed by the number of candidates in the candidate pool, depending on the size of the employer and number of internships and entry-level jobs available. The process of narrowing down the pool typically begins with resume review.

Individuals apply in numerous ways: resume books, walk-in applicants, job boards, career fairs, on-campus interviews, etc. Regardless of how candidates apply, resumes must be reviewed. WPG uses a resume checklist which is scientifically constructed. Reviewing resumes objectively allows employers to make clear inferences about candidates’ qualifications.

In high volume situation, particularly for employers with large college recruiting programs, WPG recommends using a web screen to narrow the candidate pool. The web screen allows employers to quickly qualify or disqualify candidates. Next, employers conduct either a phone screen or video-based interviews. This step helps the recruiters get to know the candidates on a deeper level.

After conducting these screening steps, the employer would interview the candidate face-to-face: either an OCI (on-campus interview) or an interview on site at the employer location. This would help the employer to decide whether to hire or not hire the individual and to decide whether to conduct background checks, drug screenings, and other necessary paperwork.


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The qualities employers should be looking for when recruiting candidates can vary depending on the organization and the job function/position. The WorkPlace Group develops an ideal candidate profile featuring the requirements for the position and nice-to-haves when working with employers. Employers should also consider what learning objectives they want to set for each position—what do they want student interns to learn? By working through this process before interviewing candidates, employers can eliminate the problem of hiring the wrong candidates for positions.

The last video offers specific tips for narrowing the candidate pool.


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1) Focus on soft skills in interviews, not technical competencies, when interviewing interns and recent grads. Employers must remember that students are students, not polished professionals.

2) Use situational questions, not behavioral interview questions. Ask “can do, not have done” type questions. Students won’t necessarily be able to draw upon past experience when answering interview questions, but they can explain what they might do hypothetically. They can demonstrate problem solving skills when answering situational questions.

3) When hiring for technical roles, focus assessment at the right level. You can’t expect new grads to be experts in technical areas; you can expect them to have an appropriate level of skill based on their education and level of experience, though. Talk to them about their projects in particular classes to gain insight into their studies.

Always be as rigorous and scientific as possible in the interview process.

 

For more tips on college recruiting from The WorkPlace Group, subscribe to our YouTube channel and check out all 15 videos featuring experts Dr. Domniki Demetriadou and Dr. Steven Lindner.

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Dr. Steven Lindner, Executive Partner, WPG

Dr. Steven Lindner, Executive Partner, WPG

Dr. Steven Lindner is the executive partner of The WorkPlace Group®, a leading “think-tank” provider of recruitment services assisting companies ranging from small, fast growing businesses to multinational Fortune 500 companies. He is an expert in Talent Acquisition and Assessment, has appeared in many radio and TV interviews and a frequent presenter at HR conferences.  He writes weekly employment articles for the NY Daily News and holds a Ph.D. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from Stevens Institute of Technology.

 

 

 

Dr. Domniki Demetriadou, Partner and Director of Assessment Services, WPG

Dr. Domniki Demetriadou, Partner and Director of Assessment Services, WPG

Dr. Domniki Demetriadou, is a partner and director of assessment services of The WorkPlace Group®, a leading “think-tank” provider of recruitment services assisting companies ranging from small, fast growing businesses to multinational Fortune 500 companies.  Demetriadou is an expert in Talent Acquisition and Assessment, and a member of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and the American National Standards Taskforce. She is a frequent presenter at HR conferences and has led many multinational recruiting programs. She holds a Ph.D. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from The Graduate Center at Baruch College, CUNY.