Question 1: How would you explain the nature of the panel interview Maria had to endure? Specifically do you think it reflected a well thought out interviewing strategy on the part of the firm or carelessness on the part of the firm’s management? If it was carelessness, what would you do to improve the interview process at Apex Environmental? The overall expression of the interview was stressful. This is because Maria Fernandez was a bright popular and well informed mechanical engineer, who graduated with an engineering degree from State University in June 2009.
She was a bright and intelligent engineer, she always expected a job that could elevate or implement her working capability and exclusively one in her technical skill expertise. So a firm such as Apex Environmental, who is a well-known and structured firm, could elevate her working ability perfectly. The issues were that the interview was a disaster for her because it was a Stress interview. The interviewers wanted to make applicants uncomfortable with occasionally rude questions.
The questions ranged from unnecessarily discourteous to irrelevant and sexist.
This was a well thought out interviewing strategy on the part of the firm because it helped to identify hypersensitive applicants and those with low or high stress tolerance. Maria was selected because of her responsible and mature behavior. It could also be said that it was not a well-structured interview but it was effective. The reason behind this thought is that during interview the employer asked too many irrelevant questions that I feel had nothing to do with the job itself.
I do however see the motive behind asking those questions.
I feel it was to identify how Maria would react to uncertain situations handle any uncertain situations, or how she would respond under pressure. It was evident that she was a well-educated woman but the employer wanted to get a since of her coping skills. The stress interviews invasive and ethically questionable nature demanded that Maria a thick skin and an ability to handle stress. This is definitely not an approach for amateur interrogators or for those without the skills to keep the interview under control. To improve the situation the firm could apply a structured sequential interview.
So that the candidates could face the entire interviewer sequentially and the firm could specifically identify the true ability of the candidates. For an example; ask questions on intellectual factors, motivational factor, personality factors, and knowledge and experience factors. Also the firm could have capable personnel with job related knowledge who could conduct an effective interview using a standardized interview form, avoiding irrelevant or potentially discriminatory questions and stereotyping minority candidates.