Crystal Clear Consulting's Best Practices for Interviewing Training

Welcome to Best Practices for Interviewing Training! 

Crystal Clear Consulting is excited to provide the University Bank & Trust with the vital knowledge and applicable skills to conduct effective interviews. As UB&T begins hiring staff for the new store, this training will help provide a foundation to building an long term recruiting strategy. 

When you've finished taking this short course, you will be able use the Six Key Interviewing Skills:


  1. Conduct a Job Analysis

  2. Establish the Competencies to be Evaluated

  3. Generate the Interview Questions

  4. Develop the Probe Questions

  5. Construct the Rating Scale

  6. Conduct an Employment Interview

Meet Crystal Clear Consulting

Mission, Vision & Values

At Crystal Clear, we pride ourselves on offering strategic and creative solutions to our customers. We are a union of consultants with a wide range of knowledge and proficiency of many industries. One of our specialties includes developing long term recruiting strategies geared towards business development and employment longevity for young businesses. With a diverse team of innovative change-makers we are driven to apply our vast array of knowledge and expertise to provide UB&T with solutions that will support every facet of your organization and beyond.


Our motto:

Effective performance and innovation beyond. The Crystal Clear way!

Meet Our Team

Roderick Hamilton 

As a Training Facilitator, I organize and oversee corporate trainings for large or small organizations. I have a Bachelor of Arts (B.A) degree in Corporate Communication and I have over 10 years of experience with corporating training, assessing staffing needs for organizations and teaching successful interviewing techniques. I have been working for Crystal Clear for about 5 years.

Jordan Luce

I am the Project Manager at Crystal Clear Consulting. I recently earned my MBA and I have over 10 years experience in facilitating and executing organization projects. I have an extensive amount experience in cost management, budgeting and time management projects.  I have worked with organizations to help create quality assurance teams and implement changes to their QA processes. I have been with Crystal Clear Consulting for 8 years.

Mikala Lightning 

I am the Talent Manager for Crystal Clear Consulting. I have an MBA and I have 10+ years of experience in Human Resource and talent management as well. I have worked in various business sectors throughout my tenure, some of which are restaurants, hospitality organizations, banking institutions and some national chain retail organizations as well. Some of topics that I have trained are career development, managing staffing needs, cohort engagement and I have also facilitated trainings on diversity and inclusion oriented programs. I have been working for Crystal Clear Consulting in various capacities for 9 years.

Flor Botello

I am the Communication Specialist for Crystal Clear Consulting. I have a B. A in Corporate Communication and I also have 10 years of experience in multiple areas of communication based trainings for organizations. I have completed educational certifications in corporate communications and I have experience with implementing and managing internal and external organizational communication efforts. I have been with Crystal Clear for 8 years as well. 

Cali Apodaca  

I am the Business Development Specialist. I have over 15 years of experience in my field as a business consultant specializing in developing holistic business growth strategies for small startups. I hold a B.A in Communication Studies, concentrating on Public & Rhetorical communication, and I have a MBA in Marketing from the University of Houston-Downtown. I have assisted clients with in-depth research, analysis, training & development strategies on identifying deficiencies in employee development. I have been with Crystal Clear for 10 years

What a Good Interview Looks Like

Example of a Good Interview

Interview Example

Discuss with the class for 2-5 minutes what they seen that would make this a good interview. 

1) Conduct Job Analysis

Steps For Conducting A Job Analysis

  • Evaluate the job tasks and responsibilities

  • Assess the competencies necessary to perform the tasks and responsibilities

  • Identify the skills that are needed upon entry

  • If a job analysis does not exist, one will need to be created

Why Are Job Analysis Important?

Vocational Expert Everett O'Keefe, from JobAnalysis.Biz, explains why Job Analysis are a vital step in the recruiting process. Taking the time to define the details of a position's responsibilities and classifications will help in the long term.

Module 1 Assessment: Question 1

Companies assess the skills that employees lack by utilizing employee questionnaires?

  • True
  • False

Question 2: Is a job analysis necessary if one does not exist?

  • Yes
  • No

Question 3: How do you as a manager assess the necessary skills needed for the job analysis?

Question 4: In assessing skills that are deficient in the organization, how do you determine which skills are the most dificient?

  • Employee Questionnaire
  • Manager Interviews
  • Third Party Observation
  • Client Questionnaire

2) Establish the Competencies to be Evaluated

Soft Skill Competencies

Structured interviews are more “high touch” than other assessment methods, making them great for assessing “soft” competencies such as:

  • Teamwork
  • Oral Communication

  • Interpersonal Skills

  • Conflict Management

  • Influencing/Negotiating

  • Work Ethic 

  • Flexibility/Adaptability

Structured interviews typically assess 4-6 competencies

Why Are Soft Skills So Important?

Using Soft Skills Assessment To Find Quality Candidates 

In this information video, the Execu Search Book thoroughly explain how to effectively assess soft skills and emphasize the importance of soft skills in employee success. Although this video focuses on Millennials, it is certainly applicable for applicants of all age ranges. 

3) Generate Interview Questions

Tips For Writing Interview Questions

  • Reflective of the job and tied to competencies identified through the job analysis

  • Open-ended

  • Clear and concise

  • Written with superlative adjectives (e.g., most, last, worst, least, best)

  • Potentially provide a context for the question

Use the STAR Model

Interview questions should elicit three important pieces of information from the candidate:

  • Situation or Task: Describes the context or background for the event of the tasks involved

  • Action: Describes exactly what was done or what would be done

  • Result: Describes the consequence of the candidate’s actions

Behavioral Questions

  • Draw from candidate’s actual behavior during past experiences which demonstrate job-related knowledge, skills, abilities, or competencies

  • The underlying premise is that the best predictor of future behavior on the job is past behavior under similar circumstances

Situational Questions

  • Present realistic job scenarios or dilemmas and ask how applicants would respond

  • The underlying premise is that people’s intentions are closely tied to their actual behavior

Module 2 Assessment: Question 1

Behavioral and Situational questions are important to determine how a candidate would or has responded to a certain situation. 

  • True
  • False

Question 2: You can find out a lot about a candidate when asking Behavioral or Situational questions.

  • True
  • False

Question 3: The STAR Model has three points.

  • True
  • False

Question 4: Interview questions should be reflective of the job and tied to competencies identified through the job analysis.

  • True
  • False

4) Develop Probe Questions

Key Points of Using Probe Questions

  • It may be necessary to use probe questions to guide the candidate in providing the three important pieces of information necessary to accurately assess their response

  • Decide beforehand whether or not probe questions will be allowed

  • Make a list of acceptable probe questions for every competency interview question

Creating Probe Questions

  • Do not use leading probes that convey the answers

  • Do narrow in on the candidate’s specific roles and actions

  • Seek clarification when candidates say “we did...” or “our group...”

  • Seek clarification when candidates are vague

  • Do not challenge by word or expression any statements made by the candidate

  • Do ask open-ended questions unless looking for a yes/no response

Probes for Behavioral Questions

  • Example probes

    • Who was involved?

    • What factors led up to this situation?

  • Action probes

    • How did you respond?

    • What was your role?

  • Result probes

    • What was the outcome?

    • Is there anything you would have done differently?

Probes for Situational Questions

  • Example probes 

    • Why do you believe this situation occurred?

    • What do you consider to be the most critical issues in this situation?

  • Action probes

    • What is the first thing you would say or do?

    • What factors would affect your course of action?

  • Result probes

    • How do you think your action would be received?

    • What do you consider as benefits of your action?

Module 4 Assessment: Question 1

Probing questions should be used to clarify not to invoke a bias answer.

  • True
  • False

Question 2: Probing questions for Situational questions are result, action, and implaction.

  • True
  • False

Question 3: It is always necessary to ask probing questions.

  • True
  • False

Question 4: You should always be prepared to ask probing questions.

  • True
  • False

5) Construct the Rating Scale

Decide On One Proficiency Level Range For All Competencies

  • Typically between 3 and 7 levels
  • Label at least 3 levels (e.g., unsatisfactory, satisfactory, superior)

Develop a Rating Scale for Behavioral Questions

  • Determine behavioral examples for each proficiency level

  • Use these behavioral response examples as a general guide to match the candidate’s response with a proficiency level

Develop a Rating Scale for Situational Questions

  • Determine how someone at each proficiency level might behave in each hypothetical scenario

  • Use the hypothetical response examples as a general guide to match the candidate’s response with a proficiency level.

Module 5 Assessment: Discussion & Group Activity

Break out into groups of 2-3 members for 10 minutes to discuss what rating scale you are likely to use and why. The trainer will regroup, providing 5-10 minutes to share insights and answer questions. 

6) Conducting an Employment Interview

The Interviewer’s Impact

Interviewers must acknowledge their responsibility their by considering the following :

  • Create a comfortable atmosphere for candidates

  • Be good and unbiased listeners

  • Take comprehensive notes

  • Remain objective and fair during evaluations

  • Treat all candidates the same and provide all candidates the same opportunities to excel

Preparing: Interview Timeline

  • All candidates should be considered for the same amount of time. Consider the following in determining anticipated interview length:

  • Introductions and instructions

  • Responses to each question

  • An informal discussion about the position and for the candidate to ask questions

  • Evaluating each candidate, including individual and consensus ratings

Conducting the Interview: Candidate Arrival

Upon arrival of the candidate, the chairperson:

  • Greets the candidate

  • Leads the candidate to the designated interview location

  • Initiates introductions

  • Explains the interview process; this may include a written description

  • Asks the candidate if he/she has any questions

  • Formally begins the interview

Conducting the Interview: Questioning

  • Interviewers ask only their assigned questions, in order

  • Probes may be used if necessary to clarify a response, get a candidate back on track, or obtain additional information

  • Make sure that your style of questioning, body language, and probes do not convey socially desirable responses

Conducting the Interview: Questions to Avoid

Interviewers should never ask questions about or make comments about a candidate’s:

  • Age

  • Sex

  • Race

  • National origin

  • Religion

  • Marital or familial status

  • Disabilities or health status

  • Or any other job-irrelevant factor

Conducting the Interview: Taking Notes

  • Interviewers should focus on taking detailed notes of candidates’ responses and making eye contact

  • In the event of an appeal, notes can be reviewed and may serve as the basis for upholding or overturning a rating

  • Notes should:

    • Summarize the content and delivery of actual responses

    • Be professional and non-judgmental

    • Be of sufficient quality and quantity to justify your ratings

  • Notes should NOT:

    • Be evaluative statements about the candidate, his/her responses, or his/her personality

    • Refer to demographic characteristics of the candidate

Conducting the Interview: Maintaining Control

  • The chairperson makes sure the interview stays on topic and within time constraints

  • The chairperson may need to make polite and tactful interruptions:

  • To control the pace of the interview

  • If a candidate is talking too much

  • If a candidate goes off topic

Conducting the Interview: Wrap-Up

  • Thanking the candidate

  • Asking the candidate to keep the details confidential

  • Explaining the next steps in the hiring process

Interview Role Play Activity

Interview Role Play

Find a partner and discuss for 5-10 minutes a perfect interview scenario. Determine who will be the interviewer and the interviewee. 5-7 minutes will be allotted to each group to use the tools that were discussed during the training to conduct an interview that presents the characteristics of an effective interview. Make sure to highlight at least three things from the training (e.g. probing questions, behavioral/situational questions, etc.). 

Module 6 Assessment: Question 1

When interviewing a potential employment applicant, where is the most appropriate place to conduct the interview?

  • A Manager’s Office
  • The Restroom
  • In the Middle of the Street
  • The Applicant’s Car

Question 2: As an interviewer, you need to take notes?

  • True
  • False

Question 3: Which of these questions is appropriate to ask the employment applicant?

  • Are you Married?
  • What would you say your strengths are?
  • What is your Sexual Orientation?
  • What Country were you born in?

Question 4: Is it appropriate to hire an applicant because you know them?

  • Yes
  • No

Course Completion

Thank You for Participating!

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