HR Management Case Study on The Interview Process

The Interview Process


The process of recruitment and selection of new employees into the firm is quite a tasking and costly process to most human resource managers (Bach & Edwards, 2013). This work is based on the recruitment process of Washington Home Builders who seek to engage the services of Gerald Mahoney as a sales associate. The interview process takes place in a series that involves a bargain to get the best for both sides of the contract. While the potential employer seeks to understand the value of the candidate to the firm, Gerald Mahoney focuses on the benefits that he stands to gain from the engagement.

Question One

The Need to Fill Up a Blank Job Application in the Recruitment Process

Ms. Monahan, the director of recruitment and training at Washington Home Builders was impressed with the sales abilities of Gerald Mahoney while working at Stacy women’s shoe department and asked him to fax her his resume (Lussier & Hendon, 2012). Gerald did exactly that and on their response, Washington Home Builders send a blank job application to Gerald and asked him to fill it.

Firstly in comparison with the resume, the application form is more specific and easy to follow. Sometimes employers need some specific information other than the general descriptions that people input in the resume. In this case, Washington Home Builders wanted to get specific details of the candidate before they engage him on an interview (Lussier & Hendon, 2012). Secondly, a tailor-made application is easy to follow since there are different versions of resumes with some being very complicated. With the application form, the employer finds it easy to spot some specific parts or descriptions about the candidate.

The resume may not also offer a chance to draft an application letter and give more information (Messmer, 2013). The application form gives an opportunity to the candidate to express any other relevant or additional information that could enhance their chances of getting the job. This part also enables the employer to judge the employee further before they invite them for the interview process.

Question Two

Why the Week-Long Wait

Washington Home Builders took a whole week to respond to Gerald once he had sent his job applications. This wait was necessary since the recruitment process takes time and involves many people. In this case, it is evident that the entire recruitment process involved about seven people who asked Gerald different questions (Lussier & Hendon, 2012). The one week break was, therefore, necessary to allow all these people involved in the interview process to analyze Gerald’s resume and prepare adequately to interview him.

The interview process also involved exams that tested on different areas and mostly in the sales field. These questions tested on self-image, preferences, honesty and teamwork skills. There was a need to provide time for the preparation of the questions. The questions needed to be comprehensive enough and cover various details of the job which was necessary for the process.

Question Three

a.      Purpose of Exams

On the day of the interview, Gerald was required to take some written questions. This exam tested his IQ levels, his level of honesty, self-image and personal preferences while at the job. The purposes of these questions were to understand the candidate (Messmer, 2013). The human resource needs to employ a person that they feel that he is suitable for a given job and in this case the sales associate job. A sales associate needs to have a high level of IQ to be able to relate well with their client. Pitching clients involves high thinking and ability to reason along with the client and thus it is necessary that a salesperson has a reasonable IQ level.

Sales associates represent the company in the corporate world. Their misrepresentation to the clients and the public at large affects the corporate image of the company. Recruitment of sales associates, therefore, requires a test of their self-image (Lussier & Hendon, 2012). Sales associates are also the custodians of various forms of information for both the company and its clients. It is, therefore, necessary that a salesperson should be honest and reflect the true image of both company and the client. The human resource, therefore, needs to test the level of honesty of the candidate through such exams.

b.      Legal Limitation of Tests

Interview exams are limited by law to the extent of relevance to the job. While exams are a good way of screening candidates in an interview process, an employer cannot question candidates on other issues irrelevant to the job. They should give enough proof that the questions asked are consistent with the job.

The tests are also limited by discriminatory clauses where the employer cannot ask questions that deem discriminatory on particular candidates in the interview (Bach & Edwards, 2013). They should not ask sensitive questions relating to gender, race, color or any other forms of discrimination. The questions should also be fair to all and not aimed at eliminating particular candidates in the recruitment process. The employer should not also alter the pass mark or the qualifications from the exam to the disadvantage or disadvantage of particular candidates.

Question Four

Analysis of Gerald’s Interview Steps

In the process of interviewing Gerald, washing Home Builders conducted a comprehensive step by step process after the application of the candidate. However, the initial process of recruitment should have begun by the firm putting up an advertisement for the availability of the vacancy of a sales associate in the organization. This could attract more applicants and allow the firm to conduct thorough processes of analysis on the candidates.

In this case, however, Gerald was interviewed in a clear process that tested the candidate comprehensively on various matters (Lussier & Hendon, 2012). He was invited and ushered well into the interview process. He was given time to answer the questions. He then proceeded to different interview panels that tested his suitability for the job.

Question Five

Types of Question

The questions used to interview Gerald were both management based and task-oriented questions. Most of the questions related particularly to the job of a sales associate that the applicant was being tested to fill. These included the specific questions on how the candidate would carry out his duties and if he was ready to work with a partner (Lussier & Hendon, 2012). The questions on honesty were also task oriented since they touched on the relationship between the sales associate and their clients and employer. The questions aimed at ensuring that the company got the right person to drive the sales of the company.

The questions were also management based where the interviewers were interested in understanding the management abilities of the candidate. The questions on self-image were very sensitive to the management and entire organization as the employee’s image represented the company’s corporate image in the eyes of the clients (Billsberry, 2008). The interviewers were interested in having a positive corporate image in the public and thus need someone that has a positive image that can represent the company well. The firm also needed to understand the preferences of the employee on working with teams to understand their team/ partner management skills. These questions on the employees’ personal abilities to work well with minimum supervision.

Question Six

Success of the Selection Process

The selection process done by Washington home builders was effective. However, they did not succeed in selecting Gerald to work in the firm despite having gone through a comprehensive interview process (Messmer, 2013). Upon receipt of the letter of admission into the job, Gerald is displeased with the terms stated in the letter. He finds that some of the terms of engagement that he was promised were actually misrepresented and that he was not given the right information.

Even though Gerald may join the Washington Home Builders as a sales associate, he is not pleased with the terms stated since, in the interview process, he understood different terms. This will cause his displeasure with the job and may not work as expected. The company has a good and thorough recruitment process that ensures that it takes in the right employee for the job (Bruck, 2014). The testing process seeks the candidate with the right skills and well prepared to perform the responsibilities of the job.

Despite the success of the process, the interviewers should ensure that the candidate understands all the terms of engagement of the service such that they are satisfied with the process (Messmer, 2013). In this case, however, it is evident that Gerald was dissatisfied with the job since he did not clearly get the terms of engagement. While he actually heard his remunerations and other benefits, he did not know that these benefits are subjected to other terms and conditions. The firm should thus disclose all the accruing benefits, terms and other conditions of the job to the candidate to avoid disappointing both parties at the end of the recruitment process.






Bach, S., & Edwards, M. R. (2013). Managing human resources: Human resource management in transition. Hoboken, N.J: Wiley.

Billsberry, J. (2008). Experiencing Recruitment and Selection. Hoboken: Wiley.

Bruck, H. (2014). Recruitment and selection process. Place of publication not identified: Grin Verlag Gmbh.

Lussier, R. N., & Hendon, J. R. (2012). Who Is Doing the Selling? Gerald Interviews at Washington Home Builders. In Human resource management: Functions, applications, skill development (pp. 230-231). Los Angeles: SAGE Publications, Inc.

Messmer, M. (2013). Human resources kit for dummies. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.