<< Exam office roles

There are different types of interview techniques that can be used alone or in combination when recruiting new exam office staff. In all cases, agree a ‘script’ of information and questions so that all candidates have the same opportunities to demonstrate their suitability for the role.

It can be useful to give applicants a tour of the site to include visits to a variety of exam venues as part of the interview process.

1. Informational Interview

Interviewers can explain the role and the candidates are able to ask for advice and to learn more about the role. This could be in the form of a presentation from a member of the existing exam office staff to a group of applicants. It can also be a way of screening candidates as, on learning more detail, some applicants may decide not to proceed to the next stage.

2. Screening or Telephone Interview

A phone interview is a cost effective way to screen candidates and can last anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes. This would need to be at an agreed time so that the candidate can have information to hand (such as their CV, copy of job description etc) to enable them to answer questions efficiently.

3. Individual Interview

This is the most common type of interview. It is typically a one-on-one exchange held on the school premises. It is good practice to set a time limit for the length of this: a 20-30 minute interview will mean concise answers to questions; a longer interview will give time to go into more depth. If this follows an Informational Interview, the time can be reduced as the candidate will have had information about the role and possibly the opportunity to ask questions.

4. Committee Interview

Otherwise known as a panel interview this is an opportunity for all the decision makers to meet the candidate at the same time. This can be intimidating for the candidate, but is an efficient method as it allows for different interpretations of the same answer.

5. The Second or On-Site Interview

This may follow the telephone screening, or be necessary if there are a large number of candidates for the first interview and a final decision could not be made. If the first interview was individual, this could be a panel, or vice versa. The session could also include a task (see point 7).

6. Behavioral-Based Interview

The theory behind Critical Behavioral, or Competency Based Interviewing (CBI) is that past performance in a similar situation is the best predictor of future performance. The technique of CBI probes much deeper than traditional interviewing techniques. It requires specific examples that demonstrate competence in core behaviours such as teamwork, problem-solving, communication, creativity, flexibility and organisational skills.

Click here for more information on CBI

7. Task Oriented or Testing Interview

This is a problem-solving interview where the candidates are given some exercises to demonstrate their creative and analytical abilities. This could be in the form of a short test to evaluate technical knowledge and skills or a presentation to a group in order to determine communication skills.

<< Exam office roles