In an article at Melcrum, Andy Szpeckman, Senior Vice President for Associate Communications of the Bank of America, gives an interview guide used for screening candidates for recruitment as corporate communicators.
The guide defines and measures key competency indicators for communicators. The interviewer is urged to probe to determine the candidate’s role in each event; what he or she said, did, thought and felt during the event; and the outcome.
1. Make sure the candidate knows the business.
· Ask what he or she did when starting a new job and he or she had to learn the business.
· Ask him or her to tell you about a project that he or she was involved with that had a significant business impact.
· Ask how he or she used communication to solve business problems.
2. Make sure the candidate develops communication plans that have an impact.
· Ask him or her to describe how he or she was involved in creating a new communication process.
· Ask him or her to give an example of how he or she handled a situation of “pushing back” on a client and the client resisted.
· Ask him or her what types of communication approaches - e.g., print communication, face-to-face communication, etc. - work best in different situations.
3. Make sure the candidate champions change.
· Ask how he or she has built support for a change initiative.
· Ask what was the biggest obstacle he or she encountered while communicating change.
· Ask what tools he or she found helpful in communicating change.
4. Make sure the candidate produces clear and compelling communications.
· Ask him or her to describe the writing projects he or she was involved with.
· Ask him or her to describe a situation where he or she had to summarize a large volume of data to present conclusions and recommendations.
· Ask him or her what research techniques he or she has used to plan, test or measure the effectiveness of communication.
5. Make sure the candidate manages projects well.
· Ask him or her to describe a complex project he or she managed.
· Ask how he or she handled an assignment in which there was a detailed plan but events changed during implementation.
· Ask how he or she furthered the success of a project where he or she was a project team member.
The interview is a very useful tool for recruitment in this field because communicators are expected to be able to express themselves well both in substance and in form.