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interview

The Polaris Interview Management System (PIMS) is an integrated, customizable interview suite that enables organizations to create, support, and facilitate standardization in their interview practices. PIMS is cloud-based, available 24/7, and consists of two integrated components that can be used individually or together:

Component 1: Effective Interviewer Training Program

The Effective Interviewer Training Program consists of five core modules that address various aspects of effective interviewing. All modules are succinctly written to provide “just the facts” of interviewing best practices.

Module 1: Introduction, Legal Considerations and Competency Identification: Describes an overview of the training program, legal considerations related to interviewing, and how to identify which competencies should be addressed in an interview for a given job.

Module 2: Constructing the Interview: Describes how to construct or identify high pay-off interview questions, when to use behavioral consistency vs. hypothetical situation questions, and how to develop an interview guide.

Module 3: Conducting the Interview – Basics: Describes how to prepare for an interview and the interview setting, how to open, conduct, and end an interview, and how to focus questions effectively during an interview.

Module 4: Conducting the Interview – Special Topics: Describes how to handle difficult situations during an interview, employ effective communication techniques, take notes, and organize multiple interviews or interviewers.

Module 5: Evaluating Candidates: Describes the importance of using fair and effective ratings procedures, avoiding rating errors, combining question ratings into competency and overall ratings, and ensuring that documentation supports the ratings.

Each module in the Effective Interviewer Training Program is accompanied by a learning check to allow the trainee to “self-assess” his/her knowledge of the material covered in the module. Organizations can also require that trainees complete a 20-item certification exam, and each organization’s unique re-certification requirements can be managed by the system. This allows organizations to document that its employees received training and passed certification prior to conducting interviews.

HRCI Pre-Approval CertificateThe Polaris Effective Interviewer Training Program has been pre-approved for 1 HR (General) credit hour of re-certification through the HR Certification Institute. The use of this seal is not an endorsement by the HR Certification Institute of the quality of the program. It means that this program has met the HR Certification Institute’s criteria to be pre-approved for re-certification credit.

Component 2: Question Library and Guide Builder

PIMS currently contains more than 600 structured interview questions with associated probing questions to assist interviewers in digging into candidates’ suitability for the job, and this library continues to grow. Prior to being added to the PIMS library, each question passed a rigorous quality review process by both Industrial/Organizational Psychologists and human resources professionals. Questions are mapped to nearly 80 Polaris competency elements, each of which is accompanied by evaluation guidelines to rate candidates’ responses. Related competency elements can then be attached to one another through the competency model creation process. In this process, organizations can load their own competency models in PIMS, which are in turn associated with elements, effectiveness guidelines, and questions. These competency models help ensure that any interview guide created in the system is properly assessing the specific organizational competencies pertinent to the job of interest. Each question in the PIMS library is flagged for suitability in interviews for a variety of job levels, and conforms to one of three formats:

Behavioral Consistency Questions
Behavioral consistency questions focus on past situations that can provide information about candidates’ relevant behavioral tendencies. This item format is ideal for candidates with previous experience. An example of a behavioral consistency question is: “Please describe a time when you exceeded expectations at work.”

Hypothetical Situation Questions
Hypothetical situation questions present candidates with a brief description of a situation similar to ones found on the job and then ask them what they would do. This item format is ideal for less experienced candidates. An example of a hypothetical situation question is: “Imagine that an employee approaches you and tells you that he/she disagrees with your management style. What would you do?”

Immersion Scenarios
Immersions scenarios are mini-simulations that can be embedded into an organization’s interview process to allow interviewers to directly observe candidates’ demonstration of critical job skills (e.g., selling a product or service, analyzing data, generating process improvement ideas). Immersion scenario materials include instructions for candidates on how to prepare for and participate in the exercise as well as instructions for interviewers on how to present and participate in the exercise and also evaluate candidates’ responses. Most immersion scenarios are approximately 10 minutes in length.

These questions can be searched and then added to interview guides using the Guide Builder feature of PIMS. Authorized users can also edit existing or develop new questions. After finalizing interview guides, users can save, print, or export their guides and share them with interview teams.

Additional Features

PIMS was designed to allow organizations to tailor and configure it to their unique environments as little or as much as desired. As such, organizations can use the system “out of the box” or take advantage of a number of configurations (all free), such as:

  • Entering the organization’s structure (e.g., departments, divisions), which PIMS utilizes to classify users, questions, and interview guides
  • Loading the organization’s competency model(s) to facilitate the guide creation process and easily integrate interview guides with other hiring activities
  • Creating and tailoring standard interview guide templates
  • Creating and tailoring standard rating scales
  • Adding or editing interview questions and competency elements
  • Assigning user permissions to different users to allow organizations to control who has access to what