Tanglewood Case 6

Topics: Interview, Question, Semi-structured interview Pages: 8 (2288 words) Published: October 25, 2010
Case requirements:

1. Develop a detailed selection plan for the position of a department manager to determine the most important KSAOs for this position.

2. Using the selection plan, develop a standardized interview protocol consisting of 10 questions that will be asked of all candidates, along with scoring keys for each question.

3. Conduct pilot interviews using the protocol you have established to determine the effectiveness of your questions.

4. Revise your interviews based on feedback from participants.

Case Objectives

Research on interviews has generally shown that standardized procedures are higher in their reliability and validity than unstructured interviews. Learning how structured interviews are constructed is an important component of the selection process, as is getting a “feel” for what it’s like to give and receive an interview. This case gives you an opportunity to do both.

An additional concern in the selection process is ensuring that each new predictor is adding something new to the process. As such, you will assess what the current methods of selection measure, and determine what new information can be brought out by an interview.

Basic scenario

As you learned in the third case, Tanglewood is working to improve the quality of their selection systems. The process of assessing selection methods initiated by Marilyn Anchley was not limited to store associates—it also covered department managers, assistant store managers, and store managers. Although the method of using an increasing number of tests and forms was generally seen as an adequate update to the process for hiring entry level employees, store managers agree that this is not a sufficiently rigorous method for selecting department managers.

The most important concern is that individuals who are promoted from within the organization to the department manager level are typically viewed by other employees as very qualified and integrated into the corporate culture and mission of Tanglewood. Individuals who are hired from outside the organization to be department managers, on the other hand, often have a very difficult transition into the organization and make decisions that are in conflict with the corporate culture. They are seen as outsiders who do not really “get” what it means to be part of the Tanglewood family.

The current method of selection for external managers looks very much like the method of selection for store associates. All applicants complete a brief job application form which provides information on education and years of work experience. Some pilot stores also have begun using the Marshfield Applicant Exam and Retail Knowledge test (described in the measurement case), and based on the validation evidence described earlier, this will become a regular part of the selection procedure across the chain. This information is an important determinant of who is minimally qualified, but is generally not the primary determinant of who is or is not eventually hired. The most important part of the selection process is the interview.

The current interview form provided for these positions is shown in Appendix C. This interview protocol is no different than the interview protocol for store associates, except that the Assistant Manager for Operations is expected to take into consideration the fact that the department manager position requires considerably more responsibility and intellectual work. Most store managers and assistant store managers for operations agree that the current system is simply not detailed enough to produce a good selection protocol. Even experienced managers find that there is occasionally an unpleasant surprise in store for them when a new employee actually begins work and the employee is not at all the sort of person they thought they had assessed in the interview.

Improving the Process

One of the...
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