Job Description Project Tips

After selecting a person to interview, schedule a date and time that fits with the interviewees’ schedule and consider sending him/her a reminder as the date approaches. Also, ask the person before the interview if they have any job materials such as a job description, training materials or performance appraisal form that they can share with you. Be sure to include such material in your final project submission.

At the interview, bring a prepared list of questions and plenty of blank paper to write notes on or your laptop. You might also ask if he/she will allow you to audio record the interview.

It is very important that you prepare your interview questions in advance. Be sure the questions are thorough, since this will be the main source of information to write the job description. Feel free to look online for sample questions. Be sure to probe for more information using follow-up questions if you feel you need more information. If you do not understand a term or name of equipment your interviewee uses then ask him/her to explain. Below are some sample questions related to responsibilities. You should also use the results of your research to generate questions that are specifically relevant to your job.

What are the most important responsibilities or tasks for this job?

What tasks are done most frequently?

What is a typical day like?

Do the responsibilities change during the year?

What projects are you currently working on? Can you show me an example?

Do you have any direct reports? If so, what do they do?

Who do you report to?

Who do you work with most frequently?

What is the most challenging part of the job?

How about the easiest?

Has the job changed much in the past few years? If so, how?

You should also ask about the requirements. This is often more difficult for interviewees so you may have to use your previous research to guide the person, and realize that you may have to complete this section largely on your own. Here are some sample questions related to requirements:

What education, skills, and experiences are most important for this job?

What does it take to do XYZ (from above responsibilities) well?

What tends to be the hardest part for someone new in this job?

What are the main requirements (knowledge, skills, experiences, etc.) your company looks for when hiring someone in this job? Do you have a recent job posting for this job?

Based on my research for this project, it appears that ABC and XYZ [insert relevant KSAO’s for this job) are important requirements. What do you think?

What are the main requirements that tend to distinguish effective vs. ineffective employees in this job?

What training or career development do they often provide in this job?