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The Best of Both Worlds: Online Interview Training Combined with Classroom Instruction

January 24, 2012

In a world where the “8-hour” work day is as extinct as the dinosaurs, it has become increasingly challenging for employees to be away from their day-to-day work activities in order to participate in lengthy classroom-based trainings.  Let’s be honest, most of us have either sat through all day --or worse than that- multiple-day trainings in which participants start zoning out, are regularly sneaking to check email and voice mail, and by the end of the process, and become just outright irritable and cranky at the thought of all of the work and extra time they have to put in catching up on what they missed while they were in the training.

While some topics may clearly warrant lengthy classroom training, a way in which companies can reduce or eliminate the need for such “routine” trainings is through the use of effective e-Learning platforms.  Advances in online training can be seen across many industries, covering a wide range of topics, including online interviewer training.  There are many advantages to participating in an online training course, including the flexibility to work on the course at the participants own pace, completing sections as their work schedule allows.  Through the use of technology and unique instructional design methodologies, the learner can participate in interactive and engaging exercises, watch videos to observe positive modeling, and take learning check-point quizzes to self-evaluate their knowledge of the concepts that have been covered.  All of these principals can effectively be applied to teaching a participant how to how to conduct a thorough, legally-defensible interview and more and more companies are making the transition to facilitating interviewer training in an online format.

But what about actually practicing their interviewing skills?  Well, this is where the best of both worlds comes into play…by choosing to use a combination of both online interviewer training and a condensed classroom based training, participants can cover all of the concepts and theory in the online platform which allows the classroom training (remember, the part that involves costly time away from one’s day-to-day responsibilities) to really focus on the core topic of practicing their skills with a live partner. 

A review of key concepts, Q&A about the online training, and face-to-face practice with a partner can now be accomplished in virtually an extended “working lunch session” as opposed to a lengthy all-day training session.  Another bonus is that often times in trainings such as this, participants arrive for the training with wildly varying levels of knowledge and past experience- when combined with a precursor online training, all participants arrive to the classroom having covered all of the same topic content in advance—which is a big time save and an added bonus to the classroom instructor.

Online training plus shortened classroom training = less zombie-like, irritable and stressed employees

Connie Gentry Connie Gentry was a Consulting Associate at PSI. Connie’s work experience includes job analyses, validation, assessment design and customization, EEOC analyses, behavioral interview guide and anchored rating scale development, multi-rater tool (360 Feedback), large-scale competency-based selection and competency model design, and executive assessment.