[IPAC-List] Does the day you take an oral exam matter?

TR Lin TR.Lin at lmsvsd.k12.ca.us
Wed Apr 1 18:06:56 EDT 2009

Assuming we all follow the good structured interview design and administration procedures religiously as outlined in the literature, my 25 years of experience and early literature reading (I meant at least 10-20 years ago) have indicated that the order of interview does not matter.

Now back to the subsequent discussion on providing or not providing questions ahead of the interview, my experience tends to support Harry (at least to support its "face validity"). I have used variations of the following approaches on structured interview questioning:
Interviewers ask all the questions while interviewees have no knowledge or access of the questions ahead of time,
Interviewers ask all the questions while interviewees can read the questions simultaneously,
Interviewees are given the questions a brief time to look at right before the interview and the interviewers still ask all the questions,
Interviewees are given the questions a brief time to look at right before the interview and the interviewees are asked to answer the questions in particular order while interviewers only ask follow-up questions if the answers are not complete,
variations of 3/4, plus provide interviewees reasonable time to review and take notes on the questions and allow interviewees to look at notes when answer the questions.
The 5 works better than 4, 4 works better than 3, 3 works better than 2, and 2 works better than 1. This is particular effective if the interview questions are designed to derived behaviorally-based examples from past work history. My two cents thought.

T.R. Lin
Director, Classified Personnel
La Mesa-Spring Valley School District
619-668-5700 ext. 6483

>>> "Reed, Elizabeth" <EReed1 at Columbus.gov> 4/1/2009 8:46 AM >>>

IPAC members and friends:

The City of Columbus utilizes oral exams in all of our promotional testing for both police and fire. These oral exams usually consist of either two role-play exercises or one role-play exercise and one structured interview. Depending on the number of candidates, these exams can take up to six full days to administer. Over the years, candidates have complained about being assigned on either the first day of testing or the last day of testing. The candidates' perception is that the day of the exam makes a difference in the score that they receive. Questions for you:

Is this a common perception? Is anyone aware of studies conducted to analyze this? What do you believe would be the best approach to study this situation?

Thank you,
Liz Reed

Elizabeth A. Reed
Police and Fire Assessment Supervisor
Columbus Civil Service Commission
750 Piedmont Rd.
Columbus, Ohio 43224
Office: (614) 645-6032 Fax: (614) 645-0866
Email: Ereed1 at columbus.gov

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