Employee and Recruitment

Current Trends in Job Interviewing Techniques for Human Resource Management at Marriott

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Current Trends in Job Interviewing Techniques for Human Resource Management at Marriott


Current Trends in Job Interviewing Techniques for Human Resource Management at Marriott

By Marcus Mayer

The second of eight children to parents Hyrum Willard Marriott and Ellen Morris Marriott, John Willard Marriott was born at Marriott Settlement near Ogden, Utah on September 17, 1900. Known to the family simply Bill, young John Willard helped raise sheep and sugar beets on his father’s farm in the Church of Jesus Christ Latter-day Saints. His father entrusted him with a significant degree of responsibility on the farm at an early age. As a direct result, Bill rapidly learned to rely on ingenuity and his own wisdom. While in awe of the expansiveness and the picturesque backdrop of the Rockies as a youngster, Bill imagined something greater beyond the confines of his family’s Mormon farm. He quenched his wanderlust by becoming a missionary for the Church in New England at the age of 19. Traveling on his way home through Washington, D.C. after finishing his service during the summer of 1921 he recognized a tailor-made market for A&W root beer (Wikipedia, n.d.).

Marriott returned to Utah to enroll at the Weber Stake Academy in Ogden, and then shortly thereafter graduated from the University of Utah in 1926. Remembering the ready market of thirsty tourists in the nation’s capital, both he and business partner Hugh Colton combined $6,000 to open a nine-stool A&W root beer stand at 3128 14th Street NW on May 20, 1927 (Wikipedia, n.d.). Only two weeks later Marriott rushed back from to Utah to be present at another life changing event, his wedding to Alice Sheets. The day after Alice graduated from the University of Utah, the couple was married in Salt Lake City on June 9, 1927. Their honeymoon was spent in Marriott’s Model-T Ford in a rough and slow trip back to Washington D.C. where destiny awaited (Marriott, n.d.). Marriott’s corporation progressively grew throughout the following decades under his guidance. When the company decided to go public 14 years later in 1953, Marriott stock was offered at $10.25 per share and completely sold out in two hours. However it was not until four years later in 1957 that Marriott increased his corporation’s span to hotels. That year he opened his first hotel, the 365-room Twin Bridges Motor Lodge in Arlington, Virginia (Marriott, n.d.).

Even when his eldest son, J. Willard “Bill” Marriott, Jr., assumed control of Marriott Corporation in 1972, the patriarch simply could not relegate himself to a life of retirement. During those 58 years from opening his Washington D.C. stand in 1927 until his death in August 1985, J. Willard Marriott was an active worker who favored running his business and seldom relaxed. Marriott’s business was an integral part of himself. He worked as a genuinely practical boss who loved to spend time with the increasing ranks of employees who he felt were the key to Marriott’s success. Eloquently echoing an honest principle that continues to be the foundation of Marriott’s culture, “Take care of your employees and they’ll take care of your customers. Treat your employees the way you would like to be treated – provide them every avenue to success. Get their confidence and respect. Have them like and be interested in their job” (Marriott & Brown, 1997). Companies with an embedded corporate culture such as Marriott must rely on interviewing to accurately determine those employees that are a perfect organizational fit. Interviewing is the process through which an employer assesses a potential employee for employment in their company (Wikipedia, n.d.). Historically speaking, interviewing is typically the final stage in the hiring process. It is ultimately the single most important determinant in whether or not an employee meets the selective philosophical criteria of employers. Employers such as Marriott may offer varying degrees and styles of interviewing techniques, yet for the most part interviewing types can be classified between a pair of dichotomous categories.

Type of Interviews:

There are fundamentally two different kinds of interviewing methods used by human resource management to help meet their goal of selecting the right person; the screening interview and the behavioral interview.

Screening Interview:

This interview is designed to cull the applicants who do not meet the specific qualifications of a candidate. It also allows them to gather basic information about the applicant.

Behavioral Interview:

This type of interview is designed to help make an educated selection decision based on fair and legitimate criteria, rather than on a “gut feeling.” The following guidelines will deal predominantly as the acceptance determinant and has been constructed with three major objectives in mind.

1. To provide a process that ensures that all candidates will be evaluated in a uniform and consistent manner.

2. To provide an outline for use in the interview process.

3. To provide tools that will result in obtaining answers from potential candidates, serving as indicators or predictors of future performance.

The Interviewing Process:

The interviewing process is divided into three segments: preparation, the interview, and evaluation/selection.


The first step concerns the job description involved with the interview. This will to determine what they are looking for in a candidate. The best way to do this is by reviewing the job responsibilities listed in the job description. As they are reading these, they must ask themselves: what are the personal characteristics and skills needed to be successful in the position? Examples may include attention to detail, communication skills, flexibility, calmness, job-related knowledge, energy, reliability, etc.

Application Review:

A candidate’s completed job application can serve a variety of purposes. Completed application forms present an accurate preview of the “coming attractions,” or the work background, ambitions, and education that candidates bring to the interview. Remember that past performance is the best indicator of future performance. As they read the application, they should automatically check for such items as experience, education, and physical qualifications, but there are many other things they can get from the application.

Completed application forms also present the framework that will be used in the actual interview with the candidate. They take the time to read them carefully. They cannot interview effectively, if they have not done their homework.

To help them in reading or analyzing the application forms, three things are considered:

1. The information they give.

2. The skills they show in presenting the information.

3. The way they think, as revealed by the answers they give, in response to the application form questions, as well as their answers to the initial screening interview.

Technical and Performance Categories:

The technical category is defined by the specific tasks performed in a job. These skills reflect knowledge or abilities that are taught in colleges technical programs, etc., or are learned through company training programs. For example, if they were hiring a housekeeper, the technical category would be looking to see if the candidate knows how to make a bed, knows the correct way to vacuum, etc.

The performance category is defined as working habits or special abilities that are typically learned through life’s experiences rather than formal training. Often these skills are learned early in life and reflect beliefs about how a job should be done. For example, if they were hiring a housekeeper, they will look at how the candidate organizes their work, how seriously they take responsibility, or how they follow through on their commitments.

Categorizing Job Requirements:

With the use of job descriptions, they look at the skills or areas of major responsibility needed for that particular job. These skills are then categorized into either the performance or the technical dimension. For example, one of the areas of major responsibility for a cook is to prepare and properly garnish all food orders in accordance with menu specifications. This would fall under the performance category.

Identify Skills Based on Requirements:

Once they know the requirement of the job, they can then identify the skills required to successfully complete the job.

The Climate:

When the candidate arrives, he/she is welcomed with a smile, a handshake and a warm and friendly verbal greeting. Eye contact is established and the candidate is invited into the room and asked to have a seat then offered a beverage, etc. The interviewer then introduces himself/herself by name and title.

A climate that relaxes the candidate and puts him/her at ease is established. There is a direct relationship between how comfortable and secure a candidate feels, and how much truthful, sincere information he/she is willing to reveal.

The Interview:

Open the Interview:

The interview is opened with their icebreaker to set the tone for the interview. Then the candidate is given some idea of what will happen during the interview. For example, they will begin by discussing their job experience and educational background. Then they will ask them some questions and take notes. Finally, they will share some information about the job, hours, schedule, rate of pay, full-time or part-time position, about the company and answer any questions they might have.

During the Interview:

The information the candidate has provided on the application is discussed. This verifies that the information provided is accurate, and also gives them the opportunity to fill in any missing information. Then the questions regarding the technical category that they have chosen are administered. Then questions chosen from the performance category are administered.


During this portion, they have to take notes. Key words or phrases are used. Note taking is done to describe behaviors, document names, dates, locations, results, etc. These notes will help them in the evaluation of a candidate.


As the candidate responds to their questions, they practice good listening skills. The following guidelines assist the interviewer during this process:

1. Listen to the candidate.

2. Formulate probing questions to follow-up their responses.

3. Use “summaries” to control talkative candidates. This can be done by taking what a candidate say and paraphrasing, then moving to your next planned question.

4. Silence – after asking a question, be patient for the candidate to respond. It allows them to think of response and encourages them to provide more information. Many interviewers interfere in their own information-gathering process by rushing themselves to fill a gap in conversation.

5. Clipping – At times the candidate may ramble. If they feel they are rambling and the information they are giving is not relevant, they can start talking right along with the candidate as they are finishing a sentence. This will “clip” the story short, and allow them to take control again. This must be done very tactfully so as not to offend the candidate.

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