Collecting Information for Job Analysis

According to Levy (2010), job analysis is “the process of defining a job in terms of its component tasks or duties and the knowledge or skills required to perform them” (p. 59).  Job analysis is very important for the employer to define and communicate job expectations for individual employees.  Two common methods for job analysis are interview and direct observation.  In direct observations, a job analyst, usually from the HR department, watches the job incumbent actually performing the job and records the core job characteristics from observation. This method is often used in cases where the job is fairly routine and the observer can identify the job essentials in a reasonable amount of time.

Using interview method, the job analyst interviews a representative sample of job incumbents using a structured interview. The structured interview includes a series of job-related questions that is presented to each interviewee in the same order.  In interviews, job holders may be asked to describe their main tasks and responsibilities.  According to Bach (2005), there can be a bias in what is recalled using this method “because job analysis is used for a variety of purposes, including salary decisions, so that job holders may have a vested interest in inflating the worth of their job” (p. 118).  Such bias may make the interview results less reliable.  Therefore, I believe direct observation is a better method for collecting information during a job analysis.


Bach, S. (2005). Managing Human Resources: Personnel Management in Transition (4th ed.). Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing.

Levy, P. E. (2010).Industrial/organizational psychology: Understanding the workplace (3rd ed.). New York, NY: Worth Publishers.

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