Request for Proposal Interview Skills Training and Development Services

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Request for Proposal
Interview Skills Training and Development Services
This Request for Proposal (RFP) is being sent to individuals and/or firms interested in submitting a proposal to provide interviewing skills training and development services for the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District. Proposals for providing these services will be received until 4:30 p.m. on June 27, 2012. The proposals must be delivered to:

Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District

3900 Euclid Avenue

Cleveland, OH 44115

Re: Interview Skills Training and Development Services
Late submittals will not be considered. Questions regarding this RFP should be directed to Mr. Russell Rys, OED Consultant, by calling (216) 881-6600 or by e-mail at: Questions related to the RFP will be answered through June 26, 2012. The RFP is organized as follows






The following attachments are included in this RFP:

Attachment A: Survey Responses from target audience

The Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District (the “District”) is a regional sewer district, a political subdivision of the State of Ohio created and operating under Chapter 6119 of the Ohio Revised Code. The District owns and operates three wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs), an Environmental and Maintenance Services Center (EMSC) and an Administration Building.
The District’s process for filling its open jobs includes candidate interviews typically performed by an interview team. The knowledge and skill level of each interview team member varies. Having an understanding of the entire process, from initiating a personnel request to offering the job to the selected candidate is an example of the required knowledge. Additional knowledge consists of the type of questions that can be used during an interview and legal considerations. Specific skills needed to conduct an effective interview include establishing a dialog with the candidate, probing for more information, recognizing and managing personal bias and assumptions, active listening and documenting the results.
The purpose of the Interview Skills Training and Development Services is to provide operations and maintenance managers with the knowledge and skills to collect and analyze information from a candidate interview and be able to recommend the best candidate for each open position.
The outcome from these services should be to create a mutual understanding and ability to effectively conduct a candidate interview.


The scope of work shall consist of, but not be limited to, the tasks as outlined below. The tasks as described are the preferred means and methods of the District. The individual or firm should base its proposal on the described tasks. All work described herein shall be performed by the individual or firm.
The District will be evaluating each proposal on the approach to the project. The District will consider alternative creative approaches that provide value to the District for this project. For the purpose of this RFP, the project will be the services provided in this scope of work.

Task A - Program Status

Schedule one focus group meeting with select workforce to understand current processes, content, procedures, practices, behaviors, needs and expected results.
Task B – Training Curriculum
Develop a curriculum to address the outcomes outlined in Section 1.0 Introduction, those needs expressed during the focus group and from survey data contained in Appendix A.
Task C– Training Methodology
Provide a detailed description of the methods that would be used to maximize the learning for program participants. Recommend a method to continue the delivery of the training material to interview team members not able to participate in the current program, but who may need to learn in the future. Outline key components for each topic area. Ensure that all training is properly documented.
Task D – Training Material Design and Delivery
Design the recommended materials in a standardized format. Demonstrate the ability to plan, organize, instruct and facilitate quality educational courses. Demonstrate the ability to integrate measures of success to support instruction and validate learning.
Task E – Skill and Ability Assessment
Identify standardized methods with which to assess an individual’s knowledge, skills and abilities before and after the training delivery to identify program effectiveness in meeting learning objectives.
Task F - Process Documentation

Document the entire hiring process including both the work flow and decision making roles and responsibilities. Integrate this document into the program content to achieve a consistent understanding of the process.

Transfer of Records
All records and deliverables shall be the property of the District.


All responses to Requests for Proposals should be complete and must include all of the information requested by the District. If errors are found in the response to the RFP, or if the response fails to conform to the essential requirements of the RFP, the District, in its sole judgment, shall determine whether that Response to RFP is accepted.
Each copy of the Response to RFP shall be bound in a single volume where practical. All documentation submitted with the Response to RFP shall be bound within that single volume.
If your response to this RFP includes any comment in addition to the specific information requested in this RFP, include this information as a separate appendix to your response.
The individual or firm shall submit one original and six (6) copies of the proposal. Firms are encouraged to organize their proposal by following the criteria outlined below. Individuals or firms are required to submit the following information in the proposal:

  1. General Information:

  • State your understanding of the work to be performed as outlined in Section 2.0 Scope of Services

  • Identify your principal strengths.

  • Name of the person who will be authorized to represent you or your firm and all applicable contact information.

  • State whether or not you or your organization has been involved in any litigation or administrative agency review within the past five (5) years arising out of your performance. Explain fully if it has been involved in any litigation.

  1. Experience and References:

  • Provide past performance information

  • Provide at least three (3) examples of previous work that demonstrates your experience on projects of similar size, scope, and features as those required on this project.

  • Provide at least three (3) references that you have successfully performed for of similar size, scope, and features as those required on this project.

  1. Approach:

  • Provide a section describing in detail the approach to be used to conduct the tasks of this project.

  1. Schedule of Deliverables:

  • Identify the list of proposed deliverables for each of the major tasks listed under the Section 2.0 of this RFP. Identify other major deliverables as part of the overall project and scope of work

  1. Project Plan:

  • Provide an overall project plan with time estimates for all identified work.

  1. Project Cost Proposal:

  • Include a cost proposal for the performance of services described in this RFP with an itemized estimated hours and costs for each task, including hourly rates and any other anticipated costs for completion of the work described in this RFP. Costs for alternative services must be listed separately.


The following is the proposed schedule of the major milestones in the RFP process. The District reserves the right to modify the schedule as needed based on unforeseen events or organizational need.

  • June 6, 2012 RFP released

  • June 27, 2012 Proposal due to District by 4:30 p.m. local time

  • July 11, 2012 District will notify the short-list of top qualified firms

  • July 18, 2012 Proposal presentations and consultant interviews for the short-list of top qualified firms

  • July 25, 2012 Selection and Contract negotiations begins

  • August 16, 2012 Contract Award (Board of Trustees Meeting)

  • August 20, 2012 Notice to Proceed - Project Begins

The District may make follow-up calls to the individual or firm for clarification at anytime during the evaluation period from June 27 to July 11, 2012.


Evaluation of Proposal
The District reserves the right to make the final determination as to the individual's or firm’s ability to provide the services requested herein, before entering into any contract.
Selection and Notification
A Selection Committee will determine the best individual or firm. The selection process will include a review of the proposals to identify qualified candidates based on Section 3.0 Proposal Content and Format. Those individuals or firms who are qualified will be scheduled for a personal interview. Selection will be based upon the following criteria (100 points):

  • Method of accomplishing the scope of work (40 points maximum)

  • Relevant experience, qualifications, and commitment of person (20 points maximum)

  • Quality of the interview and oral presentation of proposal (20 points maximum)

  • Written quality of the proposal (10 points maximum)

  • Cost (10 points maximum)

The District will notify the selected individual or firm in writing. This work may be contracted in whole or in part at the sole discretion of the District. In general, the contract will comply with applicable laws and standard provisions and shall contain the following terms:

  • Detailed scope of services

  • Schedule for providing services, detailing activity and estimated time required

  • Hours and costs of services should be identified such that the proposal clearly defines where and when work is to be performed. This will allow for proper tracking of project milestones.


Proposals shall be properly addressed with the name of the individual or firm and the description “Interview Skills Training and Development Services” written on the outside of the package.

One original and seven (7) copies of the technical proposals are to be delivered to:

Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District

3900 Euclid Avenue

Cleveland, Ohio 44115-2504

Re: Interview Skills Training and Development Services

Deadline for submission of proposals is 4:30 p.m., June 27, 2012. Late submittals will not be considered. All questions regarding this RFP shall be directed to Mr. Russell Rys by calling (216) 881-6600 or by e-mail to: Questions related to the RFP will be answered through (date), 2012.

Proposals may be mailed or hand delivered. If sent by mail, the responsibility of timely delivery is entirely up to the sender.

Appendix A: Interview Skills Survey Responses

1. What would help you to improve your ability to conduct a successful interview?

Potential Training Content

The ability to have a dialog with the candidate without appearing to interrogate.

Most managers that do not have specific training will conduct an interview based solely on the questions provided and may not what types of questions are permitted and which questions cannot be asked.

A clearer understanding of the present day interviewing do's and do nots for hiring people for craft positions. We need both personality questions and technical questions related to the various crafts.

Mock interviews and observing mock interviews

The right parameters to evaluate upon. Need an understanding of what those are for various positions.

The interviewers should understand the KSAs and the critical success factors for the job. Interview guides should incorporate elements of these in them. Management CSFs include items such as reporting, measuring, supervising, planning, coordinating, supervising, etc. Management functions include planning, leading, organizing, and controlling. Interviewers should understand these items and their application to the job thoroughly to successfully ask pertinent follow up questions and to properly score the employees.

The managers who report to me could benefit from understanding things not to include in the interview such as telling the candidate what category the question is from or lead the candidate in any way. They also need instructions not to score the candidate during the interview as some candidates watch and know what scores they get on each questions. Encourage them to take notes but not to put a numeric score or circle the scale while the candidate is present.

Ask questions that pertain to the job - not vague questions

I would like to ask questions pertaining to the position that the person is applying for.

I have never conducted an interview

Current Interview Process Improvements

Getting the interview guide early not right before the interview. That way a person doing the interview can think about what to look for when doing the interviews.

The questions are more relative to the job.

Written guide lines specifically for the immediate department’s purpose & candidate expectations.

Allow the interviewers to submit questions that are pertinent to the position that the applicant has applied.

More time and preparation with resumes and assessments. In the past, I have received these documents minutes prior to the interview. Also, "pointers" from more experienced management.

Include more technical questions

To have more input on the types of questions and the structure of the questions.

Ask questions that are more technical to the position they are applying for

A better form/guide. The questions for some ppl who have interviewed before are repeat questions. In most cases the guide does not fit the position a person is interviewing for. The scoring matrix from 1-10 why not 1-5?

A single method of HR review, file review, interview. It seems like the process changes each interview between who is responsible for what part of the process.

Objective processes where each interviewing member has the same weight. HR is more open to share how the new hire was selected from the points.

Having more than one way of evaluating a person for the job.

The ability to pick the candidates.

2. When you think about interviewing and selecting a candidate, what is your greatest challenge?

Decision Making

To express view points on what is best for the plant not just who is most qualified. All older persons will have more experience but not the best fit.

If I'm making the right decision on this candidate or is there a better qualified applicant?

That the person we are interviewing has the skills for the position which he is applying. I am expecting that the persons we are interviewing will be able to come in if hired and perform the work of his craft as he becomes familiar with the plant

Person deciding on candidates should have some idea of what the job requires

Candidate Integrity

To determine whether or not the candidate is truthful in their responses.

Discerning how genuine they answer

To assess true capabilities of applicant above and beyond what they say and their credentials.

Ask questions to find if skills do exist or the interviewee is just a good speaker.


Completely hearing the interviewee answer the interview question, and then pausing before asking a follow up question. Sometime the candidate may feel rushed.

Trying to find out how much skill the person actually has.

Uncertain workflows

How to determine their technical skills

I find it very hard to evaluate or listen to the interviewee. While I am writing down their responses.

Thinking about not wanting to end up in a lawsuit for not selecting the best candidate for the job. It is not clearly defined what are all the determining factors for the best candidate the interview is only one part of the process, please help!!!!!!!!!!!!

See comments in 1. What are the KSAs?

Understanding that some people have a difficult time in an interview setting. However, they may be the best person for the job.

Recommendations Overturned

Input from those not part of the interview process.

Selecting the candidate that has been pre-selected

The challenge most of these managers face is dealing with the politics in the equation. There are times that the selected candidate is flatly refused and a District leader verbally informs the interview team that a specific lower scoring candidate is the one the team is to recommend. In other cases, the interview team may misinterpret the connection a candidate has with a particular higher ranking District leader and mistakenly assume they should score a candidate higher than they might otherwise. It would be helpful to address both situations if you can.

Decisions are not made at Plant Level - can't ask the questions the relate to the job

3. What outcomes from this session, would make it the best use of your time?

A better method/process for interviewing and selecting a candidate. The current process stinks!!!!!!!!!!

Beneficial enhancements made, that are productive.

Being able to better conduct interviews where each candidate leaves feeling the interview was fair, productive and good use of their time, no matter the outcome.

That all parties involved in the interview process are on the same page and we utilize each other skills in the interview to create the best results.

To be given the most encompassing questions to ask and the reasons for them. What are the follow up questions to the applicants responses (whatever they may be).

Selecting the right person for the job and team.

Hire the best candidate -

That the questions asked during the interview pertain to the job that the person is applying for.

Comparison of qualities & experience of each candidate, & making a conscious decision.

Having more technical questions in interview guide

Short and to the point, no games,

Learning a skill and credit hours towards the 16.0 hours required

To be able to be professional and gain insight in to the interviewee potential.

Learn scoring and appropriate follow-up questions.

Acknowledge the politics involved and provide some practical tips on how to go through this process as professionally as possible.

Post the entire list of questions received with the responses on your web page.

That some of our responses are in fact incorporated into the interviewing process.

To be heard.

I have never conducted an interview

Do not understand this question, not clear what you are asking for

Not sure...

4. Which of the following methods do you prefer when learning a skill?

Read about it 17

Hear from an expert 20

Try it out (practice) 20

Get feedback from an observer 15

Put in layman’s terms for practicality!

How about demonstration and practice afterwards

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