Office of the Provost
F. Guidelines for Interviewing
What to do:
- ONLY ask job-related questions
- Treat all candidates with fairness, equality and consistency
- Be professional and consistent in addressing men and women. If using first names for men, do so with women and minorities. For example, do not introduce Dr. Powers to Mary Lou Jones. Rather, Dr. Jones this is Ms. Jones.
- Follow a standardized interview plan.
- Inquire into a candidate’s work history and experience to determine how she/he may perform.
- Assess the candidate’s job related experience and relevant skill knowledge that may assist him/her in the position.
- Analyze the problems/challenges the candidate experiences in previous jobs, and what she/he liked or disliked.
- Assess the candidate’s job accomplishments, progression, job interests, goals and reasons for leaving current position.
- Break the job into functions and determine if the candidate can perform all of the essential functions.
- Use panel interviews. Be sure that individuals on the interview panel independently rate the candidates. Try to maintain the same search committee throughout the search, as ratings may be skewed when panel membership changes.
- Review employment application, resume, transcripts, etc. to ensure accuracy.
- Check references, if given. Be sure to secure the applicant’s approval prior to contacting his/her current employer for a reference.
What NOT to do:
- Questions regarding sex, age, color, race, religion, national origin, veteran’s status, sexual orientation or disability are illegal and therefore inappropriate. The perception of a discriminatory action is just as dangerous as reality.
- Do not ask any questions regarding arrests.
- Do not inquire into a candidate’s financial condition.
- Do not ask questions about home ownership or car ownership, unless owning a car is required for the job.
- Do not make inquiries into a person’s physical condition, even if the candidate has an obvious condition. If you are concerned about how whether this person is able to perform the job, simply ask them, “In the past, how did you complete the following task(s)?”
- Do not ask a candidate’s marital status or family status.
- Do not ask the type or conditions of a person’s military discharge.
- Do not ask questions about a candidate’s place of birth, lineage, ancestry, name origins, national origin or primary language spoken.
- Do not refer to an adult female as “girl” or inquire into name changes. Also, do not refer to an adult male as “boy.”
- Do not refer to women in stereotypical terminology such as women are not aggressive, women are emotional, women never stick with a job, women cannot handle pressure.
- Do not ask questions relating to pregnancy or number of children. Refusing to hire a person solely because of pregnancy amounts to sex discrimination.
- Do not ask a candidate’s religious denomination, affiliations, church, pastor, rabbi or holidays observed.
- Do not ask candidates where or with whom they reside, or how long they have resided there.
- Do not ask about childcare arrangements.
- Do not ask where a candidate’s spouse is employed.
- Do not ask a candidate what she/he does in her/his spare time or to what clubs or organizations she/he belongs.
- Avoid boasting, patronizing, flirting or making sexual remarks during the selection process.
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