Best Practices in the Interview Process

The interview process allows the search committee to assess a candidate’s qualification for a position. A candidate’s impression of the university is influenced each search committee member’s engagement with them during the search and selection process. Employing the following best practices will strengthen engagement and dialogue and the overall selection process.

Best Practices

  • Develop a pattern interview structure that allows the committee members to assess each candidate and minimize unconscious bias.
  • Conduct interviews as consistent as possible for all candidates. Utilize the same questions, setting, time allotment, and interviewers to ensure that each candidate is treated equitably and fairly.
  • Develop behavior-based questions that focus on job-related experiences, behaviors, knowledge, skills, and abilities.
  • Avoid asking theoretical questions such as “How would you go about influencing those you supervise”? Instead, use questions such as “Describe a time when you influenced others about the benefits of diversity?”
  • When agreeing on interview questions, determine whether possible answers could have a disparate impact on applicants in protected classes and whether the questions are essential to judge an applicant’s qualifications for the position.
  • Resist labeling candidates as “most promising”, as it can become more difficult for the search committee to give other candidates in the pool equal consideration.
  • Refrain from discussing an applicant’s interview until all applicants have been interviewed.
  • Avoid from making assumptions based on perceived race, ethnic background, national origin, disability, veteran status, marital or familial status, sexual orientation, political affiliations, genetic information, or religion.
  • Only ask for information that can legally serve as a basis for the hiring decision.