Tips for conducting interviews
Before the interview
- Book an appropriate location
- Review the job description
- Draft and agree upon the interview questions to be asked
- Review the candidate’s resume/ application
- Agree on the format for the interview
- Ensure that you know / can identify the indicators of the candidate’s ability to perform the job.
During the interview
- Introduce committee members
- Describe the format of the interview
- Ask open-ended informational, situational, & behavioral questions
- Let applicant do most of the talking
- Keep the interview on track
- Observe nonverbal behavior
- Take notes
- Leave time for candidate questions
- Ask if you can check references and pursue references not on resume
- Describe the remainder of the search process and timeframe
- Thank candidate for their time
After the interview
- Evaluate the candidate
- Document the interview
Behavioral Based Interviewing
What is behavioral based interviewing?
- Developed in the 1970s by industrial psychologists, behavioral-based interview questions
help the interviewer understand how you've performed and behaved in the past with
actual results and scenarios.
- Behavior-based interviewing is a technique used in which the job candidate has the opportunity to demonstrate their potential for succeeding in the new job by providing specific examples of how they handled similar situations based on their past experience.
- Developed in the 1970s by industrial psychologists, behavioral-based interview questions help the interviewer understand how you've performed and behaved in the past with actual results and scenarios.
Why should I use behavioral based questions?
- Using past behavior is a proven technique used to more accurately determine the future
performance or success of the individual.
- Behavioral questions ask the applicant to describe actual past behavior on the job,
which in turn helps you predict their future behavior.
- Traditional questions such as “What are your strengths and weaknesses?” and “How
do you define success?” are more generic with straightforward answers.
- Behavioral answers give stronger comparisons between candidates that easily assess their approach to the position.
- Using past behavior is a proven technique used to more accurately determine the future performance or success of the individual.
Sample behavioral based Interview questions
- Tell us about your preferred work environment.
- What experiences or skills will help you manage projects?
- Tell us how you would use technology in your day-to-day job.
- In what professional development activities have you been involved over the past few years?
- What volunteer or social activities have helped you develop professional skills?
- What things have you done on your own initiative to help you prepare for your next job?
- Do you have any concerns that would make you have reservations about accepting this position if it is offered to you?
- What do you think most uniquely qualifies you for this position?
- Do you have any additional information that you would like to share?
- Do you have any questions for us?
Questions to avoid asking
- What kind of childcare arrangements do you have?
- Does your spouse expect you home to cook dinner?
- What will you do if your children get sick?
- How do you get to work?
- How many children do you have?
- Does your spouse live with you or contribute support?
- Are you likely to quit if you get married/have children?
- Do you own a home?
- Do you plan to get married?
- Do you own a car?
- Do you have any loans?
- Do you have any debts?
- Do you get along with other women or men?
- Will it bother you if the others swear?
- What language do your mother and father speak?
- Were you born in this country?
- That’s an unusual name, what nationality are you?
- Can you provide a photograph of yourself?
- How old are you?
- How do you feel about having to work with members of a different race?
Appropriate vs. Inappropriate Questions
AgeAre you at least 18 years old?Questions about age, request for birth certificate.
Citizenship / NationalityMay ask questions about legal authorization to work in specific position if all applicants asked.Inquiry into birthplace, citizenship or nationality.
Convictions / ArrestInquiry into actual convictions that relate reasonably to fitness to perform a job, if all applicants asked.Any inquiry relating to arrest.
DisabilityMay ask about the applicant’s ability to perform job related functions.Whether applicant is disabled or nature of disability.
Education / ExperienceInquiries about degrees and previous work experience.Inquiries about the nationality, racial or religious affiliation of a school or inquiry as to how foreign language ability was acquired.
Marital & Family StatusWhether applicant can meet work schedule or job requirements. Should be asked of both sexes.Any inquiry about marital status, children, pregnancy, or childcare plans.
Military RecordType of education / experience in service relating to a particular job.Type of discharge.
OrganizationsInquiries about professional organizations related to the position.Inquiries about organizations indicating race, sex, religion or national origin.
RaceNone.Any questions regarding color of applicant’s skin, eyes, hair or other questions directly or indirectly indicating race or color.
ReligionInquiry about days/times available for work.Any inquiry to indicate or identify religious denomination, affiliation, customs or holidays.
AddressInquiry into place and length of current and previous addresses.Inquiry into foreign addresses that would indicate national origin, person with whom the applicant resides or whether applicant owns or rents home.
SexNone.Any inquiry that would indicate sex of the applicant.