The Interview and Reference Check:
Managerial, and Other Professional
Tips for Conducting the Interview
Before the Interview
? Book an appropriate location
? Review the job description
? Draft and agree upon the interview questions to be asked
? Review the applicant’s resume, references, and other materials
? Agree on a format for the interview
? Ensure that you know and can identify the indicators of the applicant’s ability
to perform the job.
During the Interview
? Introduce committee members
? Describe the format of the interview
? Ask open-ended information, situational, and behavioral questions
? Let the applicant do most of the talking
? Keep the interview on track
? Observe nonverbal behavior
? Take notes
? Leave time for the applicant to ask questions
? Ask if you can check references and pursue references not listed on the
? Describe the remainder of the search process and the time it will take
? Thank applicant for his or her time
After the Interview
? Refer the candidate to Human Resources for a brief overview or written
synopsis of GSU Employee Benefits ? Refer any questions related to salary to the hiring manager or unit head
? Evaluate the candidate
? Document the Interview
Interview Preparation Checklist
? Send interview schedule and informational materials, if needed, to
interviewee (See Sample in Section 6.)
? Send list of interviewees requiring travel arrangements to the Travel Buyer in
? Arrange tour of local community (if appropriate)
? Arrange campus tour
? Arrange meeting with hiring manager
? Arrange meeting with other staff (if appropriate)
? Arrange interview by search committee
? Schedule candidate's presentation (if necessary)
? Schedule meals and breaks as necessary (See Food Service information in
Sample Interview Questions
Good interview questions can help you learn how well the candidate's previous
experience and qualifications meet the requirements of the job. Some sample
interview questions are:
1. Tell us a little more about your professional experiences, particularly those
not mentioned on your resume.
2. Why are you interested in leaving your current assignment and why do you
feel that this assignment would be better for you?
3. Do you feel this position is a promotion, a lateral move, a broadening of your
professional experience, or just a change? Why do you think so? 4. How does this position fit into your overall career goals? 5. Describe the duties of your current job.
6. What is your favorite part of your current job and why is it your favorite part? 7. What are the three college courses that best prepared you for your current
8. What qualities or experiences make you the best candidate for this position? 9. Describe two or three major trends in your profession today. 10. On the basis of the information you have received so far, what do you see as
the major challenges of this position and how would you meet them? 11. Describe a situation in which you did "all the right things" and were still
unsuccessful. What did you learn from the experience? 12. Discuss the committees on which you have served and the impact of those
committees on the organization where you currently work. 13. Why did you choose this profession/field?
14. What new skills have you learned over the past year?
15. Think about an instance when you were given an assignment that you
thought you would not be able to complete. How did you accomplish the
16. Have you ever had a great idea but been told that you could not implement it?
How did you react? What did you do?
17. Describe the best boss and the worst boss you have ever had. 18. Describe your ideal job.
19. What would your coworkers or your supervisor say about you? 20. Can you describe how you go about solving problems? Please give us some
21. What is the biggest conflict you have ever been involved in at work? How did
you handle that situation?
22. What new programs or services would you start if offered the position?
23. Please share with us your philosophy about customer service in an academic
environment and give us some examples of service that would illustrate your
24. Tell us how you would learn your new job in the absence of a formal training
25. How would you characterize your level of computer literacy? What are some
of the programs and applications with which you are familiar? 26. Think about a coworker from the present or past whom you admire? Why? 27. What are the characteristics that you prize most in an employee? What
behaviors or characteristics do you find intolerable? 28. Can you share with us your ideas about professional development? 29. Describe some basic steps that you would take in implementing a new
30. What are one or two of your proudest professional accomplishments? 31. Do you have any knowledge of the unique role of a land grant university? 32. How do you feel about diversity in the workplace? Give us some examples of
your efforts to promote diversity.
33. Tell us how you go about organizing your work. Also, describe any experience
you have had with computers or other tools as they related to organization. 34. Please tell us what you think are the most important elements of a good
________________. [service, activity, product, class, etc.] 35. What professional associations do you belong to and how involved in them are
36. Tell us about your preferred work environment.
37. What experiences or skills will help you manage projects? 38. Tell us how you would use technology in your day-to-day job. 39. In what professional development activities have you been involved over the
past few years?
40. What volunteer or social activities have helped you develop professional skills? 41. What things have you done on your own initiative to help you prepare for
your next job?
42. Do you have any concerns that would make you have reservations about
accepting this position if it is offered to you?
43. What do you think most uniquely qualifies you for this position? 44. Do you have any additional information that you would like to share? 45. Do you have any questions for us?
Interview Questions to Avoid
You cannot ask any question during an interview that relates to an applicant’s race, color, religion, age, gender, national origin, or disability. In some states, inquires
about a candidate’s sexual orientation are illegal. The following questions are merely
a few of the questions that should not be asked.
Don't Ask Applicable Law
Are you a U.S. citizen? Civil Rights Act, Title VII (prohibits
employment discrimination based on Where were you born?
race, color, religion, sex, or national What is your spouse’s name?
origin) What church do you attend?
What is your religion?
What is your race or ethnic origin?
What is your maiden name?
What is your birth date? Age Discrimination in Employment Act
How old are you?
Do you have a disability? Americans with Disabilities Act
Have you ever been treated for an
Why are you in a wheelchair?
Are you married? Civil Rights Act, Title VII; Pregnancy
Discrimination Act Do you have any children?
Do you have child care arrangements?
The following questions should be asked only when there is a bona fide, job-specific
reason to ask them. If asked of one candidate, they should be asked of all
candidates for the same position.
Acceptable Alternative Questions
? Do you have any responsibilities that conflict with the job’s attendance or
? Are you able to work in the United States on an unrestricted basis?
? Are you able to perform the duties on the job description with or without
o Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Questions and Answers
? Do you have any conflicts that would prevent you from working the schedule
? If hired, can you provide proof that you are at least 18 years of age?
? Have you worked under any other professional name or nickname?
? Would you have any problem working extra hours, if required?
? Would anything prevent you from making a long-term commitment to the
position and the institution?
Tips on Telephone Interviews
Planning and Arranging the Interview
? Schedule a call of no more than 30 minutes with interviewee and interviewers.
? Review interviewee's application materials.
? Prepare questions.
? Determine the order in which the interviewers will ask questions.
? Test speaker-phone and teleconferencing equipment and procedures.
Conducting the Interview
? Introduce the individuals participating in the interview and describe how the
interview will be conducted.
? Ask questions pertaining to the resume (for example, questions about gaps in
employment, special training, or a change of professions).
? Ask why the person is interested in leaving his or her current position.
? Ask one or two technical questions about the job.
? Ask one or two questions that will help you determine the interviewee's "fit"
to your campus (for example, "What is your philosophy of
? Ask follow-up questions as appropriate.
? Ask the interviewee if he or she has any questions.
? Explain to the interviewee the next step in the selection process.
? Thank candidate for his or her time.
Reference Checks of Prospective Employees
Verifying the accuracy of the facts of a candidate's background as you know them
and uncovering facts relevant to the duties of the position sought is always
prudent. The scope and depth of a check might increase with the seniority and
sensitivity of the position. Verification of degrees, licenses, and skills is important in
the academic environment. The hiring manager or unit head should determine the
types of information sought and how he/she can appropriately use that information.
Suggested Form: Applicant Reference Check