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Interviews

Interviewing Procedures

There are five steps that constitute a good interview.

1. Personal introduction and welcoming the applicant to the University. Use the first few moments of the interview to get the discussion off the ground and to set the stage. Establish a good rapport by greeting warmly, perhaps offering the applicant a cup of coffee, etc.

2. Obtain relevant interview information. Structure the interview so that you use a variety of questioning techniques, especially open-ended questions. Three categories need to be explored thoroughly: work experience, educational/training background, and personal factors directly related to the position.

Start with the applicant's present or most recent job and work backwards. This way you will save yourself time if the candidate's work experience has been unsatisfactory or inappropriate for the position and you wish to terminate the interview. After you have reviewed the applicant's work history and educational background, you will want more in-depth and comprehensive information about the applicant in such vital areas as what they believe to be their outstanding strengths, developmental needs, career goals, and objectives.

Finally, give the applicant the opportunity to offer any information s/he regards as relevant that may not have been covered.

3. Provide information about the University and the job. When you determine during the interview that the candidate is appropriate to your needs, move into this stage. Give the facts about the department and a factual and accurately explained description of the position. If the position entails overtime, night, or weekend work, or if a degree of travel is required, such essential facts should be given. Do not dwell only on positive aspects; being honest can avoid later turnover problems.

At this point, salary may be discussed. Some interviewers prefer delaying all discussion of salary until the final candidate has been selected. There are pros and cons on both sides of this issue, and you should decide how you will handle this question prior to starting the interview.

4. Respond to the applicant's questions. Often a degree of give and take ensues between the interviewer and the applicant in which additional areas are clarified. When both your questions and those of the candidate have been answered satisfactorily, it is time to bring the interview to an end.

5. Conclude the interview. Close the interview in a reasonable period of time, and close on a positive note. Don't give the impression you will be making an offer, or promise something you cannot provide. Let the applicant know when you will make your hiring decision and how they will be notified of that decision. As soon as the interview is over, write down the facts and your impressions of the interview.

Knowing as much as possible about a candidate is extremely important in the evaluation process. The capabilities, experience, background, and previous performance of each prospective employee are critical pieces of information to have to assure a proper fit between your needs and the individual under consideration.


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The University of Minnesota is an equal opportunity educator and employer.
Last modified on 04/08/14 02:48 PM
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