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Develop Structured Interviews

Develop Structured Interviews

It is a good idea to develop an Interview Guide while the Job Requisition is being processed. You will then be ready to begin interviewing as soon as applicants are referred to you.

You will create a unique structured interview guide using a combination of the selection criteria and questions together with any revisions or additions you need to make. The Sample Selection Criteria and Interview Questions are designed as a guide but should be useful for most positions. Remember, you are looking for questions that reveal the applicant's skill, knowledge, and ability as they relate to the job duties.

Pre-interviewing Checklist

  • Review the job description and selection criteria. Use those as the basis for your questions.
  • Familiarize yourself with the duties and requirements of the job you are filling.
  • Make sure you explore the duties and responsibilities of the previous job/s, their achievements, their qualifications, abilities, experience, education, and interests.
  • Make sure you can answer general questions about the department. Any questions about benefits can be referred to UMD Department of Human Resources and Equal Opportunity.
  • Formulate questions that will focus on job-related aspects such as asking about situations that may have occurred in previous positions.
  • Write down and organize the questions in the order you will be asking them.
  • Review applicants' resume and/or application so that you can identify specific areas you wish to probe. Develop and write those questions.

The advantages of predetermined interview questions are many, but some of the most important are:

  • Ensure that you ask all the questions you need to ask of all the applicants.
  • Increase your confidence in your interviews by eliminating the need to grope for questions and by discouraging common interviewing errors, such as talking too much, making premature decisions, and asking leading or closed-ended questions.
  • Ask open-ended questions which focus on behavioral descriptions rather than simply "yes" or "no" questions (i.e., have them describe a work situation in which they handled stress well rather than just asking if they can "handle stress well").
  • Ensure that the interview remains appropriately focused.
  • Improve the quality of your hiring decisions by focusing on the specific requirements of the job.
  • Standardize the evaluation, and treat all applicants equally and fairly.
  • Reduce training costs and turnover by selecting employees qualified for the specific needs of your position.
  • Provide a basis for future vacancies in that classification.
  • Provide a record of decision making and a basis for defense against legal charges.
  • Stay away from questions that deal with personal lifestyles than job experience-phrase the question so that the answer will describe on-the-job qualities instead of personal qualities-if the question is not related to performance on the job, it should not be asked