The metrics and methods we use to interview and evaluate candidates are powerful tools. They can help bring order and consistency to a search process, and create measures for reviewing a candidate’s skills and abilities. However, research also tells us that evaluation processes can be particularly susceptible to bias. As you work to create inclusive searches, interviews and evaluations are a critical piece of the puzzle. Some things to think about include elements of your interview process, questions you’re asking, and competencies you’re evaluating.
- Some Common InterviewProcess Biases
- Time Zones
- Travel radiuses
- Limited travel time that would not allow a person with mobility needs to travel
For EHRA candidates, the department or search committee will do the initial screening
The initial screening involves removing candidates from the process who do not meet minimum qualifications.
For SHRA candidates, HR will do the initial screening, if HR screens out what seems to be too many candidates, you may request that they send you the next tier of candidates.
Advise your reviewers to select all potentially strong candidates. If they are unsure, bring it back to the full committee for review.
Once candidates who do not meet minimum qualifications have been removed from the pool, the hiring manager and/or search committee members individually screen the candidates for those who best meet the qualifications according to their resumes and cover letters and/or Human Resources application. This should be determined based on the previously set criteria or rubric for the position.
Key aims of candidate interviews:
- Allow the hiring committee to determine if a candidate possesses the necessary skills, abilities, and knowledge to be successful in the position at UNC Charlotte. Ensure questions are structured to find out about the candidate’s demonstrated skills and knowledge required and preferred by the job description.
- Allow candidates to determine if UNC Charlotte offers opportunities, facilities, and other attributes to be successful in their employment.
The initial candidate interview is used to narrow down the candidate pool to those who best meet the qualifications of the position as demonstrated through their answers to pre-determined questions and is usually conducted on the phone or through software that allows the committee to meet the candidate through a web interface (e.g. Facetime, Webx, Skype).
The on-campus interview process usually includes staff members and students who will interact with the selected candidate and can evaluate the candidates on the needs of the position in relation to their area(s).
Ensure all interviewers are aware of inappropriate questions that should not be asked of candidates or discussed, even if the candidate brings up the topic.
Avoid asking questions about:
6. National Origin
7. Sexual Orientation
8. Disability Status
10. Creed (belief system)
11. Marital Status and Children
12. Arrest or Conviction Record (unless pertinent to position)
13. Guard or Reserve Status
Here are some resources for interviewing, including some questions to consider asking:
Inclusive Selection/ Interviews
Top 10 Culturally Competent Interview Strategies
PDX Interview Questions Regarding Diversity
Additional Interview Questions
88 Diversity Interview Questions
Cultural Awareness interview questions
Oregon State Sample Interview Questions
Fast Company 10 Interview Questions to Determine if a Company is Inclusive
Hiring for Tomorrow, The Risk of Hiring People Who "Fit"
SHRA Hiring Manual from Human Resources: SHRA Hiring Manual, PIM 43
EHRA Hiring Manual from Human Resources: EHRA Non-Faculty Personnel Procedures
- Build a detailed run of show that includes interview schedule, candidate’s transportation schedule, host and introduction arrangements, evaluation announcements, and any other information. Remember time zones in making transportation arrangementsand work with candidates on scheduling transportation to ensure that the times and dates are reasonable.
- Allow for personal comfort breaks in the interview schedule.
- Each interview should include time with the hiring manager. Consider building in time for the second-level supervisor or other staff as well.
- For all director-level positions, please schedule 30 minutes with the Vice Chancellor.
- Personalize each candidate’s visit. Decide what events other than interviews the candidates will engage in (e.g. presentation, tour of campus city/facilities, meals, social events). Be aware of unconscious bias when selecting these activities.
- Consider providingcandidates with the opportunity to meet with knowledgeable sources of information about their needs as potential employees (e.g., being a parent in this area) if requested. This person should not be involved in the evaluation process.
- Provide candidates with a detailed schedule that articulates who they are meeting with, their position and/or role(s) on campus, and provide a clear title for the interview group (e.g. direct reports, campus partners).
- If menus can be sent out in advance, this can allow for quicker meals and can be more inclusive of food allergies, dietary restrictions and preferences.
You never can be too prepared
Discuss backup plans in advance of the search. Be prepared for some of these scenarios, which could disrupt the process:
- Transportation delays (car breaks down, flight delayed)
- Person scheduled to transport candidate from airport or hotel becomes unavailable.
- Staff or student interviewers do not show up for scheduled session
- Hiring manager or Search Committee Chair unexpectedly out of the office
- Candidate becomes sick during the interview
- A/V does not work for the presentation