In order to help you prepare for your interviews, we have provided a number of resources and documents to assist you in formulating legal and relevant interview questions. If you have any additional questions, please contact the recruiter for your area. Also, if you have not already done so, please consider signing up for the training class, “Interviewing: More Than a Gut Feeling.” This class is usually held in the spring and fall. Depending on demand and availability, a class may be held in the summer as well.
Need to know how to hire the right candidate for the job? Start by preparing for the interview process!
- Preplan your interview with plenty of behavioral-based questions to get the most information about the candidate. Examples of behavioral-based interview questions:
- Tell me about a time when…
- Can you give me an example when…
- Describe a time when…
- Limit the amount of close ended questions vs. open ended questions. Use close ended questions to begin, followed by an open ended question requesting more specific detail.
- Be sure to avoid leading questions or telegraphing what you want the candidate to tell you. Look for specific references and when the candidate is unable to provide one or speaks in generalities, probe further.
- Seek contrary evidence in your interviews. If the interview is painting a picture of negative past behavior on the job, seek to find evidence of good behavior or performance to get a balanced view of the candidate. The same is true when a candidate seems perfect, perhaps too perfect.
- Allow for silence on tough questions that seek specific detail to allow candidates to consider the question before answering. Put the candidate at ease, let them know they have time and you are expecting an answer.
- Select the right place for the interview. Make sure it is a place free of interruptions, the room or office has a neat appearance and that you allow for enough grace time between interviews to allow for notes and/or discussion. Be sure to give clear directions for parking and location.
- We recommend you take notes during the interview of relevant information to the job and questions. Make the interviewee aware at the beginning that you intend to take notes.
- If you are interviewing as a panel or committee, assign everyone their questions to keep each interview structured the same, which is important for interview reliability. All questions should be based on an analysis of the job description.
It is important to check professional references for your top candidates, even if they currently work at Rice. Reference checks will help provide a more complete picture of a candidate’s skills, work habits and personality. You should check at least two to three professional (not personal) references. Ideally these should be individuals who have previously supervised your candidate in the workplace. We also highly recommend that the supervisor of the individual to be hired conducts the reference checks, so that way it will be more of a peer-to-peer conversation. Below is a list of resources to help you conduct an effective reference check. If you have any further questions, please contact the recruiter for your area.