Preparing for and Conducting Interviews

  • Search committee members should review the position description, agree upon the interview questions and on the format for conducting the interviews.
  • preparedGood interview questions will illuminate the experience of an applicant well enough to indicate the prospects for his/her success in the position. Generally, all questions should be related to the knowledge, skills and abilities necessary to successfully carry out the duties and responsibilities of the position. Questions about workplace competencies, work ethic, decision making, problem solving, and interpersonal skills that indicate a person’s professional character are also appropriate.(see Interview Prep and Sample Interview Questions).
  • Beware of questions that should not be asked of candidates (see Examples of Illegal Questions) and ensure all individuals who interact with candidates are also aware of these questions.
  • Provide evaluation forms to all members of the committee for each candidate’s formal interview (see Candidate Evaluation Rubric Form).
  • Follow up to ensure the candidates receive any additional information they request about the community, resources, etc. Indicate the timeline for the decision and the method of notification for the hiring decision. Keep in contact with the applicants until the process is complete.
  • Keep accurate recruitment records.

Conducting Interviews

Interviews serve several purposes, but primarily they are used to compare applicants and determine which applicant’s skills, knowledge, and abilities best match the position. The committee has an opportunity to promote the position and employment with NMSU. The applicants also benefit by learning about the position and the university. Campus faculty and community constituents also benefit by meeting applicants, interviewing, interacting with them, watching presentations, and providing feedback to the search committee.

01/17/06: Luis Vazquez (photo by Darren Phillips)During the Interview

  • Introduce the committee members
  • Describe the format of the interview
  • Let the applicant do most of the talking
  • Keep the interview on track
  • Take legible notes since they become part of the permanent search record
  • Allow time for the applicant to ask questions
  • Describe the remainder of the search process and the anticipated appointment date
  • Thank the applicant for his/her time


Welcome Package for Interviewees

This is a list of information that the committee should consider sending each applicant invited for an on-campus or phone interview: