Now that you have posted an open position and recruited a pool of job applicants, it is time to start interviewing.

How to Decide Which Applicants to Interview

Consider the following when determining which applicants to interview:

  • Before an interview can be conducted, applicants must have an electronic application on file and have applied to your job online
  • You can request help reviewing resume packets and assessing the top candidates for interviews—just call a Strategic Workforce Solutions HR Consultant at 512-475-7200

How to Prepare for an Interview

Whether this is your first time conducting an interview, or you are an experienced interviewer, you will want to take some of the following steps to prepare:

  • Consider taking a class to build your interview-conducting skills. Check UTLearn for upcoming courses that focus on interviewing.
  • Develop interview questions:
    • Focus on the technical and performance skills of the job, and design questions that get specific examples from the applicant about how their experience relates to your position
    • If you are not sure if you can legally ask a question, do not ask it without consulting with Human Resources
    • Remember to ask the same questions to every applicant you interview

How to Interview Applicants with Disabilities

One of the most important questions you should ask during the first stages of every interview, whether it is with an applicant who appears to be disabled or not, is "Can you perform all the essential functions of this position with or without reasonable accommodation?" Depending on the answer, take one of the following actions:

  • If the answer is "Yes," the person is still a competitive applicant and is not considered disabled in the context of the job. You should continue with the interview as planned, and not worry about what accommodations will be needed until later in the hiring process. If you eventually decide this person is the best-qualified person for your position and you extend an offer of hire, the applicant can then disclose any accommodation requirements and the university will determine if this accommodation requirement is "reasonable."
  • If the answer is "No," the interview should end because all qualified applicants are required to perform the essential functions with or without reasonable accommodation.

Interviewing Hearing-impaired Applicants

Departments may request an interpreter using the online request form using the following link: Campus Event Interpreter Services Request and must provide an account number for the charges to be billed through Interdepartmental Transfer (IDT) approximately 4-6 weeks after the event has taken place.

Conducting Effective Online Interviews

More and more organizations are taking advantage of online meeting tools such as Skype and Zoom to conduct interviews. This saves time and money and is especially helpful when candidates cannot come to campus.

Below are online interview best practices and guidelines.

Before the interview:

  • Once the interview is scheduled, send out a clear meeting invitation with detailed directions to the interviewee; Include names/titles of those conducting the interview.
  • Several days prior to the interview, inform all individuals who will be interviewed of the interview method. Provide them with enough time to make any technical arrangements necessary.
  • Check your own technology and settings to ensure you have the latest version of the software you will use. Check the ITS website for information about utilizing software designed for videoconferencing. Two tools that are commonly used on campus:
  • Ensure that the microphone and webcam are enabled on the computer you will use.
  • Practice and test your connection.
  • Use a quiet private office or conference room that has plenty of lighting. Pick a location with minimal background noise.
  • Ensure that items such as personal photos, office clutter, or confidential materials (such as notes on a whiteboard) are not in the background and visible to the candidate. Try to make good impression with your background setting.
  • Have the candidate's phone number available in case of any disruptions or disconnection.
  • Keep different time zones in mind when scheduling phone or online interviews. Be conscious of international candidates who may be interviewing in the middle of the night.
  • Be well prepared with list of questions, job description, or handouts. Avoid shuffling through papers to find information.
  • Send handouts to the candidate in advance and let them know if they are expected to refer to them during the interview.

During the interview:

  • Before you begin the interview process, let the applicant know how unforeseen disruptions will be handled. Will you call the candidate back or wait for them to connect with you?
  • Speak at a regular tone/pace and ask if the candidate can hear you clearly. Adjust as required.
  • Introduce the candidates to the others in the room.
  • Review the interview agenda such as the amount of time you have and what will be accomplished.
  • If you decide to record an online interview, but be sure to let the candidate know they are being recorded and why. Please also note that any interview recordings become part of the recruitment file and are subject to record retention rules for recruitment.

At the end of the interview:

  • Allow the candidate to ask questions about the position, department and/or university. The candidate should be given the opportunity to gather information about the position and promote him/herself.
  • Provide an overview of the next steps in the process. This includes additional interviews, the timeframe of when the department anticipates that a decision will be made, how the candidate will be informed and if a reference check will be needed.