RightSearch - Interview & Selection Process

The following is designed to assist the hiring authority/search committee prepare for the interview by providing information on guidelines, techniques and requirements for this segment of the process.

Preparing for the Interview

  • Schedule a time and location for the interview that will limit the number of distractions or interruptions.
  • Review all paperwork (resume, application, work samples, official USF personnel file, etc.) for the candidate.
  • Prepare a list of interview questions to help you compile the information you will need to make a valid decision (see Sample Interview Questions for samples of behavior/competency-based interview questions).

Setting the Tone

  • Confirm with the candidate that they are here to interview for XYZ position, in XYZ department and restate the advertised hiring range (if appropriate) and ensure that they orally confirm their understanding of this.
  • Give a high level overview of the scope of duties and responsibilities associated with this position.
  • Make the candidate aware of what you do at USF and how your position relates to the position for which s/he is interviewing.
  • Provide information about your organizational structure.
  • Notify the candidate that you will be taking notes.

Avoiding Discrimination

  • Be aware that Equal Employment Opportunity laws and regulations, state laws and USF policy prohibit discrimination against applicants on the basis of age, race, color, religion, sex, disability, national origin, marital status or sexual orientation.
  • Ask only position-related questions to help you evaluate skills and qualifications. If the question does not relate directly to the job or the work to be done, you should consider carefully before asking it. Review Interview Do´s & Dont´s.

Asking Effective Interview Questions

  • Develop a structured interview format to help ensure consistency and comparability of information for each candidate.
  • Do not try to fill silences during the interview. It is important to allow silence for thinking and reflection by the candidate. As a guideline, a good interviewer speaks 20% of the time and allows the candidate to speak 80% of the time.

Closing the Interview

  • Give the candidate a chance to add anything else s/he thinks may be important for you to know in making your decision. This open-ended approach gives the candidate an opportunity to tell you things that you may not have asked which may be important to the evaluation and decision-making process.
  • Leave enough time at the end of the interview for the candidate to ask you questions about the organization and the position.
  • Make the candidate aware of the selection timeline going forward (second interviews, how s/he will be informed of the outcome of the interview).
  • Thank the candidate for his/her time.

Documenting the Interview

Comments and notes about the applicant should not be recorded within Careers@USF. The data in Careers@USF is public record and is subject to the State of Florida Public Records Laws.

Conducting Reference Checks and Employment Verification

The hiring authority has the responsibility to make good hiring decisions. It is important to verify any information about which you have doubts or uncertainties. References can help dispel these doubts and may also provide insight which will help you be a more effective supervisor of the new employee. The time spent conducting reference checks will be far less than the time lost due to an employee with performance or behavior concerns. It is also important to conduct an employment history verification for a new employee. Calling previous employers to verify dates of employment, positions held, and job responsibilities will allow the hiring manager to verify that the information provided on the employment application is accurate. Failure to do a thorough check or verification could also contribute to negligent hiring decisions.

  • If the candidate is a current or former USF employee, contact Human Resources to schedule time to review the candidate’s personnel file.
  • Verify and document previous employment on the Employment Verification Form, which can be uploaded with the hiring proposal documents into Careers@USF.
  • Explore information about the candidate’s performance and working relationships from the references s/he provides.

For more information on conducting effective employment references, please review the policy at the following link: http://regulationspolicies.usf.edu/policies-and-procedures/pdfs/policy-0-616.pdf

The offer of employment is conditional upon verification of:

  • College coursework or degrees earned from an accredited institution with an original transcript, written verification from the Registrar’s office or USF’s BANNER student records system.
  • Licenses/certifications, typing test scores, certification and/or proof of attendance from vocational/technical school and proof of completion of sentencing and/or sanctions regarding drug conviction questions that were checked “yes” in the employment application.

The offer of employment for Staff positions mandates preference to veterans if two candidates are equally qualified and one has a valid Veterans’ Preference claim. The HR Employment Center, or the appropriate regional HR Office, will certify if a candidate qualifies for Veterans’ Preference and will notify the candidate and the hiring department.

The hiring authority shall select the candidate who best meets the needs of the university and record the reasons for the decision through Careers@USF by changing the applicant status. If a candidate is interviewed but not selected, the hiring authority shall record the reasons for non-selection through Careers@USF by changing the applicant status.

All exhibits and forms referenced can be found in the HR Forms Library.