The Interviewing Experience
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Preparing for Faculty On-Campus Interviews
These interviews play a crucial role in how candidates perceive the University of Florida. As you may already know – interviewing is a two-way street! This is our opportunity to convince highly qualified candidates that UF and Gainesville is a place where they can develop professionally and personally. Below, are some best practices to consider when hosting a candidate for campus interviews. For more in-depth information, consider taking the course PVO800: Faculty Search Committee Tutorial.
Creating a Campus Visit Plan
Making a great impression versus making a good impression is reflected in the amount of work we put in the details. This is why it is essential that a campus visit plan is developed for every candidate invited to the University of Florida. The plan should include the big events of the visit, such as when the candidate is meeting with the search committee and the place and time of his or her seminar.
Additional Activities for the Candidate
In addition to the necessary meetings during the interview visit, ask the candidate if there are special interests that she or he would like to learn more about during the visit. Consider facilitating meetings with realtors, affinity groups, setting up a campus tour, a library tour, or meeting with faculty outside the department that have similar research interests as the candidate.
It is a best practice that all candidates provide a seminar/job talk when visiting campus. To make these talks as productive as possible, provide the candidates clear instructions on what is expected. Let them know whether the department is most interested in learning about the candidate’s current research or a broad overview of their interests.
For resources when conducting campus interviews, visit the Faculty Search Tutorial Toolkit.
Staff (TEAMS & USPS)
Setting Up a Successful Interview Experience
Inviting Candidates for Interview
The purpose of the interview process is to select the best candidate for a position. Candidates selected for interviews should be determined by careful consideration on how these individuals meet the minimum requirements and preferred qualifications stated in the job advertisement. To conduct a welcoming interview experience, hiring departments must prepare for the interview, set an inviting tone for the candidates, set clear expectations on the follow-up steps, and follow-through with set expectations.
Hiring departments should be interviewing more than one applicant in order to maintain a fair and competitive recruitment effort. The number of applicants interviewed may vary depending on the criteria used and as such, the criteria should be applied consistently to all applicants.
The following is a brief summary on how to set up a successful interview experience. For a complete guide, click here.
Review the Selected Candidates
As you look over the candidates, consider the following:
- Do the selected applicants possess the skills, knowledge and behaviors stated in the job description?
- Do the selected applicants have any possible “flags” in their work history (e.g., choppy work history, similar reasons for leaving positions, etc.)?
- Is the group selected for interviews diverse?
- Has preference been provided to qualified veterans for eligible positions?
Reminder! Make sure you mark interviewed candidates as such in the Careers at UF system. A detailed instruction guide can be found on the Careers at UF Toolkit; reference the “Reviewing and Moving Applicants” guide.
Use an Interview Team / Search Committee
At the University of Florida we encourage the use of interview teams as it gives the organization a group-oriented decision on each applicant. Multi-person feedback or input induces organized discussion which can prevent blatant bias, prejudgment, and stereotyping of applicants. Additionally, using an interview team provides the following benefits:
- It eases the load of each specific interview, since interviewers can take turns leading with the questioning. This can be especially beneficial when several interviews follow one another.
- It provides two or more people with whom the applicant may be able to establish rapport.
- In the unfortunate event that a claim of discriminatory interviewing is made, it provides two or more people from the organization to attest to what was said or the events that took place during the interview. It is a good idea for each interviewer to record the questions as well as the answers derived from the applicant.
Use Behavioral Interview Questions
These questions are based on the premise that past performance is the best predictor of future performance. The questions solicit examples of how the candidate has performed in the past. Behavioral questions are designed to help evaluate an applicant’s ability to perform certain elements or key competencies deemed critical to the performance of the position. While all of your interviews questions do not need to be behavioral, they should make a big percentage of the questions.
Final Evaluation of Candidates Interviewed
Even when a search committee is used, we recommend that the final evaluation of the candidates interviewed be done only by the department interviewer (hiring authority). We do not recommend that multiple people on the interview team/search committee complete this step.
Includes information on determining which applicants to interview, preparing for the interview, and conducting the interview.