Interview Guide


  1. To establish a fair baseline for comparison, design several questions that will be asked to all applicants. You can expand upon and pursue the specifics of each person's background, but baseline questions are important for equity in evaluation. This is also particularly helpful in interviews conducted by telephone.
  2. It is most important to keep all questions directly related to the position as advertised.
  3. Avoid illegal questions that would suggest age, race, sex or disability discrimination. If you are unsure of something you wish to ask, check with HR.
  4. Begin with a brief overview of what the department is seeking in terms of qualifications for the position as well as how the position operates within the present organization. This tends to get everyone focused and sets the tone for the interview.
  5. Move from the general to the specific in your direct questioning. This serves to reduce the normal anxiety felt by candidates during an interview. For example: Ask them to describe the responsibilities of their current or most recent position or, for students, what type of related training have they received. Follow up with a question on where they see their background enhancing or being directly relevant to our position. This will also establish if a candidate has taken time/interest to understand our requirements or may be applying for another reason, i.e. near to home, need benefits, seek new skills. NOTE: desire for training may be a positive unless you require skilled candidates.
  6. Pick out some key areas of importance to you about this position, for example, if the position supervises others or deals with the public, and ask for examples from the candidate’s experience. If there are none, ask how they assume they would handle such situations. This gives you a sense of whether there are transferable skills absent direct experience.
  7. Close by asking if there are remaining questions that they may have that were not addressed in the course of the interview. NOTE: if there are direct questions as to benefits or salary, it is best to give general answers in the first round. The time for specific answers is when an offer is to be made, then the Human Resources Office will provide more details and benefits overviews.
  8. Foreign applicants who contact you directly, must present documentation that they have permission to work in the USA. Please be sure these persons have reported to Human Resources to complete an Application form.

At times, priorities shift during the interviewing process and candidates begin to be screened for qualifications not mentioned in the position posting or advertisement. Should you find this happening, it is best to withdraw the current posting and re-post the position correctly to avoid any question of discriminatory practices.

Reference Checks:

Once a finalist or two finalists have been selected, the Human Resources Office conducts employment reference checks. This can take place either before or after an offer has been made, but always prior to a candidate beginning employment. Background given on the CU Application form requires signed attestation of truth. If misinformation is revealed, it will nullify the offer.