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Phone, Online, and On-Campus Interviews

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Phone, Online, and On-Campus Interviews

General Interview Best Practices

  1. Rank the candidates before the interview.
  2. Use the interview to assess preferred criteria on which the committee may need additional information. Ensure that the vividness of the interview experience does not overshadow the more concrete information available in the application materials.
  3. Establish questions that allow assessment of certain preferred criteria. Develop a scoring guide or rubric to evaluate each answer.
  4. Ask identical questions for each candidate and attempt to limit prompting, follow-up questioning, and elaboration on questions.
  5. Take notes on each candidate’s responses to be used in evaluating candidate responses.
  6. Be sure that all interviewers are well-versed on appropriate and inappropriate questions and the impact of implicit bias
  7. Try to avoid discussing candidates or their answers with other search committee members between interviews (discussing candidates can result in different standards for later candidates).
  8. Request evaluations for each candidate from search committee members, and summarize the results based on the agreed-upon weighting system. Changes to the ranking of candidates should be based on findings regarding the evaluation of the interview.

On-Campus Interviews

Note that during the COVID-19 pandemic, it is expected that final interviews for most positions will occur virtually. Many candidates may feel reluctant to express their concern about an in-person visit, and because all interviews for a given position should occur using the same modality (e.g., some candidates should not interview in-person while others interview virtually), the most appropriate approach for the majority of positions is likely to be on-line final interviews for all candidates. Once an offer is made, the chosen candidate could be invited to visit campus before making a decision if desired.

  1. View the on-campus visit as having dual purposes: a final opportunity to assess the ability of the candidate to fulfill all job requirements, and a chance to share with the candidate the resources and opportunities available at OU.
  2. Review established (first and second screening) criteria; determine those criteria on which additional information is needed and/or interviewing is likely to prove useful.
  3. As a Search Committee, create questions for the on-campus interview together and seek input from colleagues broadly.  Ideally, develop a rubric or other process to evaluate candidate responses to interview questions.
  4. In addition, search committee members, other faculty members, and students who interact with candidates may also be given the opportunity to formally contribute their perspectives from other interactions with the candidates, which can be combined and considered separately from the structured interview. See example candidate evaluation form.
  5. Prior to setting up the interview schedule, work with the College Dean, Provost and VPRP Offices to identify individuals and facilities on campus, beyond those of the home academic programs, to whom the candidate should be introduced, based upon interests, collaboration opportunities, etc. You may also ask the candidates if they have any particular offices or programs they would like to learn more about while they are on campus and adjust their schedule accordingly.
  6. Ensure that candidates meet with people from various parts of the University (colleagues from other departments; CFE; VPRP; Library, etc.). Be thoughtful in scheduling, providing “down time” so the experience is memorable and not hectic.
  7. Request input from the candidate about any preferences or needs with regard to diet, breaks, or other accommodations.
  8. Involve both undergraduate and graduate students on the schedule, most effectively during separate meetings for groups of students with the candidate. Seek student feedback following the visit.
  9. Ensure that all representatives (e.g., faculty, students, staff) of OU are aware of and avoid questions that are inappropriate and potentially sensitive personal questions.
  10. Clearly communicate to the candidate the scope of expectations for the on-campus interview two to three weeks prior to the campus visit and provide a detailed itinerary as soon as possible.