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Office of Compliance and Equity Management

Structuring the Interview

    1. At the start of an interview, build rapport with the candidate. Make the interviewee feel comfortable and at ease.  It is during this time that you are most likely to wander upon inadvisable topics such as marital status, country of origin, etc., so it is good to prepare some rapport building questions in advance. 

Examples of “Icebreakers” to build rapport at the start of an interview.

Q. Tell me a little about yourself.

Q. I hope you’ve been able to enjoy the great weather we’ve been having.

Q. Did you have any trouble finding our office?

Q. Can I offer you a glass of water or coffee?

Q. I like your briefcase, did you get it locally?

    1. Next, provide background information about the open position and the University to the interviewee.

    2. Then, communicate expectations of how the rest of the interview will flow. Tell the interviewee you will be giving behavior-based questions and that you will be taking notes on responses, etc. Explain that you are looking for specific examples of behavior demonstrated in the past.

Note: The first three steps of the interview should comprise approximately 3-5 minutes of a 60 minute interview.

    1. Ask your pre-selected interview questions. See Sample Interview Questions for assistance.

      • You may want to begin with more traditional questions regarding the candidate’s resume in order to obtain basic background information.  Once again, make sure to prepare these questions in advance.
      • Next, ask your behavior-based questions (make sure to take good notes as this is where you will gain the most information about the applicant).

Note: Step 4 should constitute approximately 45 minutes of a 60 minute interview.

    1. Give the candidate a chance to ask questions.  Most candidates have prepared questions to ask to show that they are interested in UNI. 

Note: Step 5 should take approximately 10 minutes of a 60 minute interview.

  1. Interview Close

    • Take a few minutes to “sell” the University, providing reasons why it’s a great place to work.
    • Communicate when the applicant can expect to hear back from you and how things will proceed following the interview.

The more prepared for the interview you are, and the more professionally administered the interview is, the
better impression you will make on your job candidates, and the more legally defensible the search process will be.


“How to Choose the Right Person for the Right Job Every Time,” by Lori Davila and Louise Kursmark (2005).