Most professionals know what questions not to ask in the formal interview. [See Appropriate and Inappropriate Interview Questions.] These same professionals may ask “off limits” questions in informal situations, at meals, or while walking around the campus with a candidate. These questions should not be asked at any point, formal or informal.
So how do you ensure that the candidate knows of the various services available without asking which they might need? Here are some alternatives to asking outright.
1. Prepare a folder containing information on everything any candidate might need from information on schools to dual career couple opportunities to health care. See what kinds of information the School of Education provides all candidates.
2. Create a page that has links to a variety of services and benefits and provide to all candidates. See College of Engineering sample at http://www.engr.wisc.edu/faculty/prospective_emp.html
3. Provide a letter from your Equity and Diversity Committee indicating that candidates can ask questions of the chair of that group. See sample letter.
4. Inform all candidates for faculty and national search academic staff positions of the Dual Career Couple Program by saying, “UW-Madison has a Dual Career Couple program, which can facilitate a spouse or partner hire if it is needed. If you become a finalist, let us know if you have a spousal or partner hire need.”