Prepare for the Interview


All members of the interview team at this stage should clearly understand the criteria that will be used to evaluate the applicants

1. Read the resumes ahead of time and write your thoughts on them. Use question marks where you want more info.

2. Formulate questions and write them down before the interview.

3. Ask the same questions of each applicant applying for the job. (Variations would occur with the specific backgrounds of each applicant and variations in a person's method of answering the questions).

4. It is important to be a good listener, not only to learn the most you can about the person, but undivided attention of the interviewers will make the applicant feel more at ease and open up.

5. Don't look impatient or bored. Don't play with paperclips, rubber bands, pencils, etc. - the applicant will tense up and not respond with information you might be looking for. 

6. Do not take extensive notes. This will make the applicant tense up and stop talking. If you think of a question, just jot down a quick word or two to remind you of what popped into your head and then continue to listen. Record your thoughts and evaluate the applicant right after the interview and then use those for discussion and ranking of the candidate while he or she is fresh in your minds.

7. Phrase questions in such a way that will lead the applicant to do most of the talking. Keep questions short and direct. If the applicant gets off the point of the question (gently) lead them back on to it.

8. Don't ask questions that can be answered with a simple "yes" or "no"; and don't ask leading questions that telegraph the answer you want, e.g. "We have a team approach here...how do you feel about that?"



Compiled by Bruce Hellmich, Assistant Dean, School of Human Ecology, UW-Madison, 2002

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