2.5 Interviewing Policies and Procedures

This policy was last updated June 11, 2019. See the update history page for more information.

2.5.1 Guidelines for Interviewing

The interview is a valuable tool for the supervisor in assessing the applicant's suitability for the position. It is also the applicant's principal opportunity to gain knowledge concerning the duties and responsibilities of the position and the immediate and extended working environment.

The supervisor or other person conducting the interview should prepare for it by studying the application form or resume and by reviewing the qualification requirements established for the job. In addition, the interviewer should list specifics to be explored, such as apparent gaps in the applicant's work record, ambiguous or contradictory entries on the application, etc.

The interviewer should be aware that the applicant may be inexperienced in the job interviewing process and may need to be put at ease during the interview, so that he or she can participate fully.

Interviewers should also be aware that questions that would ordinarily be lawful may, in some circumstances, be held to be evidence of unlawful discrimination; for example, if information is requested which is not job related and has a disproportionately burdensome effect on women and minority group members.

Allowable questions are any which pertain to the background of the candidate both in education and experience essential to actual performance of the job. These include:

  • Any incomplete information on the resume or application for further review.
  • Why applicant left former job and what kind of references he or she would receive from former employer.
  • What applicant's prior job duties consisted of and what he or she liked or disliked about prior jobs.
  • In what kind of job duties, hours, days, etc. applicant is interested.
  • Allow applicant to mention and discuss what he or she feels is relevant to the job for which he or she is applying.
  • Citizenship or working visa but not country of origin.

See hiring process information from Human Resources, including questions to ask and not to ask when interviewing candidates (under Resources).

In some circumstances, a criminal record check may be done for finalists. Contact your Human Resources Officer for guidance on criminal records checks, and for any other questions relating to the interviewing process.

2.5.2 Checking References

Employment references should be checked for all applicants prior to an offer of employment. These references will be evaluated with the hiring supervisor in relation to the applicant's education, experience, abilities, and the requirements of the job. Educational and personal references are not routinely evaluated; however, a supervisor may request that this information be checked if circumstances warrant it.

It is normally the responsibility of the interviewing recruiter or the departmental supervisor to obtain references. Supervisors who take responsibility for obtaining references may consult with the appropriate Human Resources Officer.

2.5.3 Notification of Interviewed Applicants

In order to assure a positive relationship with the Institute's applicant community, each person who is interviewed by a departmental supervisor should be notified of the result of the selection process. Such notification can take the form of a telephone call, email or a personal letter, depending upon individual circumstances and styles.

Transfer applicants for all categories of employment, as well as outside applicants for Support and Service staff positions are notified of the results of their interviews by the recruiter and/or the department interviewer.