2.2. 4 The Employment Interview

Policy Section: Employment

Policy Number and Title: 2.2.4 The Employment Interview
Applicable to: Applicants for Regular Positions
Effective Date: October 15, 2003

Policy Statement

The employment interview is a critical step in the recruiting and hiring process since it provides the hiring supervisor the opportunity to review candidates' qualifications and to determine their suitability for the position. It also provides candidates with the chance to learn about the position and its requirements and to present information on their skills and experience.

Application of this Policy

Supervisors should be fair and consistent in the interview process. The interviewer's questions should address the candidate's qualifications and ability to meet the requirements of the position. The supervisor is expected to know what questions are and are not legally permissible (see Examples of Questions that May or May Not be Asked).
Skill and/or occupational testing (except for typing tests administered by the Office of Human Resources) may not be administered during the employment interview without prior authorization from the Office of Human Resources.
In addition, a staffing specialist can provide coaching or training on how to conduct the interview.

Preparation for the Interview

Supervisors and others in their departments who may be engaged in the interview should prepare in advance for the interview by:
  • developing a list of core questions which will be asked of all candidates interviewed;
  • reviewing the requirements for the position and compare them with the applications and resumes of candidates; and
  • noting areas in the person's job history where clarification or amplification is needed.

Interview Format

The interview format should be the same for all candidates.
  • The same basic questions relating to the job should be asked.
  • Candidates should be allowed to see the workplace if that is relevant.
  • The essential functions and other requirements for the position should be described to each candidate; candidates should be asked if they can perform those functions.
  • If at all possible, all candidates should be interviewed by the same people.

Permissible Questions

Supervisors may ask questions related to candidate's training and experience and his or her ability to perform the essential functions and preferred skills of the job. Permissible questions include inquiring about:
  • information on the candidate's prior job duties and their relevance to the position for which he or she has applied
  • reasons for leaving prior positions
  • additional information needed to clarify or amplify the information provided on the application or resume
  • documentation of any required licenses
  • eligibility for employment in the U.S. (but not country of origin)
In addition, the candidate should be given the opportunity to provide additional information or ask questions about the position available.


Supervisors who have questions concerning appropriate inquiries should consult with the staffing specialist before the interview is scheduled or held. As a general rule, interviewers should avoid questions related to the candidate's race, national origin, religion, age, disability, sexual orientation, marital status or veteran status.
Similarly, interviewers should disregard unsolicited information provided by the candidate on these same topics (see Examples of Questions that May or May Not be Asked).


Office of Human Resources
(609) 258-3300

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