Conducting the interview

It is important that interviews be undertaken in a relaxed and pleasant environment. Better quality information can be obtained by trying to create a rapport between the applicant and the committee. In the right atmosphere applicants are better placed to comfortably provide well-constructed answers and may also volunteer information that might not otherwise be forthcoming.

Selection committees should be careful to ensure that the interview and the entire selection process are a positive public relations exercise. Remember that the interview is a two way process and it is not just about ANU determining whether the applicant is the best fit for the role. The applicant is also deciding whether and the role is the best fit for what they are looking for as their next career step.

Before the interview

  • Check the room and organise seating in a non-threatening environment
  • Arrange water/tea/coffee for applicants and committee members
  • The selection should meet at least 15 minutes early to decide the order of the questions and allocate specific questions to each committee member

Opening the interview

At the beginning of the interview the Chair should:

  • greet and welcome the applicant and thank them for attending
  • introduce the selection committee members and explain their roles
  • explain the sequence of the interview that will most likely consist of questions from each member with an opportunity for applicants to ask any questions at the end
  • explain that the selection committee will be taking notes
  • provide an overview of the job, organisation, workplace.

During the interview

  • Invite the applicant to explain why they want the position and why they feel they are best suited. This should encourage applicants to talk about their motivation and strengths.
  • Ask each applicant the predetermined questions
  • Ask supplementary questions to clarify or seek further information
  • Question further what is left unsaid or only partially explained. Probe for specific examples and pursue vague or incomplete answers
  • Ask behavioural questions which encourage applicants to explain past situations where they have applied their skills. Encourage the applicant to describe the Situation, Task, Action they took and the Result (STAR)
  • Ask open ended questions

Concluding the Interview

  • Explain to the applicant that you are reaching the end of the interview
  • Check if the selection committee members have any other questions
  • Ask the applicant if they wish to provide further information that may not have emerged during the course of the interview
  • Ask the applicant if they have any questions they would like to ask
  • Collect any documentation required from the applicant (eg certificates, transcripts, publications, proof of visa/work entitlements)
  • Check context of referees and confirm that referees can be contacted
  • Explain what will happen next and when they can expect to be informed about the outcome of the selection process
  • Thank applicant for their time and interest in the University

No employment commitment should be entered into or implied by committee members and no commitment should be given on any matter involving a variation to the normal conditions of employment.

At the end of each interview, committee members should make a brief individual assessment (against the selection criteria) of the applicant.

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