Campus Interviewer Guidelines and Recommendations

Introduction

An effective way to screen student employee applicants is to ask clear, consistent, and concise interview questions that attempt to evaluate the candidate’s skills, abilities, and interests. Research has shown that the best predictor of future behavior is past behavior. The most effective questions require an applicant to tell a story from their experience that potentially mirrors the behaviors needed for the job. Some basic rules of thumb for interviewers:

  • Develop a list of questions that are asked of each applicant.
  • Take notes on a separate piece of paper from the résumé or application.
  • Create a list of factors or attributes that are considered vital to the position, i.e., clear and friendly speaking voice, adequate phone skills, arriving on time, dressing appropriately, etc.; evaluate accordingly.
  • Provide a complete position description, general overview of the function of the office, office mission statement (if appropriate), and list of departmental staff.
  • Be prepared to answer candidate questions.

Suggested General Interview Questions

Most campus employment does not require a rigorous interviewing process. Here are general questions to assist you in creating a list to meet the needs of the department:

  1. Tell me about yourself?
  2. What do you know about our office/department?
  3. How does this position fit into your overall career plan?
  4. What were the five most significant accomplishments in your last job or project?
  5. Why do you want to work for us?
  6. Do you have any questions for me?
  7. Recall a time when your education and experience did not prepare you for a task. What did you do? How would you approach the same situation today?
  8. Tell me about a difficult professional situation you had to manage; what did you learn from that experience?
  9. Give me an example of a time you demonstrated leadership; how did you handle your new role?

Consider other questions that might be specific to this particular job or environment, such as:

  • Have you ever handled confidential information or situations? What factors should be considered?
  • Tell me about a time you had to report to more than one supervisor.
  • Give me an example of a time you solved a work-related problem on your own.
  • Relate a time you completed a task without being asked to do so.

Potential questions asked by candidates

  1. Who would I be working for? Who is my direct supervisor?
  2. How would you describe this position?
  3. Where would I be working?
  4. How many hours would I work in a typical week?
  5. How soon do you expect to make your hiring decision? When can I expect to hear from you? Is there another step I should prepare for?
It is important to keep in mind what you want to accomplish when interviewing candidates. Decide in advance what skill areas, values, experiences, and strengths you seek. Determine what is necessary to succeed in the job, work environment, and the particular focus needed by the employee. Keep questions centered on the context the candidate brings to job, work values and philosophies consistent with the position and the personal characteristics which would most likely lead to success.

Avoiding the difficulties of potentially discriminatory questions

Questions of race, gender, marital status, citizenship, disability, religion, age, military service, personal characteristics, arrest record and affiliations may be easily construed as discriminatory. The following are charts adapted from the National Association of Colleges and Employers that provide the inappropriate and acceptable ways to approach these areas.

Inquiries Related to Disabilities
Do you have any disabilities? Do you have a disability that would prevent you from performing the essential functions of the job with or without an accommodation?Are you able to perform the essential functions of the job?
Please complete the following medical history as part of the application process. Have you had any recent or past illness or operations? If yes, list and give dates. What was the date of your last physical exam? What medications do you take?As part of the hiring process, after a job offer has been made, you will be required to undergo a medical exam. The results will remain confidential and will only be used if emergency medical treatment is necessary or to assist in the determination of a job accommodation, if needed.
Are you able to sit?Can you sit for four hours at a time? (Assuming this is an essential function of the job.)
Can you carry objects?Can you carry three-pound boxes to the copier? (Assuming this is an essential function of the job)
Are you colorblind?Can you distinguish between color bands? (Assuming this is an essential function of the job.)
What is your corrected vision? When did you lose your eyesight? How did you lose your eyesight?Do you have 20/20 vision? (If this is a job requirement.)
Do you see a psychiatrist for stress?How well can you handle stress?
Are you an alcoholic? How often do you drink alcoholic beverages?Do you drink alcoholic beverages?
What is wrong with your leg?How did you break your leg? (If it is obvious the person's leg is broken because the person is wearing a cast.)
How often were you sick?What was your attendance record? Can you demonstrate how you would perform the following job functions?
Why do you use a wheelchair and will we have to make any accommodations for the wheelchair?Will you need any accommodation to participate in the recruiting process?
Tell me all of your disabilities.What are your job skills, educational background, and prior work experiences?

Avoiding Potentially Discriminatory Questions

National Origin/Citizenship
  • Are you a US citizen?
  • Where were you/your parents born?
  • What is your “native tongue”?
  • Are you authorized to work in the United States?
  • What language do you read/speak/write fluently? (This question is okay only if ability is relevant to the performance of the job.)
Age
  • How old are you?
  • When did you graduate?
  • What’s your birth date?
  • Are you over the age of 18?
Marital/Family Status
  • What’s your marital status?
  • With whom do you live?
  • Do you plan to have a family? When?
  • How many kids do you have?
  • What are your child-care arrangements?
  • Would you be willing to relocate if necessary?
  • Would you be able and willing to travel as needed for the job? (This question is okay if it is asked of all applicants for the job.)
  • Would you be able and willing to work overtime as necessary? (This question is okay if it is asked of all applicants for the job.)
Race/Color
  • All questions regarding race and color are deemed illegal by state and federal laws
  • None!
Affiliations/Religion
  • What clubs or social organizations do you belong to?
  • Any question regarding an applicant’s religious beliefs, denomination or any questions that indicate religious customs or holidays observed
  • List any professional or trade groups or other organizations that you belong to that you consider relevant to your ability to perform this job.
  • After an individual is hired, an employer may inquire about religious accommodations
Personal
  • How tall are you? How much do you weigh? (Questions about height and weight are not acceptable unless minimum standards are essential for the safe performance of the job.)
  • Do you own a car?
  • Are you able to lift a 50-pound weight and carry it 100 yards, as this is part of the job?
  • Do you have reliable transportation to and from work?
Disabilities
  • Do you have any disabilities?
  • Please complete the following medical history.
  • Have you had any recent or past illnesses or operations? If yes, list them and give dates when these occurred.
  • What was the date of your last physical exam?
  • How’s your family’s health?
  • When did you lose your eyesight? How?
  • Do you need an accommodation to perform the job? (This question can be asked only after a job offer has been made.)
  • Are you able to perform the essential functions of this job? (This question is okay if the interviewer has thoroughly described the job.)
  • Can you demonstrate how you would perform the following job-related functions?
  • As part of the hiring process, after a job offer has been made, you will be required to undergo a medical exam. (Exam results must be kept strictly confidential, except medical/safety personnel may be informed if emergency medical treatment is required, and supervisors may be informed about necessary job accommodations, based on exam results)
Arrest Record
  • Have you ever been arrested?
  • Have you ever been convicted of __________? (The crime named should be reasonably related to the performance of the job in question.)
Military
  • If you’ve been in the military, were you honorably discharged?
  • In what branch of the armed forces did you serve?
  • What type of training or education did you receive in the military?

It is advisable to check with the University of Evansville office of Human Resources with any questions regarding interview question protocol. The previous information has been provided as a guide and resource. Specific questions regarding policy and procedures should be directed to the office of Human Resources.

Campus Student Employment is facilitated by the Office of Financial Aid and may be reached at:
Email:financialaid@evansville.edu
Telephone: 812-488-5003
Campus Location: Room 116, Olmsted Administration Hall

Office Phone:
812-488-1083

Office Email:
career@evansville.edu

Office Location:
Room 234, Ridgway University Center