Interviews are a required step in the selection process and must be conducted before an offer of employment is made to a finalist for the position. Two or more applicants should be interviewed for a position.  In rare circumstances, a search committee or interview panel may interview only one applicant, but this must be approved by VCU HR

Suggest encouraging the use of phone interviews as an efficient and cost effective way to obtain additional information on more candidates.

The purpose of an interview is to elicit information from an applicant to determine his or her ability to perform the job. Successful interviewers learn how to ask the right kind of questions, how to keep the applicant talking about relevant information, and how to listen. A successful interview should gather information about a candidate, present a realistic description of the position, ensure a fair selection process, establish adequate records in the event that the hiring decision must be justified, and determine whether the candidate would succeed in the position.

In preparing for interviews, search committee or interview panelists should:

  • Develop a uniform set of questions asked of applicants being interviewed
  • Review the required application materials for interviewed applicants, such as presentations, writing samples and other relevant work products
  • Consider requiring finalists for a position to demonstrate through oral presentations or written exercises their competency for the position
  • Develop a uniform set of criteria to be used in evaluating each applicant’s strengths and weaknesses in comparison to the required and preferred qualifications
  • Avoid questions that probe for  information about race, sex, age, religion, or national origin to avoid any propensity for discriminatory treatment.


Interview guide

The employment interview is a vital component in the hiring process. Interviews also perform an important public relations function – you’re representing VCU! In order to hire the most qualified applicant, the interviewer must understand how to conduct effective interviews. It is important to develop well-worded questions, use follow-up questions to clarify and get more detail, take good notes, and control the pace of the interview.