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FLO IDEA Hiring Toolkit

Preparing for the Interview

Search Committee Expectations

  • Form a diverse search committee with members who have diverse experiences and representation.  Consider inviting members from outside of the library and students to join. 
  • Prior to reviewing candidates and interviewing, members of the search committee should take an Implicit Association Test to acknowledge their own biases.
  • The same search committee members should be present for all interviews that involve an interview panel. Members who are absent or unable to attend all interviews will not be asked for feedback. 
  • Search committee should explicitly address that there are diverse communication styles as well as cultural influences that affect communication.  Also address the issue of reducing linguistic barriers for candidates whose first language is not English. 


Setting Up Interview Questions

  • When drafting the interview questions, connect each question to the core job requirements. 
    • Make sure the questions are answered by the search committee prior to posing them to candidates. This way everyone is clear on what is being asked, and what the committee is looking for in the answers. 
  • Determine in advance how candidates are chosen. Set up a clear rubric or rating scale and review it with the entire search committee.

Consider Providing the Questions (all or a selection) to the candidate ahead of time.

  • This allows candidates time to prepare their answers. The goal of an interview is to make sure all candidates are optimally prepared and can do well.  This contributes to a more equitable evaluation of the candidates by the search committee.  Additionally, by providing candidates with questions ahead of time, anxiety levels can be reduced; Candidates will be more calm and prepared, giving the search committee a better understanding of what the candidate has to offer.  
  • Make sure to provide fully accessible documents to your candidates. 

Links to Relevant Resources

Reviewing Applications

  • Make sure you have a diverse pool of candidates
    • Voluntary demographics will help you determine if your pool is adequately diverse 
      • HR has different rules on collecting this information
      • Names are not an indicator of nationality/ethnicity 
  • If possible, review candidates anonymously.
    • Consider appointing someone from Human Resources to strip application materials of identifiable information, including names, addresses, and possibly graduation dates
  • Ideally, interview every candidate that meets the minimum qualifications. 
    • Resumes and cover letters do not tell a complete picture of candidates! Interviewers can be biased when reading application documents. It is therefore recommended to interview every candidate that meets the minimum qualifications listed in the job posting. 
  • Each search committee member should complete a rubric for each application


Setting Up the Interview

Scheduling the Interviews with Candidates

  • Make an effort to learn the correct name pronunciation and pronouns of each candidate.
    • Share this information with the search committee and interviewers ahead of any interview
  • Plan all interviews in each stage to be conducted in the same format (Zoom, in-person, etc.) to ensure that every candidate has an equitable experience. 
    • Each "round" of interviews can take a different format, as long as the individual rounds are consistent (i.e. phone interview round, in-person interview round)
  • Try to be flexible when scheduling interviews with candidates. Some suggestions may include: 
    • Offering a range of interview times, including some outside "normal working hours" (9am - 5pm)
  • Share the interview schedule and interview questions ahead of time with candidates for transparency
    • At least 24-48 hours before the interview takes place
    • Ask the candidates for modifications/accommodations to the schedule before it is finalized.
    • Provide candidates with a campus map so that they can access relevant locations.
    • Note: Provide fully accessible documents to the candidates. 

Preparing for Interviews with Candidates

  • If possible, avoid, or make optional, unnecessary events during interviews, such as: 
    • Campus tours
      • Alternatively, schedule as optional at the end of the interview schedule 
    • Meals with candidates
      • Alternatively, provide a list of food options for the candidates and a gift card for meal
  • Ensure that all spaces used for interview purposes are accessible and inclusive. Some aspects to consider: 
    • Rooms can be easily accessed by elevator, ramps or stairs
    • Seating and tables are a size/height that is compatible with mobility aids and size-inclusive
    • Rooms are clean and sanitized
    • Lighting is adjustable for those with light sensitivities
    • Temperature is comfortable and space is well-ventilated
    • Spaces are removed from high-traffic areas or are relatively soundproof to avoid distractions
    • Consider placing name tents at place settings for each search committee member
  • Write a script to use during the interviews. All questions should be introduced and asked in the same order and the same way, with every candidate.

Day of the Interview

  • Upon the candidate's arrival, review the interview schedule with them.  
    • This is another opportunity to ask candidates for modifications/accommodations
    • If in-person, provide a copy of the day's schedule, including: 
      • Names, pronouns, and job descriptions of interviewers and other key contacts for the day 
      • Event start and end times (including breaks)
      • Campus map (also included in pre-interview materials)
    • Be flexible with breaks and offer additional breaks throughout the day
  • Everyone from the search committee should introduce themselves with their name and pronouns
  • Follow a script when interviewing. All questions should be asked in the same order, the same way, with every candidate.
    • Follow-up questions can be used for clarification
  • Include time for candidates to ask their own questions to the search committee or other staff they may meet.
  • Respect the time of the candidates and interviewers, and adhere to end times listed on the schedule. 
  • Provide a timeline for the remainder of the hiring process before candidate departs. 
    • Include expectations for next steps, and contact information for follow-up questions