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Interviewing is a delicate process that requires time and finesse. People Leaders can prepare for interviews in the same ways that applicants do*.

*See advice provided for external applicants and internal applicants.

Application Screening Process

  1. Position Description

    Begin with the current approved position description that includes:

    • tasks and responsibilities
    • a list of minimum competencies and requirements for the position.
  2. Criteria

    Develop objective criteria for rating applicants by using the minimum competencies, education and skills noted on the position description. This is important to protecting our organization from legal challenge.

  3. Rating Sheet

    Use a rating sheet to ensure consistency in evaluating candidates. See Sample Assessment Sheets (pdf)

  4. Review

    Review all material submitted and check for consistency of information.

    Group candidates into the following 3 categories:

    • Meets qualifications
    • Meets some qualifications
    • Unqualified (doesn’t meet minimum requirements)
  5. Rate & Rank

    Rate each application using the objective criteria you have developed. Note the rating and rationale for each applicant on the rating sheet.

    Rank the applications by score.

  6. Interview

    Interview those applicants with highest score.

Video Interviews

Tips and guidance for conducting video interviews.

Best Practices for Video Interviews

Interview Questions

How to use Cornell's Skills for Success model to gauge a candidate's behavioral competencies.

Skills for Success Interview Questions

Leadership Interview Questions

How to use Cornell's Leadership Skills for Success model to gauge a candidate's behavioral competencies.

Leadership Skills for Success Interview Questions

Key Points For Interviewing Success

Tips for Success for Interview Teams

  • Be familiar with equal employment guidelines and rulings on unlawful pre-employment inquiries. Review how to avoid interview bias that can affect the outcome of the interview.
  • Conduct the interview in a comfortable and accessible setting that allows for confidential discussions.
  • Schedule adequate, uninterrupted time for the interview, build time into the agenda so that the candidate has at least 15 minutes to ask questions.
  • Review the candidate materials and the position description in advance.
  • Ensure the confidentiality of all candidates throughout and after the process.

  • Remember to "sell" the organization.
  • Begin the interview by conducting once around introductions.
  • Utilize provided interview questions and probe deeper as needed with follow-up questions. Allow for silence.
  • Maintain control of the interview while encouraging the applicant to do most of the talking.
  • Make a good impression; they will be evaluating you too. Be aware of your body language as well as the applicant's.
  • Dispel your first impressions.
  • Listen attentively and take notes during the interview.
  • Complete the candidate Workday Assessment or other assessment tool following each interview to avoid contrast effect bias.
  • Answer questions and explain next steps (timeline etc.).

Candidate Questions

At the close of the interview, ask the candidate, “Do you have any questions for me?”

Questions could include more information on the position or organization, follow-ups on information they learned in the interview or anything they may need clarification about. Examples of potential candidate questions to prepare for include:

  • What are the responsibilities of this position?
  • What qualities are you looking for in an ideal candidate?
  • What are the reputations, training and tenures of the employees in this department?
  • Do you support professional development? How?
  • What do you see as the biggest challenge that someone would face during the first month, six months, year on the job?
  • What projects do you see materializing over the next year?
  • What is your supervisory style?
  • What do you like most/least about working here?
  • What more do you need from me?
  • When are you planning to make a decision?
  • What is the next step?

Following Up and Next Steps

Complete a candidate evaluation form, Workday Assessment is used as a best practice, ask your local HR how to activate this tool for you within Workday.  Complete evaluations following each interview, while the information is fresh in your mind and to avoid creating a compare and contrast bias.  Avoid having discussions with other interview team members before collecting feedback to lessen the risk of group think.

If a candidate meets with your approval, move forward with next steps in the offer process quickly. Candidates today are typically applying to multiple jobs simultaneously, and expediency in the hiring process can help land the ideal candidate.

Conducting Interviews Resources