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Interviewing Candidates

Now that you have screened applicants for your open position, you are ready for the interview stage.

Telephone and video screening

Conducting phone or video screening is the first step in the interview process. These initial screens can be an effective tool for narrowing down candidates based on their relevant skills and experience. You and your Talent Acquisition Partner will decide who will conduct the initial screening interviews during the intake conversation. See Telephone Screening Questions.

All employees who participate in the interview process are encouraged to attend the ART of Interviewing & Unconscious Bias in Hiring training that teaches skills for effective interviewing, tips for creating a positive candidate experience, and techniques to minimize unconscious bias in the hiring process. Employees should also familiarize themselves with an employer's obligations under the Salary History Ban that prohibits employers from inquiring into a job applicant’s salary and benefit history. 

Setting up the interviews

Following the initial telephone or video screening, select the candidates whom you would like to bring onsite for interviews. When setting up the interviews, provide the candidates with as much notice as possible about the upcoming interview. See our interview guide.

Prepare interview questions

Interview preparation is crucial to the success of a candidate search. Asking great interview questions can lend quality and depth to the entire recruitment process. The Interview Question Generator is an online resource you can use to develop a consistent set of interview questions tailored to your position.

Conduct in-person interviews

When conducting an in-person interview, remember to ask only job-related questions, ask the same questions to each candidate, and avoid questions and comments that might lead a candidate to reveal overly personal information. See our interview guide.

Behavioral-based interviewing

Behavioral-based interviewing (BBI) is a technique used to determine how a candidate acted in specific employment-related situations in the past. The way that a candidate behaved or performed in the past often predicts how they will behave or perform in the future. Learn about Behavioral Based Interview Questions.

Interviewing candidates with disabilities

When conducting an interview with candidates with disabilities, the American Disability Act (ADA) prohibits interviewers from directly asking questions about an individual’s approach to disability. Rather, interviewers can describe the essential functions of the job and ask the candidate if they can perform the required work. Using that as an opening, interviewers may then ask for examples of what the candidate has achieved in the past under similar circumstances. 

Please contact The Office of Equity at (847) 491-7458 or eeo@northwestern.edu if a candidate requests a special accommodation during the interview process or at any other time during the hiring process. 

Request feedback and evaluate

Request feedback on the candidates from each of the interviewers and use interview evaluation form as a guide to rank the candidates based on the requirements of the position.

Northwestern offers training for individuals who will be participating in the interview process. The Art of Interviewing & Unconscious Bias in Hiring (HRD921-100A) workshop teaches interviewers how to ensure a quality candidate experience, as well as behavioral-based interview techniques.