How to interview

Remember that when you interview candidates, you represent USC. Providing a good experience for the candidate can leave him/her with positive feelings about the university even if no job offer results.

Your local HR support can begin the screening process by conducting phone interviews, testing, or other services needed to narrow down the list of potential candidates you will interview in person.

Before you begin the interview process, review the job description and work with your HR Partner to develop a list of appropriate and standardized questions for all candidates. Your HR Partner can help you develop questions specific to the role, as well as provide good sample questions (see below).

You may wish to conduct reference checks for your final 2-4 candidates, even before final screening interviews.

You may choose to make your final selection after you conduct one-on-one interviews, or you may choose to conduct a panel interview instead of or in addition to one-on-one interviews. An interview panel might consist of your HR Partner, another manager who will interact with this position, a peer of the new hire, a subordinate who will report to the new hire, and/or any party to whom this position will provide service.

Whatever the interview format, the purpose is always the same – to gather more detailed information about the candidate. This does not mean simply getting additional information on the skills, experience and education presented in the application materials; rather, it means obtaining a more complete picture of the candidate to help you determine who will best serve your team’s needs. Your goal is to develop rapport with each candidate and to probe for information from past behavior that will provide insight into the candidate’s motivation, intellectual abilities, technical and interpersonal skills, and potential for success in the position.

Types and samples of interview questions

What you may and may not ask

Conducting the interview

More help on interviewing is available in TrojanLearn – search for the Interview Edge curriculum bundle.

Your interview notes/feedback should be kept in Workday to fulfill reporting requirements.

At the conclusion of your interview process, your list should be narrowed down to just a few top candidates – maybe only one. Your HR Partner can now check references on your final candidate/s. If you’re pleased with the references, it’s time to plan making your offer.