Conducting Interviews & Candidate Assessments

Resumes will go through Human Resources and will be forwarded to the hiring department when the posting has closed, sorted by applicable levels of consideration. Bear in mind the University’s obligations with respect to employment equity, redeployment, collective agreements and other employee agreements.

All applicants can get a copy of the Job Fact Sheet upon request so as to properly prepare for the interview.

Hiring managers should ensure that interviews are held in accessible areas and that candidates are asked prior to attending the interview if they require accommodation. Also at the time of initial contact, short listed applicants should be asked to bring reference information to the interview. This is also the time to describe for the candidate the duration and format of the interview (e.g. perhaps there will be a practical exercise).

The location of the interview should be confidential, free from noise and distractions and set up in such a way that candidates do not “cross over” to ensure that applicant candidacy is kept confidential.

Interview Components

Interviews should include these components in the following order:


In this critically important phase the climate for the interview is established.  Through the use of standardized rapport-building questions, interviewers should attempt to put the candidate at ease. It is also important to explain the agenda for the remainder of the interview. This will help both the selection committee and the candidate make the best use of the limited time available.

Using an interview evaluation form (rating forms) can help to ensure a fair assessment of valid hiring criteria, free from bias and gut feelings. If there is disagreement, the form results create a great starting point for further debate and discussion. Rating forms provide the opportunity for more consistent interviews, better interviewer notes and a more impartial result.

Gathering Information

Ask the structured interview questions beginning with the least challenging ones. Ask all candidates the same questions without exception. If a candidate has little or no Canadian work experience, it is permissible to ask if they are legally eligible to work in Canada. Contact your HR Consultant for assistance.

Before leaving this stage of the interview, be sure to ask each candidate if there is anything else they wish to tell the selection committee that would support their application for the position.

Providing Information

Tell candidates as much as possible about the job so that later, they are in a better position to make an informed acceptance. This should be done after the information-gathering phase of the interviews, to preclude the tendency for interviewees to anticipate what the hiring authority wants to hear, and to tailor their responses accordingly. Highlight those elements of the job which have proven in past to be particularly challenging. Now is also the time to disclose any special requirements, such as the need to avoid taking vacation during certain periods of the year.

Questions from the candidate

Ask interviewees if they have any questions about the job. The nature of the questions asked can sometimes provide useful insights about their understanding of the position requirements and motivation for wanting the job.


Inform each candidate about the remaining stages of the selection process and suggest a realistic time frame for completion of the competition. Let interviewees know when they should expect to hear from you again. Conclude the interview on a positive note and thank each candidate for their interest in the vacancy.

Helpful Resources

  • Note-taking in the Interview  - Note taking in the employment interview involves the interviewer making written notes during the employment interview in relation to a candidate’s responses.
  • Probing in the Interview  - Interview probes are follow-up questions or prompts used by the interviewer to guide the candidate’s description of situations or events or to provide elaboration of answers.
  • Technical Scoring Template - Using a Technical Scoring Template will assist the Selection Committee to keep track of each candidates' scores on the technical part of the interview.
  • Recruitment Videos - is an online video-based training library that helps you build specific skills and achieve personal and professional goals. You can access anytime from anywhere using your central login credentials. Staff require explicit approval from their manager to take any courses during work time