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Human Capital Services


The following information provides important factors to consider when providing communication to applicants/candidates, scheduling interviews, conducting interviews, and checking references. A first impression is key. Keep in mind how important a positive experience is for all of our applicants/candidates. 

Communication Templates

Before interviewing, to ensure a positive candidate experience please remember to communicate with the candidate in regards to the status of their application by using one of the following templates (if applicable).

Interview Scheduling Guide

 The following guide and templates provides important factors to consider when scheduling interviews for candidates. Please use the template(s) that are most applicable to you.

Interview Scheduling Guide (pdf) and Templates:

Interview Guidelines

These guidelines have been prepared to help interviewers conduct fair and objective interviews. An interview should provide as much information as possible about an applicant's potential to perform the duties of a particular position. The most valuable interview is objective and permits the interviewer(s) to determine the knowledge, skills and abilities of a prospective employee.

The following chart is to be used as a guide to formulate questions which will elicit the information needed to make employment decisions.

NAMEWhether a person has worked under a different name. Questions which divulge marital status, ancestry, or national origin.Current legal name. Whether any other information is necessary about applicant's name to check on previous work or educational record.
MARITAL STATUSWhether person is married, single, separated, divorced, widowed, or engaged.Nothing.
FAMILY STATUSAbout family planning, number and ages of children, child care arrangements, spouse's employment, salary, travel schedule, whether applicant is "head of household."Willingness to travel if job requires. Ability to meet work schedule requirements.
AGEApplicant to state age or date of birth or to provide proof of age. (This information can be obtained after hire.)Whether applicant meets the minimum age requirement as set out by law. The Age Discrimination in Employment Act amendment of 1986 eliminates the mandatory retirement age of 70 except for tenured faculty. Therefore, questions about upper age limits are inappropriate.
RACE OR COLORApplicant's race.Nothing.
PREGNANCYAbout medical history concerning pregnancy and related health matters. Do not reject applicants because of pregnancy alone.Anticipated duration in the job. Anticipated absences from the job. (Same questions must be asked of males and females.)
PHYSICAL/MENTAL DISABILITIESGeneral questions about whether person is disabled or the severity or nature of the disability: questions soliciting information that is not job related.Whether person is able to carry out all necessary job requirements in a safe manner. Employer is required to make "reasonable accommodations" for physical and mental limitations of employees including alteration of duties and physical setting and provision of aids.
ADDRESSInquiry into foreign address that would indicate national origin. Names or relationships of persons with whom applicant resides. Whether applicant rents or owns a home.Applicant's address.
BIRTHPLACE/ NATIONAL ORIGINAncestry/birth place of applicant or spouse, parents, or other relatives.Nothing.
RELIGIONAbout religious denomination, affiliation, religious holidays observed.Anticipated absences from job. But reasonable accommodation must be made to the religious observances and practices of a prospective employee.
LANGUAGE SKILLSAbout language skill unless it is a necessary job requirement.About ability to speak, read, or write English or a foreign language if the job requires.
MILITARY RECORDType of discharge from military.Type of education and experience in service if it relates to the job.
PHOTOGRAPHFor photo before hiring.May require photo after hiring for identification purposes.
CITIZENSHIPWhether the individual is a U.S. citizen, as a basis for exclusion from employment. No positions at Kansas State University are limited to U.S. citizens.If you are not a citizen or resident alien of the U.S., does your visa or immigration status prevent you from lawful employment?
*EDUCATION AND EXPERIENCE*About education or experience that is not related to job performance. Inquiries specifically asking the nationality, racial affiliation, or religious affiliation of the school attended. (Requirements should not be higher than needed for job; that discriminates against poor and/or minorities with less opportunity for education.)*Training and experience related to job requirements, including names and addresses of previous employers, dates of employment, reasons for leaving, and schools attended.
ARRESTSAbout arrests because the person is not judged guilty by an arrest.Nothing.
CONVICTIONSAbout convictions unless the information bears on job performance. Note: Do not make indefensible assumptions about future behavior based on conviction.About convictions, if all candidates are asked, and if the information has bearing on job performance of the specific positions. Look at severity and frequency of violation, age of applicant at time of illegal act, time elapsed since conviction, and all aspects of the applicant to determine the seriousness of the conviction in relation to potential job performance.
CREDIT RATINGS OR GARNISHMENTSAbout credit ratings, financial status, car or home ownership, since they usually have little or no relation to job performance. NOTE: It is a civil rights violation to refuse to hire a minority on the basis of a person's poor credit rating, unless business necessity for doing so can be shown.Nothing, unless job related.
RELATIVESName or address of any relative of adult applicant. Information about friends or relatives working for an employer is not relevant to an applicant's job performance.Nothing.
WHOM TO CONTACT IN CASE OF EMERGENCY.Do not ask for this information before hiring.After hire, determine name and address of person to contact in case of emergency.
SEXUAL ORIENTATIONAbout sexual orientation.Nothing.
REFERENCESDo not ask for a mere listing of unchecked references.This inquiry is fine if employers actually check with references for employment suitability.
ORGANIZATIONSAbout all organizations the person belongs to; organizations which indicate race, color, creed, sex, marital status, religion, or national origin.About professional and job-related organizations, provided the applicant may exclude the name or character of an organization that would reveal the race, religion, color, or ancestry of that organization.

Reference checks are a critical part of the employment process. Inquiries may be made about job related performance and attendance.

Ex) Would you rehire or reemploy this individual?

Any inquiries which are personal or non-work related.

Ex) Rate the candidate's maturity level on a scale from one to five. 

 GENDER Inquiry or restriction of employment is permissible only where a bona fide occupational qualification exists.  This BFOQ exemption is interpreted very narrowly by the courts and EEOC.  The employer must prove that the BFOQ exists and that all members of the affected class are incapable of performing the job. Any inquiry which would indicate gender.


Any inquiry should be avoided which, although not specifically listed among the above, is designed to elicit information which is not needed to consider an applicant for employment. Form DA 286 (Rev. 10/13)


The above information includes suggested guidelines.  Please be advised to confer with legal counsel and Talent Acquisition before developing your interview questions.

Interview Development
Form the Interview Team

If feasible, use a team approach. The team approach is preferable because it saves time and allows for comparison of the applicant by the team members. The size of the interview team may vary.

Familiarize the Interviewer(s) With the Position

The interviewer(s) must be familiar with the major duties and responsibilities, and the essential knowledge, skills, and abilities of the position at entry level. Be sure that each interviewer reviews the position description carefully.

Establish Criteria for Selection

The selection criteria must be consistent with the complexity and level of the job. The selection criteria have been set forth in the position announcement. Focus on performance factors that can be demonstrated in the selection procedure. Understand the departmental and organizational goals as they relate to this position. Such criteria must be job-related and might include performance during the interview, relevant training, education and experience, affirmative action goals, etc. Example: To what extent is job success dependent upon effective oral communication skills, on-the-spot reasoning skills, and the ability to effectively present oneself to strangers?

Develop Job-Related Questions

"Nice to know" questions are not permitted! Lawsuits may result from applicants who are rejected on the basis of irrelevant questions asked by interviewers.

Develop Interviewing Strategies

There are many different interviewing strategies. Develop strategies that are appropriate for the position level and skill requirements.

Establish a System to Evaluate the Responses

It might be beneficial to set up a formula for rating or ranking the applicant's responses to the questions based on the selection criteria. Evaluating the responses in this manner will help make the selection process easier and more objective.

Interview Suggestions
Preparing Questions

When developing questions, always keep in mind that they must be job-related and appropriate for the complexity and level of the position. It is helpful to weigh the questions based on the importance of each selection criterion. Below are six main categories of questions that are commonly used by interviewers. Different types of questions may be combined to obtain a certain response.

  1. Close-ended questions. These questions may sometimes be helpful when an interviewer(s) wants to know certain information at the onset or needs to determine specific kinds of knowledge. Close-ended questions are typically answered "yes" or "no". Example: "Have you traveled internationally?"
  2. Probing questions. These questions allow the interviewer(s) to delve deeper for needed information. Example: "What stands out as most significant about your international travel?""
  3. Hypothetical questions. Hypothetical situations based on specific job-related facts are presented to the applicant for solutions. Example: "What would you do if..", "How would you handle..."
  4. Loaded questions. These questions force an applicant to choose between two undesirable alternatives. The most effective way to employ a loaded question is to recall a real-life situation where two divergent approaches were both carefully considered, then frame the situation as a question starting with, "What would be your approach to a situation where...". One must be a very proficient interviewer to employ loaded questions effectively. If not, loaded questions can engender unnecessary anxiety and a negative reaction to the interview experience.
  5. Leading questions. The interviewer(s) sets up the question so that the applicant provides the desired response. When leading questions are asked, the interviewer cannot hope to learn anything about the applicant. Example: "You've been on a tour of Manhattan and it is a very nice place, don't you think?"
  6. Open-ended questions. These are the most effective questions, yield the greatest amount of information, and allow the applicant latitude in responding. Example: "What did you like about your last job?"
Evaluating Responses

As part of evaluating the responses, the interviewer(s) should review the job description to ensure thorough familiarity with the requirements, duties, and responsibilities of the position. Furthermore, the interviewer(s) should review the work history and relevant educational credentials of each candidate and consider the intangible requirements of the job. Finally, the interviewer(s) should review the selection criteria, evaluate and rate the response, and rank the applicants based on that criteria.

Interview Process
  1. Schedule interviews to allow sufficient time for post interview discussion, completion of notes, etc.
  2. Secure an interview setting that is free from interruptions or distractions.
  3. Review applications and vitae/resumes provided by the applicants.
Opening the Interview
  1. Review the functions of the agency or unit in which the position is located.
  2. Allow the applicant an opportunity to pose questions or seek clarification concerning the position.
  3. Explain the interview process to the applicant.
  1. Question the applicant following the method established and using any questions developed.
  2. Be consistent with all applicants.
  3. Allow the applicant sufficient time to respond to each question.
  4. Record any relevant information elicited from the questions.
Closing the Interview
  1. Inform the applicant when the decision will be made and how notification will occur.
  2. Confirm the date of the applicant's availability to begin work.
  3. Confirm the applicant's correct address and telephone number.
  4. Give the applicant a final opportunity to raise any questions.
  5. Obtain all necessary information from the applicant about references, if they have not already been checked.
  1. Review the selection criteria.
  2. Review and complete notes.
  3. Avoid prejudgment and discussion of applicants between interviews.
  4. Use the selection criteria established in the developing stages.
  5. Develop profiles of excellence based upon the selection criteria and the responses of the candidates.
  6. The profiles of excellence will be used by the hiring authorities to determine the order in which offers are to be made.
  7. Notify all applicants interviewed of the results prior to announcing the selection.