Tips on Conducting Telephone or Video Interviews

Exhibit #28: Tips on Conducting Telephone or Video Interviews

Planning and Arranging the Interview

  • Schedule a call for 30-45 minutes with the interviewee and interviewers.
  • Review the interviewee’s application materials.
  • Prepare questions related to the core requirements of the job and those specific to the candidate’s background.
  • Develop a screening instrument.
  • Determine who will ask questions and the order in which questions will be asked (e.g., only one person, all committee members, etc.).
  • Test speakerphone, teleconferencing, or Internet video equipment and procedures.

Conducting the Interview

  • Introduce the individuals participating in the interview.
  • Describe how the interview will be conducted.
  • Ask questions pertaining to the resume (e.g., questions about gaps in employment, special training, a change or professions, etc.).
  • Ask why the person is interested in leaving his or her current position.
  • Ask one or two technical questions about the job.
  • Ask one or two questions that will help you determine the interviewee’s interest in your institution’s way of doing business.
  • Ensure you ask gatekeeper-type questions (e.g., Are you willing to teach online, seek grants and external funding, or advise student groups?) that would otherwise disqualify candidates from further consideration.
  • Ask follow-up questions as appropriate.
  • Ask the interviewee if he or she has any questions.
  • Explain to the interviewee the next step in the selection process.
  • Thank the candidate for his or her time.

After the Interview

  • After reviewing notes, assess the candidate against screening criteria.
  • Share observations with the committee chair.

Note: Do not call a candidate on the spur of the moment and request an interview at that time. No one wants to be torn between talking to a potential employer and dealing with other important business or personal matters. Allow the candidate to set aside time for the interview by scheduling it in advance. Experience shows that the use of cellular phones by any candidate should be discouraged, if not disallowed.


Used with permission from