Interview Process & Conduct of Interviews Policy

Policy Owner
Human Resources
Document Type
Document Approval Date


Dublin City University strives to foster a culture amongst its staff and student community that is open, collegial, collaborative, student focused and ambitious. These values reflect a commitment to equality, educational opportunity, social justice, ethical behaviour and academic freedom. In applying open, transparent and merit based effective recruitment and selection procedures the University strives to attract and retain high quality staff that share and live our values.

The following procedures are designed to ensure our process is planned, organised and conducted in a way that supports an objective, transparent merit based assessment of every candidate and ensure that the best candidate has been selected on their merits and abilities. 


Prior to the interview, the Human Resources Office shall prepare an interview book for each member of the Selection Board which will include the following: 

  • A copy of the advertisement for the post, the post description and the selection criteria;
  • A schedule of all candidates called for interview;
  • A copy of the application material submitted by the candidates to be interviewed, together with referees' reports if appropriate; - An Interview Assessment Form for each candidate;
  • A Selection Recommendation Form, in the copy of the chairperson's interview book, for signature by the Selection Board members.

Interviews should be conducted in an appropriate venue in a friendly atmosphere. Questions must be in keeping with the provisions of Equal Opportunity and Anti-Discrimination legislation, with comparable information related directly to the selection criteria and the post to be filled being sought from each interviewee. 

The role of the Chairperson of the Selection Board (normally the Head of School/Unit) is crucial as it is his/her responsibility to co-ordinate the interview and to ensure that it is conducted fairly and without discrimination or bias. This includes:

  • Together with the Human Resources Office representative, making necessary introductions of the Selection Board members to the candidates and explaining the format of the interview process;
  • Ensuring that each candidate feels sufficiently at ease to be able to communicate effectively during the course of the interview;
  • Ensuring that the Selection Board has gathered sufficient information on each candidate to enable a valid assessment to be made regarding the candidate's suitability for the post; 
  • Concluding the interview and informing each candidate of the next stage of the process;
  • Coordinating the Selection Board in the assessment of the interviewed candidates and seeking agreement from the Board on the rank order of the candidates who are deemed suitable for appointment to the position.

The ranking of the candidates must be based on all aspects of the selection process. This includes written application, interview, presentation (if appropriate to the competition) or any other testing, together with referees' reports, completing the Staff Selection Board Report Form which is included in the Chairperson's interview book.

The completed form should list the names, in rank order, of those candidates deemed suitable for appointment to the post. The Chairperson's report should also contain brief statements on all interviewed candidates (normally referring explicitly to the strong and weak points of each interviewed candidate as seen by the members of the Selection Board). All members of the Selection Board should sign the Staff Selection Board Report Form. 

While not attempting to unduly infringe on the responsibility and authority of the Selection Board to outline the details of each interview, it is recommended that:

  • The Selection Board should meet before the interview takes place to plan the interview procedure;
  • Each member of the Board should be briefed on their role and areas in which to question candidates;
  • The Selection Board should have given prior consideration to the areas to be addressed, to ensure their purpose and clarity and ensure that all interviewees will be similarly assessed;
  • While each member might be asked to pursue a particular line in questioning interviewees, Board members should be otherwise free to pursue those aspects of the candidate's background considered relevant to the position;
  • Interviews should be used also to explore with candidates any ambiguities or lack of information in written applications;
  • Questions must be in keeping with the provisions of Equal Opportunity and Anti- Discrimination legislation;
  • Comparable information sought from each interviewee should be related directly to the selection criteria.

Formal Selection Board interviews should last for a minimum of 35 minutes. This ensures that adequate time is given to fully obtaining all relevant details concerning each candidate and that candidates are less likely to feel that they have not received adequate attention.

A friendly, reasonably relaxed atmosphere should be created to encourage the candidate to talk freely. Following the interview, adequate time and attention should be given to each member of the Selection Board to ensure full discussion and assessment of each interviewee. Given the need for adequate attention to each candidate at final interview, no more than 8 should be interviewed in any one day. Final interviews in excess of 8 per day seriously risk unfairness to both the interviewer and the interviewee, and ultimately could affect the recruitment recommendation. Every effort should be made to adhere to the overall timetable to avoid keeping candidates waiting.

The University should ensure that adequate physical facilities are made available so as to aid the interview process, and also to generate a good "first impression" of the University. These facilities should include a good, well ventilated interview room and a private waiting room.

Irrespective of level, University staff who become involved in Selection Boards should undergo a formal training programme on interviewing skills. Approved courses will be organised regularly by the Training & Development Officer, Human Resources Office.