69. The structure of interviews should be decided in advance by determining who will chair the panel and what areas of questioning are required to cover all of the elements of the person specification. The question areas to be explored by each panel member should be agreed in advance to avoid overlap or repetition and panels may find it helpful to discuss their expectations of full answers to the questions, prior to the interview.
70. The same areas of questioning should be covered with all candidates and assumptions should not be made regarding the expertise or abilities of candidates because of their employment history. Interview questions should be phrased so that they do not favour any one candidate or group of candidates. Supplementary questions should be used to probe for further information or clarification where answers are incomplete or ambiguous. Recruiting managers are expected to ask candidates the reason for any gaps in their employment history. Care must be taken to avoid questions that could be construed as discriminatory (e.g., questions about personal circumstances that are unrelated to the job). It is, for example, legitimate to ask for confirmation of whether individuals can comply with the working patterns of the post, but not to ask details of their domestic or child care arrangements etc. It is the responsibility of the Chair of the panel to ensure that such questions are not asked. Further guidance on questioning is given at Appendix G.
64. The Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006 makes it an offence to employ anyone who does not have permission to be in, or work in, the UK. To avoid making assumptions about such permission, it is the Department's responsibility to ask all appointees for evidence of eligibility to work in the UK. It is unlawful racial discrimination to carry out checks only on potential employees who by their appearance or accent seem to be other than British. It is therefore a requirement to ask all candidates attending for interview to bring with them evidence of their right to work in the UK.
61. After the closing date has passed the interview panel should assess the applications to determine which applicants are to be called for interview. At least two members of the interview panel, including the immediate line manager, should undertake the task of shortlisting. Where the panel has an external member, that person should take part in the shortlisting wherever practicable. Shortlisting decisions should be based on evidence that the applicant has met the requirements of the person specification. Shortlisting panel members should avoid dismissing applicants who appear to be over-qualified. Assumptions should not be made about their reasons for applying for the post as they may eliminate an otherwise exemplary candidate. The selection criteria pro forma at can assist with the task of shortlisting.
71. Staff conducting interviews must be aware that, although questions asked may not in themselves be discriminatory, the interpretation of answers by the panel could exhibit prejudice. For example, if indications of ambition were to be regarded as a worthy characteristic in applicants of one sex or ethnic group but not in another. Information regarding personal circumstances which is offered in a CV or at interview must not be taken into consideration in reaching a selection decision. For example, the fact that a male candidate shares details of his domestic circumstances with the panel but a female candidate chooses not to (or vice versa), should not be taken into account.
82. The further particulars for a post should make clear to candidates the number and status of referees required and whether the panel intends to seek references before interview (see paragraphs 30 and 80). References from relatives or friends should not be accepted. Appropriate referees are those who have direct experience of a candidate's work, education or training: preferably in a supervisory capacity and a reference must be obtained from the current or previous employer. Where staff will be working with or for government agencies (armed forces, civil servants / non departmental public bodies or government contractors, e.g. research councils), including on secondment or based on their sites, we are required to be compliant with HMG guidance on . This requires references that cover employment for the last three years to be taken up. Additional pre-employment checks are required for those working in secure areas with access to controlled substances, see: Appendix S for the recruiting managers responsibilities.
74. Consideration should be given to using job-related selection tests or asking candidates to give presentations as part of the selection process if there are some elements of the person specification that are difficult to test at interview. If selection tests or presentations are to be used, all candidates should be given the same written information as to how long they will take, the topic area(s) they will cover, and what - if anything - they should prepare in advance. Psychometric tests may only be given by trained test administrators and any department wishing to use psychometric tests must contact UCL Human Resources for advice. In all cases care should be taken to ensure that job-related tests are well explained in writing for candidates, in plain language, that all candidates are subject to the same tests under exactly the same conditions, (excluding any allowances made as 'reasonable adjustments' to disabled candidates) and that presentation topics do not favour any one candidate. It is very important that selection tests are not unfairly discriminatory. Advice is available from UCL Human Resources for those wishing to develop selection tests.
57. All interviews must be conducted by a panel. The Head of Department/line manager should select interview panel members prior to the closing date; this allows panel members to assist in the shortlisting process. Familiarity with the vacancy and preparation for the interview is a key to successful interviewing.
80. Once a provisional offer is made the preferred candidate will be asked to disclose their sickness/unauthorised absence record. The recruiting manager should consider on a case-by-case basis the nature of the absence and must, where appropriate, disregard periods related to the assessment, treatment, and rehabilitation of a disability. For example it may be appropriate to disregard a period of sickness if it was caused by a one off accident requiring a long term absence. These decisions are not, however, always straightforward, so recruiting managers should discuss these cases with their HR Advisory Services contact prior to disregarding any sickness absence periods. If the information returned by the applicant, or the case is not clear for any other reason, the candidate should be referred to Occupational Health. The candidate's contract will be subject to them having a satisfactory sickness/unauthorised absence record.
11. When a vacancy arises, consideration must be given to staff whose posts are being made redundant and for whom redeployment is being sought (see ). Recruiting managers must advertise their post to redeployees for five working days and give consideration to the eligible applicants. Redeployees may apply for roles that are the same grade or lower to their current grade. Redeployees should meet the essential criteria for the post (or can achieve this with minimal training) but do not need to meet the desirable criteria. If a redeployee meets all the essential criteria, they must be invited to a placement interview. Recruiting a redeployee can reduce both the time and the cost incurred in filling a vacancy.
Step 2 - Write a 1 1/2 or 2 page double-spaced essay with an introduction, body and conclusion, about the person you interviewed. Make sure it has a theme.