Talent Acquisition

Important information for hiring managers, including policies regarding background checks, search committees, hiring forms, hiring procedures and more.

Step 3 - Interviewing Candidates

Interviews are an excellent way to learn the specifics of the work experience, knowledge, skills, and abilities each candidate would bring to the job. Interviews give you an opportunity to evaluate the candidate, and it provides the candidate information about the job, the department, and the UTA culture.

Interviewing Best Practices

The interview process is a crucial stage in the recruitment process. This step marks a pivotal moment in finding the perfect fit for your team. After finalizing your initial screenings and compiling a select group of potential candidates, it's time to initiate the process of scheduling in-person or virtual interviews. Here are several key considerations to bear in mind:

  • Consistency is essential to treating all candidates equally, fostering fairness, equity, and the prevention of discrimination.
  • A good interview strategy provides suitable techniques to efficiently refine the candidate pool down to your finalists.
  • An impactful interview procedure centers around the vital qualifications required for excelling in the job role.
  • Asking the right types of questions will lead to the discovery of meaningful and objective information.

Equity and Fairness
When we conduct interviews, it's crucial to be fair and treat everyone equally. This means following the law and reducing bias to find the best candidate.


Consistency Matters
Throughout the interview process, each candidate should get the same chance and evaluation. This includes using the same questions, objective criteria, and benchmarks. We don't make decisions about a candidate until we've followed these steps.

Equal Opportunity Statement
It is the policy of The University of Texas at Arlington (UTA or The University) to provide an educational and working environment that provides equal opportunity to all members of the University community. In accordance with federal and state law, the University prohibits unlawful discrimination, including harassment, on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, pregnancy, disability, genetic information, and/or veteran status. The University also prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender identity, and gender expression. Retaliation against persons who oppose a discriminatory practice, file a charge of discrimination, or testify for, assist in, or participate in an investigative proceeding relating to discrimination is prohibited. Constitutionally protected expression will not be considered discrimination or harassment under this policy. It is the responsibility of all departments, employees, and students to ensure the University's compliance with this policy.

For more information, visit our Belonging and Engagement Website.

Focus on Job Qualifications
During interviews, we should avoid questions that touch on these sensitive topics. If a candidate brings them up, don't write them down or use them for evaluation. Politely guide the conversation back to job-related questions.

No matter what job you're hiring for, whether you're the only decision-maker or part of a team, having a well-organized interview process is crucial. It not only helps you find the best candidate but also speeds up the hiring process.

Different hiring situations require different interview strategies. You might have a lot of candidates to start with, many people making decisions, or tricky details that need careful judgment.

Here's a key idea:
You can break the hiring process into phases and use different methods as long as every candidate gets a fair chance at each stage. For example, you could use phone or virtual interviews to check qualifications and then bring the top candidates for in-person meetings or panel discussions.

Here are some methods you can use:

  • Phone Interviews
  • Virtual Interviews
  • Face-to-face one-on-one meetings
  • Face-to-face group discussions

For more information on planning an efficient interview process, work with your recruiter and check out the Interview Planning Guide.

And don't forget these helpful checklists before and after the interviews:

Understanding the Job Requirements

Every job is different, with its own set of skills, knowledge, and qualities needed for success. Figuring out exactly what these requirements can be tricky, but it's super important for making smart hiring choices.

When you clearly spell out the kind of experience, knowledge, and behavior a job needs, you're basically setting up a solid framework to judge candidates.

Setting Clear Priorities

Once you've got a full list of these job requirements, you can figure out which ones are most important. This means you can weigh the significance of each requirement and focus your interview on getting the most important and relevant information to compare candidates.

Check out the Qualification Selection Template. This tool will help you with selecting qualification that contribute to the success of the position you are hiring for.

Preparing Your Questions

To ensure you're evaluating candidates fairly and focusing on the right job requirements, it's smart to plan your questions ahead of time. This way, you can measure every candidate using the same standards. Check out the Developing Interview Questions guide for help.


Interview Notes

Interview notes need to be maintained by only ONE designated person per department. This can be the hiring manager, or the chair, if there is a interview/search committee.

Only the interview notes from the final chosen candidate needs to be uploaded with the hiring proposal for approval.

If hiring managers or the interview committee decide to use one of the Matrix examples below or their own matrix, the full matrix must be uploaded with the hiring proposal in lieu of the interview notes.

Scoring and Matrix

When candidates answer your questions, score their responses using an objective scale, like "not satisfactory to excellent" or "1 to 5". Create an evaluation tool early in the recruitment process. This tool should include the skills, knowledge, and behaviors outlined in the job description or job posting. This tool will serve as a structured framework to objectively assess candidates. You create your own evaluation tool or use one of the examples provided below.


Remember, the tool you create or use needs to be the same tool you use throughout the screening process.

Different Question Styles

The way you ask questions can reveal a lot about a candidate's qualifications. Choose your question style carefully to get a better understanding of their experience, knowledge, and professional skills. Here are some types of questions:

  • Preliminary (screening) questions: These help you filter candidates in or out.
  • Traditional questions: Directly ask about a candidate's background.
  • Technical questions: Focus on specific technical aspects of the job.
  • Situational questions: Ask candidates how they'd handle common workplace situations
  • Case questions: Describe a hypothetical situation and ask candidates to solve it.
  • Behavioral questions: Have candidates describe real-world situations, actions they took, and the results.

For more information about planning and conducting interviews, see the Interview Planning Guide. It's a handy resource to help you through the process.

Once the interview is over, it's time to assess the candidates. Here's what you need to do:

  1. Use Your Interview Questions: Evaluate each candidate based on the questions you asked during the interview. Think about how well they answered and how their responses match the job requirement.
  2. Evaluate Everyone: Make sure to assess all the candidates who interviewed for the role. This ensures a fair and consistent evaluation process.
  3. Equal Criteria: Judge all candidates using the same questions and criteria. This way, you can easily compare them to decide who is the best fit for the job.
  4. Rating Scale: Consider using a rating scale to score candidates. This helps you provide a structured assessment. For example:
    • Rating 1 (Below Requirements): Demonstrates competency inconsistently, even with guidance. Few good examples.
    • Rating 2 (Meets Requirements): Demonstrates competency accurately and consistently in most situations with minimal guidance. Many good examples.
    • Rating 3 (Exceeds Requirements): Demonstrates desired behavior and competency accurately and consistently in almost all situations, often with no guidance. Many good examples.

By following these steps, you can effectively evaluate candidates and make informed hiring decisions.

Matrix examples/template are available to download under the Effective Interviewing Made Simple drop-down above.


Efficient candidate tracking is the backbone of a successful hiring process. Transitioning candidates through PeopleAdmin helps you keep a tight grip on their progress. It's the compass that guides us through the recruitment journey, ensuring no talent gets lost along the way. Let's keep things smooth and organized from application to offer.

During the interview process, applicant reviewers and hiring managers have the ability to move candidates they wish to interview through different phases of the interview process. You can select from the following statuses:

  • Phone Screen Interview
  • Search Committee Interview
  • Final Interview

These designations help the department keep track of what state of the interview a selected candidate is in. At any time during the process, if you wish to transition a candidate to Interview, Not Hired, you can do that. This will trigger an email a "rejection" notification to the candidate. For more detailed information, view the job aid below.

Interviewing Candidates


Should you need help screening or evaluating candidates objectively and fairly – especially with regards to competencies and job expectations – you can collaborate with your recruiter or your HR Business Partner.

Virtual Interviewing Best Practices


  • Get comfortable with the virtual platform you are using
    • UTA uses Microsoft Teams
    • For help with Microsoft teams, contact OIT or Knowledge Services
  • Conduct Mock interviews with a co-worker as a practice run
  • Conduct a webcam and microphone check at least 10 minutes prior to the interview time
  • Close down other programs that may slow down your computer


  • Dress professionally
    • Candidates are interviewing you as much as you are interviewing them
    • Be careful to avoid bold colors and patterns, as they can be distracting during an interview
  • Make sure your workspace is clean and organized
  • Have proper light in the room
  • Make sure your background looks professional
    • UTA provides background templates on request for each department
  • Make sure your face/head is properly centered on the screen
  • Check the angle of your camera to ensure you see yourself properly
  • Look at the webcam and make eye contact with the interviewee
  • Watch your body language
  • Speak a little slower than normal

Multiple Interviewers

  • Use one meeting invite/session for all the interviewers
  • Coordinate the schedule and make sure to send a calendar invite with all the meeting login information
  • Share the agenda, resume, note taking template (if applicable) and interview questions with all the interviewers prior to the interview
  • Explain the process to the interview
    • Allow each interviewer to introduce themselves
    • Rotate questions amongst interviewers, so that one person is not asking all the questions
  • Ensure that all interviewers are online and prepared for the interview at least 10 minutes prior to the start of the interview
  • Use the wait room feature in teams to allow for the interviewee to wait until everyone is ready to start the interview.

Since a virtual interview is not in-person, make sure you help the interview feel comfortable and explain everything that will take place.