aerial photo of the campus in the fall season

Candidate Selection and Interview Process

Once the search committee has completed the necessary steps to create the foundation of an inclusive candidate search, the work of candidate shortlisting can begin. Committees that begin interviewing candidates without a clear framework or consistently applied guidelines and questions risk introducing bias in the search process. Therefore, members must be reminded of potential biases at this stage and VIU’s equitable hiring mandate to limit subjectivity. 

Suggestions and tips to ensure that a broad range of opinions are solicited and considered in the search criteria and decision making process:

  • Review applications with diversity and inclusion in mind.
  • Be aware of subtle and unintended bias when reviewing CVs (educational institution, location of prior employment, type of experience, gender, etc.).
  • Select interview questions related to the job posting only and ensure questions on diversity are included.
  • Ensure the search committee is aware of what construes inappropriate interview questions (prohibited grounds). For example, avoid asking questions regarding a candidate’s age, sex or gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, marital status, family status, race, colour, religion, and mental or physical disability.
  • The interview process (communication, interview questions and length of interview) should be the same for all candidates to ensure an equitable process.
  • Consider that implicit biases can affect the first impressions of candidates. For instance, the standard interview in Canada uses the criteria of self-confidence, goal orientation and enthusiasm, even though these qualities may not be apparent in people of more reserved cultures or diverse abilities.
  • Reserve ample time for interviews and evaluations as bias emerges more when time pressures limit evaluators.
  • Look beyond academic excellence in making shortlists of candidates for qualities such as the ability to interact with diverse colleagues/faculty/students, mentoring abilities, and experiences gained from non-traditional career paths.
  • Highlight policies that support family needs and work/life balance (e.g., parental leave, employee family assistance, flexible work options, etc.)