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Interviews & Offers

Before you start

As you start considering candidates, be sure to complete the Ethical and Legal Obligations in the Hiring Process training in MyPath. This twenty-minute online training is required for everyone involved in interviewing applicants.

If you will be hiring someone under the age of 18, understand the strict state and federal regulations concerning child labor laws.

Reviewing resumes

Once the position is posted, you’ll want to review resumes regularly against the job requirements to identify candidates you’d like to talk with. Consider education, experience and overall background, as well as longevity in each position, gaps of employment, and career progression as appropriate.

Phone screening

This step provides the hiring manager the first opportunity to interact with the applicant. A standard list of questions should be crafted for each recruitment to ensure that the process is consistent and that the manager and applicant remain focused.

  • You will want to note the applicant’s communication skills, attitude, preferences and ability to answer questions without preparation.
  • Applicants can be scheduled for an interview at the conclusion of the phone screen or at a future date.

Interviewing

Interviewing is much easier and more effective if you have the right interview questions! Use the requirements section of the job description to identify areas to explore such as communication, organizational skills, customer service, or specific technical skills or experiences. Ask questions that require candidates to share specific examples of situations they’ve been in and things they’ve done in the past that highlight the skills you’re looking for.

As you plan to interview candidates, consider who you’d like on the interview team. Key stakeholders, partners, and peers of the position may all provide valuable perspectives on which candidate is most likely to be successful. Be sure to notify the interviewing team of the Ethical and Legal Obligations in the Hiring Process training, which is required for everyone involved in interviewing candidates.

Share the job description, interview topics and/or questions, and candidates’ resumes with your interview team; ask them to keep the candidate information confidential. A best practice is to provide your interview team with an interview scorecard where they can rate each candidate on the competencies you’ve identified for the position; this helps ensure a thoughtful, systematic approach to considering candidates.

After interviews are conducted, gather your interview team’s feedback through their interview scorecards and debrief discussions. Your manager will likely want to interview the top one or two candidates before a final decision is made.

Accommodations:

If an applicant requests an accommodation during the hiring or interviewing process (e.g., the applicant is deaf or hard of hearing and needs an interpreter or has a mobility impairment and needs a close-in parking spot for the interview) and you are unsure how to proceed with obtaining that accommodation please call (585) 275-4995 for assistance.

Salary History

Effective January 2020, New York State legislation prohibits employers from asking for salary history from an applicant. This applies to both internal and external job applicants. Additionally, employers are prohibited from using an applicant’s current or past salary as consideration in determining the compensation for the position. This applies for both internal and external applicants:

You cannot ask any questions with regards to current or past salary, including:

  • What is your current salary?
  • What is your past salary?

You cannot use an internal or external applicant’s current or past salary as a starting point for determining their salary offer.

You cannot refuse to interview, hire, promote or employ based on salary history. For example: you cannot tell a candidate they are “out of the range” or will not be considered because their salary expectation is too high.

You can ask:
“I do not want to know what salary you make currently or have made in the past. Can you give me an idea of the salary range that you might find acceptable for this position?”

What if a candidate volunteers a salary that is outside of the range that we offer for a position?

You may follow up with: “Your current salary is actually not something that is relevant to this process, but I would like to share the salary range for this position so that you can make an informed decision about your level of interest.”

OR

“Given the salary range that I’ve shared, do you still have interest in the position?”

You should save conversations about salary range, whenever possible, for the end of an interview. If a candidate divulges their salary or their past salary you should not ask follow up questions with regards to their salary history.

References

Reference checking is the final opportunity to obtain important information about your applicant’s past performance.

Some reference check best practices are:

  • Conduct three (or at a minimum two) reference checks
  • Use professional references rather than personal, since personal references aren’t as helpful for professional settings
  • At least one of the references should be a former supervisor, since he/she will be able to offer the most direct assessment of the applicant’s skills and abilities
  • Use the reference check questions below to guide your conversation. The questions are also available on the  Reference Check Template.
    1. What is your relationship to the candidate? How long have you known each other, and in what capacity?
    2. What did the candidate do at [employer name]? What were his/her responsibilities?
    3. How do you think the candidate’s skills and experience will match with this position as I’ve described it?
    4. Where do you believe the candidate will have significant strengths to offer in this position?
    5. Where do you feel the candidate will face challenges in this position?
    6. Ask some specific job/skill related questions based on the essential functions of the job description (ex. Attendance and promptness, cooperation, quality of work, oral and written communication skills, balancing priorities, team player, social media and technical capabilities, interacting wih the public/visitors, supervisory ability, etc.)
    7. Is there anything else you feel we should know about the candidate?
    8. Is the person eligible for rehire / If you had the opportunity, would you rehire this individual? Why or why not?
  • If there are aspects of the candidate’s qualifications that you’re hesitant about, take the opportunity to ask targeted, probing questions to test your concerns
  • If you’re having difficulty reaching a particular person, ask the candidate if they can assist or provide another contact

Please note that reference information is considered confidential and should not be shared with the applicant.

Making an Offer

Once you’ve selected the final candidate, ensure he/she has completed the University application and contact your HR Business Partner to discuss the salary. HR will consider the candidate’s qualifications and experience, as well as the qualifications and experience of incumbent employees. Finance will also be engaged according to departmental practices.

Once the salary has been determined, complete the Request to Make an Offer form and email it to your HR Service Center liaison. The HR Service Center will notify you once the offer has been reviewed, and then you may call the candidate to extend the offer verbally.

Once you’ve notified your HR Service Center liaison that the offer has been verbally accepted, the HR Service Center will generate paperwork and send it to the candidate.

Once a candidate has accepted the job offer, return to HRMS to update the disposition of each candidate and to close the requisition. External applicants (excluding applicants for faculty, nursing practice and Strong Staffing positions) with a disposition of Not Selected will receive an automatic email within 24 hours notifying them they have not been selected.

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