Please see the Guide to Interviewing & Reference Checking for detailed guidance on the selection process, including tools and legal considerations. Conducting an effective interview and reference checks is a skill, and the more you do it the better you will become. However, you can help yourself by being prepared and knowing what you can and cannot do related to the interview and reference check process.
NOTE: This is a process overview. Please go to the Online Recruitment Tools for details on the tasks related to these steps.
First Things First - the Candidate list
Hiring Managers receive a Routed Candidate List following the job application deadline. The list includes all applicants who pass the screening process, indicating that they meet the minimum education and experience qualifications of the position. The Routed Candidate list is the foundation for the hiring manager's selection process - only candidates who are on this list may be considered for interviews and offers. Information pertaining to Veterans status and mandatory interview status is also included on the candidate list. Applicants who self identify as a Veteran of the United States Armed Forces will receive points, as provided by 20 V.S.A. 1543 and 3V.S.A. 310(f). If any applicant on your candidate list is labeled “mandatory interview” you must offer this individual an interview. You will receive additional information under separate cover if there is an applicant with mandatory interview status.
Selecting the Candidates to Interview
The hiring agency/department may interview all applicants on a Routed Candidate List or choose to interview only those applicants who appear to most closely match the job's requirements. When selecting candidates to interview, verify that the applicant's education and experience objectively meet the minimum qualifications for the job as outlined in the class specification. When there is a large candidate list, it is also helpful to identify in advance "preferred" qualifications that will allow you to quickly and objectively sort and prioritize your candidates. The Department of Human Resources encourages hiring authorities to interview qualified State and agency promotional candidates, however, you should check with your HR administrator for any agency-specific policies regarding interviewing.
The interview should be viewed as a tool that is used by both the employer and the candidate to determine if the opportunity presents the best match of person and position. Before you can find the right person for the job, you must know what you're looking for. The use of structured panel interviews is encouraged by the Department of Human Resources. During the employment interview, an employer should ask questions that determine whether or not the potential employee will be able to perform the job they are seeking. Questions should not be asked nor comments made during the interview which reflect: bias or discrimination on the basis of age, race, national origin, marital or parental status, sex, and sexual orientation, place of birth, age or disabilities. Documentation of this process is a good practice that leads to better (and defensible hiring positions).
You must be able to document the factors used to select the individuals interviewed and retain that documentation for at least three years. This documentation must also include evidence of the process used to select your successful candidate.
After the Interview
Before any offer of employment is extended, the final candidate(s should be notified that a reference check will be done and that the information will be used in making the final hiring decision. Typically, the reference check is conducted by the hiring manager. Check with your HR Administrator with any questions about this process.
Before you make a conditional offer, check with your HR Administrator to ensure that pre-offer requirements are met and to obtain the applicable forms. This includes the Tax Compliance check (Policy 12.12) for all new hires and the Criminal History Declaration (Policy 4.11) for all hires except sworn officers and Corrections staff. Your department may have other background check requirements applicable to the position.
Offer of Employment
When you have selected your finalist for the position, you may make a verbal, conditional offer. In that conversation with the candidate, you can discuss a proposed start date and answer any questions that candidate may have prior to accepting the offer. You will then use “Forward Applicant” to request that your HR Administrator submit a formal offer letter to the candidate through VTHR.
Hiring managers are expected to notify every applicant on the Routed Candidate List of the outcome of the hiring process.