Part 1: Advance Preparation

1. Identify your interview/selection panel

Selection Panel make up: Ensure that your panel is fit for purpose

Chair of the Interview/Selection Panel: Each panel should have an identified chair. The Chair of the Interview Panel should have undertaken the mandatory Chairs of Interview Panel training programme. Details of the programme and lists of trained chairs by faculty are available from the right hand link.

2. Setting the context of the interview within the selection action plan

The interview/selection panel should agree

  • the range of methods of assessment to use to address all areas of the person specification, see guidance on other forms of assessment in righthand links
  • the contents of each assessment and the criteria to be assessed
  • value weighting for each assessment
  • the route for providing feedback to the panel from all the tests
  • the scheduling of the different events

3. Interview Content Preparation

Building a Question Framework for the interview

The aim of each interview/selection panel is to
(i) review each candidate´s ability to meet the criteria identified as needed for the role
(ii) to explore further with the candidates elements of their CV/application, in order to gain a full assessment of the individual.

To achieve this through a robust and rigorous process, the panel will need to have a prepared framework of question to ensure that the key areas are covered effectively in the interview time available. The interview is also an interactive event and all panel members should feel confident that it is appropriate to probe candidates further in response to any of their answers if the panel need further clarification or detail on any point.


Types of question to use

Aim to use a balanced range of different types of questions as each will achieve a different goal.

Table 2

4. Contacting shortlisted applicants

Invitation for Interview

Date of selection action

Set a date for interview and selection tests which allows you sufficient time to undertake all preparatory planning to ensure a quality event and gives the candidates sufficient notice to attend.

Timetabling your running order

Draw up a realistic timetable for the day which allows for the interview plus all other elements of testing. Build-in time after each interview for the panel to make notes and have comfort breaks.

Consider where candidates will be travelling from and managing costs associated with the selection process see right hand links for further guidance.

Contacting candidates via e-Recruitment

All candidates apply on-line via e-Recruitment and provide an email address for future correspondence with us post-closing date. All applicants should receive confirmation of whether or not they will be progressing to the next level of selection action in a timely manner via email. E-Recruitment provides you with editable templates for both scenarios and the facility to correspond with multiple candidates in a single transaction.

Essential content for the invite:

Information for the candidate

  • Date, time and location of the interview/selection process - enclose a map if appropriate.
  • Indicate to whom and where the candidate should report to upon arrival.
  • Provide details about all elements of the selection process eg interview, presentation, writing test. For each provide details of any advanced preparation that the candidates is required to do, the equipment which will be available to them and the audience membership if relevant, anticipated length of the test eg topic title for a 10 minute presentation to the interview panel. Also inform candidates if certain elements will not be assessed eg “informal lunch and tour of the department for candidates’ information only (this part of the day will not be formally assessed)”.

Action by the candidate

Specify a named contact and date by which you require all candidates to confirm the following:

  • Whether or not they will be attending
  • Whether they will require additional assistance or adjustments to undertake the planned selection action. You must ask this of all candidates. Ensure that you give candidates sufficient details about your planned selection action and notice to provide details of any adjustments or assistance that they may require. Treat all requests for any adjustments or assistance as a priority and work with your customary HR contact to facilitate delivery.
  • Which form of proof they will be presenting to confirm their eligibility to work in the UK. This will speed up the eligibility checks on the day.For posts which require registration with a Professional body, e.g. medical and nursing posts (GMC Registration, UKCC) ask candidates to present proof of current registration at interview where you will take a copy (offers of appointment will be conditional on this requirement).

Interview expenses

Provide information about interview expenses that candidates can claim where appropriate. Guidance Note for Candidates and expenses claim form available from right hand link.