Search Procedures

Search Committee members have the following responsibilities: 

  1. Attend all meetings and maintain appropriate confidentiality about search committee proceedings;
  2. Become familiar with the nature of the position, position responsibilities and requirements;
  3. Assist in the recruitment process, including personal contacts;
  4. Review all applications and make an objective evaluation of applicants’ suitability for the position;
  5. Participate in discussions for the purpose of screening and selection of candidates;
  6. Assist the Chair with travel accommodations and interviewing schedules;
  7. Participate in observing demonstration classes or seminars and formal interviews;
  8. Complete evaluation forms for candidates’ demonstration classes or seminars and for the formal interview;
  9. Make telephone calls to reference as assigned by chair and make reports to the entire committee;
  10. Participate in final evaluation and formulation of recommendation to the Vice President or Dean/Director.
  11. The Committee also has a role in welcoming the new hire. Members of the committee should contact the new hire as they are settling on campus. This contact may be by telephone, e-mail or preferably in person. It is even appropriate to invite the new hire to lunch. An effort should be made to maintain casual contact throughout the year.

Conflicts of Interest: 

Persons who should not be part of a particular search committee include those who may have a personal interest in the position or who could be viewed as having a conflict of interest involving applicants or potential applicants for the position. Even the appearance of a conflict of interest should be avoided. If a family member or other close ally is a potential applicant, the member should excuse him/herself from committee membership.

Special Note on Confidentiality: 

Maintenance of Confidentiality is absolutely essential through the entire search process. Members owe a duty of care to the University and to one another to protect absolutely the freest expression of opinion in committee deliberations without fear that comments will be shared with others outside the committee. Especially in discussing candidates, every remark must be taken as privileged. Committee deliberations and decisions are to be held in strict confidence until public disclosure is necessary for conduct of on-campus interview and for final selection. Disclosure must only be on a need-to-know basis.

Questions for the Interview: 


Legal Questions
(Permissible Inquiries)

Illegal Questions
(Not Permissible Inquiries)


Voluntary submission of applicant survey and data collection for is permissible for statistical purpose.
What is your race? How would you define your race?
Inquiries about, or indicating, the applicant’s race or color, including the color of the applicant’s skin, eyes, hair etc., are not permitted.
You may inquire about availability for weekend work and/or whether the applicant can meet the specified work commitment.
What is your religion? What church do you attend? Which religious holidays do you observe?
Inquiries about, or indicating, applicant’s religion, such as church location or religious holidays observed are not permissible.
Whether the applicant can meet the specified work commitment.
Inquire/restriction of employment is permissible only when a bona fide occupational qualification (BFOQ) exists. The burden of proof that a BFOQ does exist and that all members of the affected class are incapable of performing the job. (The BFOQ exception is interpreted narrowly by courts and the EEOC)
Are you male or female?
Inquiries about or indicating the applicant’s sex or gender are not permissible.
(Sex is considered a BFOQ for jobs that involve physical labor, such as heavy lifting, nor for jobs traditionally associate with one gender).
Sexual Orientation
Inquiries about, or indicating the applicant’s sexual orientation, are not permissible.
If Hired, can you show proof that you are at least 18 years of age?
Whether the applicant meets the minimum age requirements as set by law. (If a minor, require proof of age in form of work permit or certificate of age. Proof of age can be required of applicants only AFTER hire, and applicants can be informed of this requirement during the interview.
How old are you? When were you born? When did you graduate from high school?
Inquiries about or indicating applicant’s age, such as date of birth, graduation from high school or retirement. Requirement that applicant produce proof of age in the form of birth certificate or baptismal record. (Age Discrimination Act of 1967)
Arrest or Conviction of a Crime
Have you ever been convicted of a crime? You must state that a conviction will be considered only as it relates to fitness to perform the job being sought.
Inquire into actual convictions that relate reasonably to fitness to perform a particular job. (A conviction is a court ruling in which the party is found guilty as charged. An arrest is merely the apprehension and detention of the person to answer the alleged crime.
Of what country are you a citizen? Where were you born? Where are your parents from? What kind of last name is ____?
What is your heritage?
General inquiries about or indicating disability (i.e. DO you have a disability). Questions about disabilities of family members, worker’s compensation, length of absence from previous employment due to illness, treatment by a psychiatrist or counselor.
Citizenship or Nationality
If hired, will you be able to prove that you are either a United States citizen or are otherwise legally permitted to work in the United State? Yes or No.
Inquiries of whether the applicant is a United States citizen or is otherwise legally permitted to work in the United States are permissible. Proof of eligibility to work in the US will be required before being placed on the payroll.
Of what country are you a citizen? Where were you born? Where are your parents from? What kind of last name is ____?
What is your heritage?
Inquiries about the applicant’s country of citizenship, the citizenship or naturalization of the applicant’s parents or spouse, the applicant’s ancestry, national origin, birthplace, or mother tongue are not permissible.
Are you able to perform the core functions of this job with or without reasonable accommodation? Show the applicant the position description so that he/she can give an informed answer.
Whether the applicant is able to perform the duties of the job with or without reasonable accommodation. It is generally impermissible to ask if accommodations are required, unless the employer knows the applicant has a disability (such as an obvious disability or the applicant’s voluntary admission of one).
Do you have any disabilities? Are you in good health? Have you ever been treated by a psychiatrist or counselor?
General inquiries about, or indicating disability (i.e. Do you have a disability). Questions about disabilities of family members, worker’s compensation, length of absence from previous employment due to illness, treatment by a psychiatrist or counselor.
Family Status
Do you have any responsibilities that would conflict with job attendance or travel requirements?
Whether the applicant can meet specified work schedules or has other commitments or responsibilities that might interfere with the work attendance requirement.
Are you married? What is your spouse’s name? What is your maiden name? Do you have children? Are you pregnant? What are your childcare arrangements?
Inquiries about or indicating applicant’s marital status, number or age of children, pregnancy, intention to have children, or any such question that would either directly or indirectly result in the limitation of the job opportunity in any way.


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