Participating in leadership interviews is an important task for faculty and staff. In today’s campus environments, as we arise from the challenges of the pandemic and look to the future, leadership will be essential from those in positional authority.
However, like many other tasks that fall under the concept of “other duties as assigned,” there is rarely effective direction on how to participate in the process effectively.
Following are a few dos and don’ts when the opportunity to participate in selecting new leaders comes along.
It is important to treat all the candidates equitably. Don’t just go to selected interviews. Try to attend all of them. If possible, attend in the same way as well. Attending virtually will not give you the same information as attending physically. When you attend a physical interview, you can often see how the candidate prepares for the event. If they are early, do they introduce themselves around the room or sit in a corner and look at their phone. Oh–before I forget, turn your phone off during the interview, or leave it in your office.
Try to come prepared and review all of the information on the candidate ahead of time. A note to the human resources folks–ask the candidates to provide a summary, profile, or CV for distribution. When HR creates a summary, it risks errors in the materials and may not focus on what the candidate would want to focus on.
Particularly with regard to internal candidates, try to treat them the same as external candidates. Don’t spend time chatting about campus issues. Treat them the same as external candidates working only off the information that is provided about the candidate. It often takes a lot to step forward internally, so provide the internal candidates the same opportunity to share their experience and vision.