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Interview & Selection

Page updated 10 August 2022

This section contains summary information on all aspects of the Interview & Selection process from board formation to offers and contracts. The information in this section is primarily aimed at those setting up and running the interview process. For an applicant / candidate perspective visit the Work at UCD site.

Below is a high-level outline of the interview & Selection process which also notes key actions to be completed.

Step 1: Formation of Interview Board

  • Complete Board of Assessors Form

Step 2: Interview Board prepares shortlist

  • View board pack through ESS.
  • Submit shortlisting sheet to UCD HR Resourcing

Step 3: UCD HR Resourcing contacts shortlisted candidates regarding their interview

Step 4: Interview (+optional presentation)

  • Board completes scoresheets

Step 5: Choose recommended candidate

  • Board completes Recommendation Form

Step 6: Feedback

  • Board issues feedback via HR (if requested)

Step 7: UCD HR requests further candidate information as part of the post interview process

Step 8: Contractual discussions / contract issued

The Assessment Board assesses all applications against pre-defined Selection Criteria. These criteria are identified early on in the process when creating the post, or when preparing a post for backfilling.

Board Composition

Assessment board composition varies according to the position on offer. The (opens in a new window)Recruitment & Selection Policy contains detailed information on board composition but an outline of the minimum requirements is provided below:

Type of post Internal Assessors External Assessors
UMT / Full Professor / Professor 4 1
Faculty (including Associate Professor) 3 1
Staff (SAO4 and above) 3 N/A
Staff (up to and including AO1A) 3 N/A
Technical / other 3 N/A
  • The Board Chairperson can increase the size of the board above these mininmum levels at their discretion.
  • External Assessors must be 'external' to UCD and not simply the hiring School / Unit.
  • All boards will have gender representation which is in line with the (opens in a new window)Recruitment & Selection Policy
  • In the case of Staff and Technical posts, the assessors should be operating at a comparative level to the position on offer, unless there is a need for specialised expertise.
Conflict of Interest

To avoid any real or perceived conflict of interest UCD staff involved in recruitment and selection should avoid interviewing and/or making hiring decisions on immediate family. In such circumstances it is expected the board member will resign.

Board members may also have a friendship or some other form of a relationship with one or more candidates. In such cases they should inform the Chairperson. The board can then decide if it is appropriate for that board member to continue.

Further reading in the policy

The (opens in a new window)Recruitment & Selection Policy contains further information on replacing board members, conflict of interest and board composition.

Pre-screening

The Chairperson may request that UCD HR (Resourcing) undertake a screening process whereby all applicants will be assessed prior to the shortlisting meeting. Screening of applications is not mandatory and is an optional step within UCD’s recruitment process but may be useful for entry level posts where a large volume of candidates is expected.  HR will undertake an initial assessment using a selection of requirements which should be clearly referenced in the Job Description.

Shortlisting meeting

Once the application deadline has closed, UCD HR (Resourcing) will create and make available relevant shortlisting documents which will be available on line to each member of the Board of Assessment through their ESS accounts.

Ideally alll members of the board should attend the shortlising. An exeption occurs in the case of External Assessors who will instead be provided with a draft shortlist to approve or add to. Further information on the shortlisting process and scoring is detailed in the recruitment and selection policy.

The Assessment Board will:

  • Agree on and record a final shortlist if unanimous.
  • Include in the shortlist all applicants about whom there is dispute if unanimity cannot be achieved.
  • Consider re-advertising the position if no applicants meet all the essential criteria.
  • Shortlist further, where a substantial number of applicants possess all the essential criteria, to either remove those applicants who do not possess the desirable criteria, and/or rank those candidates who best meet the essential criteria This may include a structured phone screen to finalise the short list.
  • Agree on a set of questions based on the selection criteria, which will form the basis of the Interview Plan.
  • The Assessment Board will ensure that the scoring process is consistent for each candidate

The Chairperson must complete a definitive selection scoresheet in order to verify and record the Board’s decisions. These reports will facilitate any subsequent feedback requests from candidates.

Further reading in the Policy

The (opens in a new window)Recruitment & Selection Policy provides more detailed information on the shortlisting process, pre-screening and associated documentation.

Responsibility for ordering catering for interviews lies with individual schools and units.

  • At a minimum water must be sourced for interviews. This could be arranged locally without the need for catering services.
  • Catering should be ordered at least 3 working days in advance of interviews.
  • Any dietary requirements should be outlined to the catering providers at the time of order.
  • Once an invoice is received, a Purchase Order (PO) must be generated and returned to the catering provider in advance of the order delivery date.
  • The Board must ensure that their venue facilitates catering. If not, an alternative nearby room for catering may need to be sourced.
  • Caterers must be also advised of the collection time of used plates and cutlery.

Any queries on the Procurement policy, approved suppliers and any framework agreements should be directed to the UCD Procurement & Contracts Office

Method of assessment

Interviews are considered to be the primary method of selection but the recruitment & selection policy outlines other forms of assessment which may be of use such as presentations, seminars, psychometric testing, etc.

Interview scheduling
  • The Chairperson is responsible for identifying and booking a suitable location for the interviews to take place.
  • UCD HR (Resourcing) are responsible for scheduling all interviews except in cases where devolved procedures have been agreed with specific schools or units.

Minimum notice requirements are:

  • Non Academic Posts - Local Candidates: 1 week
  • All other posts: 2 weeks

UCD HR (Resourcing) will contact short-listed candidates and confirm their willingness to attend interview.

Determining the recommended candidate

The selection decision should be made based on the outcome of all selection tools and consideration should be given to how candidates rated across all of the areas of the job’s requirements, be that research, publications, teaching, leadership or administrative factors. The best person for the job will not necessarily be the person who performed best in the interview.

Documenting the selection decision

The selection decision and any supporting evidence must be documented.

Scoresheets should comment on the relative merit of recommended applicant(s) on the basis of the selection criteria only. Clear and detailed documentation including qualitative feedback should be agreed by all board members on the scoresheet which will assist if post-interview feedback is requested.

The recommendation sheet is completed and signed by all members of the Assessment Board and returned by the Chairperson to UCD HR (Resourcing) along with any other relevant documentation including notes taken during interviews. The Chairperson also collects all copies of application documents for disposal by UCD HR (Resourcing).

Assessment Board members should be aware that any notes that they make about any of the candidates may be discoverable under Freedom of Information legislation.

Interviewer Training

If you are scheduled to participate in interviews as a Board Member or want to brush up on your technique then take interview panel training is available.

Further reading in the policy

The (opens in a new window)Recruitment & Selection Policy contains further information on the interview process.

At the end of the interview, the interview board must decide if a suitable candidate can be recommended for the post. It should be noted that not every interview results in a recommendation being made.

The interview board should take account of:

  • Performance at interview(s).
  • The written application.
  • Further evidence (for example, alternative forms of assessment such as publications, skills testing, presentation, seminar).
  • Referee reports, where provided in advance.

The selection decision and any supporting evidence must be documented.

Other possible outcomes

  • If the Assessment Board cannot reach agreement on the nominated candidate, the final decision rests with the Chairperson.
  • If the Assessment Board determines that no candidate is deemed to fulfill the criteria for appointment, no appointment will be made.
  • In certain cases the Assessment Board may name a reserve candidate. A reserve candidate should only be identified if the Assessment Board is satisfied that the candidate is can be offered a position without reference back to the Board, if the recommended candidate declines to accept the offer.

Further reading in the Policy

The (opens in a new window)Recruitment & Selection Policy provides more detailed information on the topic of recommendations.

Scoresheets should comment on the relative merit of recommended applicant(s) on the basis of the selection criteria only. Clear and detailed documentation including qualitative feedback should be agreed by all board members on the scoresheet which will assist if post-interview feedback is requested.

The recommendation sheet is completed and signed by all members of the Assessment Board and returned by the Chairperson to UCD HR (Resourcing) along with any other relevant documentation including notes taken during interviews. The Chairperson also collects all copies of application documents for disposal by UCD HR (Resourcing).

Assessment Board members should be aware that any notes that they make about any of the candidates may be discoverable under Freedom of Information legislation.

For more detail on the feedback process please read the (opens in a new window)Recruitment & Selection Policy

The Post Interview Process stage covers a number of distinct processes, outlined below.

Referee Reports

Candidates are required to authorise the University to seek references. No offer of appointment will be made unless satisfactory references have been received by UCD HR (Resourcing).

  • In the case of Academic posts, 2 references will be sought from all short-listed candidates in advance of interview and copies of those received will be made available to all members of the Assessment Board.
  • For other posts, in general, references will only be requested for the recommended candidate(s) following interviews. At a minimum 2 references will be sought. 

If a candidate(s) is less than six months in his or her current post, s/he may nominate a second previous employer.

Verification of qualifications

All candidates applying for a job where a qualification is a mandatory criterion will be requested to provide original academic transcripts to HR Recruitment. An academic transcript lists your complete academic history: programmes attended, courses studied, overall result at the end of each year examination (1H, 2H1, etc.), the degree and conferring date. A breakdown of marks for each subject can also be provided. No other form of verification will be accepted (e.g. degree certificate) and if received will cause a delay in the recruitment process until the correct documentation is received. The cost incurred by an applicant for requesting an academic transcript will not be covered by UCD. For qualifications obtained in UCD, please notify HR Recruitment who can verify these at source.

No appointment will be made unless the UCD HR is satisfied that a candidate's academic qualifications are bona fide.

Pre-Employment Medical

UCD requires that candidates (for appointments equal to or greater than a year) undertake a pre-employment medical assessment as part of its Recruitment and Selection processes.

All information provided is treated in the strictest confidence and will only accessible by our nominated Occupational Health Vendor (OHV).

Garda Vetting

A number of posts in UCD, particularly in the areas of medicine, health, social work and education, require staff to undertake activities that will bring them into contact with children or vulnerable adults.

All recommended candidates who are intended to be employed in an area where they will have access to children and/or vulnerable adults in the course of their employment/engagement must complete the Garda Vetting Form and authorise UCD to conduct a background check via the National Vetting Bureau of the Garda Síochána (Vetting Bureau). The vetting process will be carried out by UCD HR. UCD HR has an Authorised Liaison Person who is the liaison between UCD and the Vetting Bureau (see Garda Vetting Policy for more information).

For more detail on the Post Interview Process please read the (opens in a new window)Recruitment & Selection Policy. Further details on Garda vetting can be found on the Garda vetting page.

Work Permits

Information in relation to Work Permits is available in the Work Permits section.

Offers

The Chair of the Board of Assessment Board may congratulate the successful candidate however they should not commit the University to an appointment at a specified salary. Candidates may be told only that salary will be within the advertised range and that a number of pre employment actions need to be completed before a contract can be issued., The salary recommendation will be made by UCD HR (Resourcing) in consultation with the Head of School or Unit.

Following completion of both Selection and Appointment procedures UCD HR Resourcing Team will formally offer the appointment in question to the Recommended Candidate(s). 

Assessment Board members other than the Chairperson should not contact the successful applicant until after a formal offer has been made by UCD HR (Resourcing).

For more detail on the Offer please read the (opens in a new window)Recruitment & Selection Policy.

Contracts

Initially an offer will be made by email with a commitment to issuing the individual a Contract of Employment as soon as any variable Terms and Conditions are discussed, finalised and agreed; for example. 

  • A salary is determined and offered by UCD HR in accordance with the Department of Finance guidelines. 
  • A commencement date is to be agreed taking into account (in the majority of cases) an appointees commitment to work out a notice period attached to their current employment contract. 
  • Hours of work i.e. Certain part-time posts allow for flexibility so agreement in relation to operational hours is required. Agreement will also be required for appointments operating on a Job-Share basis.

For managers

View or download helpful checklists to assist you with the onboarding of your new team member and setting them up for success in their new role.

Here you will find useful hints/actions to complete prior to joining, first week (induction) and regular follow up.

For new employees

Contact the HR Helpdesk

The HR Helpdesk is the primary point of contact for all your employment-related queries by email and telephone.  We are here to help you with any queries on employee benefits, terms & conditions and HR policies & procedures. If we can’t help you directly we will refer your query to a HR specialist area.

All visitors to UCD HR, Roebuck offices should be by appointment only and arrangements to be made with specific HR staff members.

(opens in a new window)hrhelpdesk@ucd.ie

353-1-716-4900

UCD HR
Roebuck Offices,
UCD Belfield Campus.

UCD Human Resources

Roebuck Offices, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland.
T: +353 1 716 4900 | E: hrhelpdesk@ucd.ie | Location Map(opens in a new window)