Resources and Tips for Interviewing and Hiring Students

Everything you need to take prospective students through the interviewing and hiring process.

Interviewing Students

Mastering job interview skills is a major step in a student’s progress toward becoming an able and self-assured participant in the world of work. The process of applying for a position and discussing his/her own qualifications and skills gives the student experience and confidence, which will assist in obtaining summer and post-graduate employment.

The main purpose of the interview is to determine if the student is capable of filling your employment needs. It also allows the student the opportunity to determine whether he or she feels qualified and comfortable with the position.

During the interview, both parties should come to an understanding of the expectations and style of the other person. Information can be gained that is not only vital to assigning the student to a particular position, but also instrumental in determining future training and supervisory needs.

  • Prepare for the interview by reviewing materials you will use. Know the job description. The more familiar you are with the description, the more useful the interview will be in selecting an employee.
  • Try to create a friendly, comfortable atmosphere. Be aware of body language - both yours and the student’s.
  • Emphasize a relaxed, conversational attitude. Use eye contact and smile. Most job applicants are a bit nervous when applying for a position, so devoting a few moments to putting the student at ease with “small talk” is often appropriate.
  • Structure the interview to the functions and responsibilities of the job. Be sure you ask the questions necessary to verify that the student has the qualifications needed.
  • Secure some basic information about the student’s class schedule and work background.
  • Have a written copy of the job description for the student to review. This will allow the student to organize his/her thoughts and be prepared to answer the questions posed in the interview and to formulate his/her own questions.
  • After the basic information has been obtained, further questions are often necessary to determine levels of skills or degrees of talent. Encourage the student to talk by using open-ended questions
  • Discuss goals and plans by using “why” questions whenever possible to help discover basic student motivation, values, or plans for the future.

Some example questions and a list of questions you cannot ask are found in the document below:

file-outline Interview Questions - interview_questions.pdf (450.86 KB)

Create informative job descriptions.

Creating informative job descriptions not only makes it easier for you to verbalize what you are looking for in a student employee, but allows students with the desired skills to hone in on the position you need. In general the more information you can provide, the happier you and your future employees will be. Here are sample Job Postings for various departments and job series around the Ithaca campus.

Implement a comprehensive discipline policy and reporting system.

Supervisors may implement a Discipline Policy, such as this example, for student employees to review. In the event of policy violations, supervisors may complete a Discipline Report, such as this example in order to record policy violations.

Mandatory Training

Student Employees are required to complete a mandatory Workplace Harassment training via Everfi. After your student employees attend a New Student Employment Program ("NSEP") session,  a link will be sent to them for completion of the training. Likewise, this training must be completed annually, so each year they continue to work, they will continue to receive the training. Please allow your student employees time to complete this training during their working hours. If you have questions, or your student has not received a link to this training, please email studentemployment@ithaca.edu