Selection Process

As a manager, these are the steps you will need to follow to select a new staff member.

The selection process generally includes 3 steps:

  1. Interviewing
  2. Testing
  3. Checking references


Though the interview process may take time, it is important not to rush it in order to fill the position. You may end up with a result that both you and the candidate are unhappy with. 

The first step in the interview process is to establish the selection committee.  

  • Ideally a committee consists of 2-3 people, but larger panel interviews may be used for higher level positions.
  • The selection committee will shortlist candidates to be interviewed. 

Prepare interview questions relevant to the position, ensuring the questions will provide the information necessary to make an informed decision.  

UBC recommends using Behavioural Interview Questions (PDF). These types of questions focus on what a candidate has done in past situations and is preferred over posing hypothetical questions of what someone would ideally do. Past behavior is a great indicator of future behaviour. 

An interview is important for you to get to know the candidate and also for the candidate to get information about the position and your organization. It is recommended to share information about the position, including the type of person you are looking to fill it. However, this information should only be shared after the questions for the candidate have been completed. You will want to elicit honest information from the candidate about their past experiences, but by telling them up front the type of person that you are looking for they may tailor their answers accordingly.  

Interview notes, testing and references (essentially anything that has information about your selection process) must be kept in a file for one year from the date the position was filled. All candidates have up to one year to request access to these items under the Freedom of Information Act. After one year the file should disposed of in confidential shredding. 

Interview tips:

  • Interviews should generally last 45-60 minutes.
  • Candidates may be requested to come in for a second (and sometimes third) interview.
  • Begin the interview by asking the candidate to “tell me about yourself” or a similar type question. The idea is to help the candidate relax and not jump directly into the questioning.
  • At the beginning of the interview let the candidate know the structure of the interview to help put them at ease. For example, “We have some questions for you and will provide you an opportunity to ask us any questions you might have afterwards”.
  • When inviting a candidate to an interview, be sure to advise them of the size and members of the selection committee, including the name and title of the interviewers. This will allow the candidate to prepare/research for the interview and not to be surprised by larger committees.
  • Also advise the candidate if there will be any testing.  

Article 9.1.4

Under the AAPS agreement, Article 9.1.4 Search for Alternatives (PDF) a UBC HR Advisor will work with an employee who is terminated from the University without cause to find suitable employment alternatives for 3 months. HR may contact you regarding an employee who is exercising their rights under this article that states “an employee who is terminated from the University without cause who has the qualifications for subsequent vacant positions will be ensured of an interview for those positions. 

The manager’s obligation is to interview. However, there is no obligation to hire. You may be asked for reasons as to why you did not hire. 


While candidate testing is not required, it can be a very helpful tool. In-basket testing can be very useful to help evaluate the specific skills and qualifications of candidates. 

Candidate testing is most often associated with CUPE 2950 roles but may also be used for M&P roles as appropriate. An example of when testing may be appropriate for an M&P role is when written communication is a key component of the role, the candidate may be asked to complete a writing sample. 

Testing should be relevant to the position and simulate the actual task required without requiring the candidate to have specific departmental knowledge. Managers must be considerate of the candidate’s time and ensure that testing lasts no more than 1 hour. Testing should be done in a quiet environment where the candidate will not be interrupted. Candidates must be informed ahead of time that there will be testing and provided with the general topics of the testing, such as typing, Word, Excel, communications etc… 

StaffFinders also offers candidate testing

Checking References

1. UBC recommends that hiring managers check 3 direct report references. 

2. Ask open ended questions as much as possible and allow the reference to speak freely. 

The UBC Telephone Reference Check form (PDF) provides some general questions. Also add questions regarding the specific position the candidate is being considered for. For example, if your position requires advanced Excel skills or excellent writing skills, be sure to ask the reference about the candidate’s skills and abilities in these areas. 

3. You must obtain the candidate’s consent to contact references outside of UBC. 

Within UBC we are considered one employer and you may contact previous/current managers for a reference. However, best practice is to also get the employee’s consent before contacting the internal references. It is also important to check with the candidate before calling their current manager to ensure that they have informed their manager they are looking for other employment – you do not want to be the one who advises their manager that an employee is thinking of leaving their current position. 

Some employees may be uncomfortable providing current references until they have a job offer. If you encounter this, inform the candidate that they are your preferred candidate but that you are unable to offer the position prior to speaking with their current supervisor. It will be up to them if they then want to provide the contact information for their current supervisor, but generally it is not recommended to proceed with hiring without the current reference being conducted.  

For more information, consult the Checking References section of the UBC HR website.