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Cornell University

Kickoff & Interview Resources


What are Kickoffs?

A Kickoff is an informational presentation that Human Resources gives to all members of search committees. These presentations are mandatory for every new position that is opened and posted to Workday. The information provided includes topics such as:

  • An overview of the recruitment process
  • Affirmative Action Plan
  • Equal Employment Opportunity Goals
  • Unlawful Inquiries
  • Workday Assessments 
  • And more!

When do Kickoffs happen?

Kickoffs are scheduled after the new position is posted in Workday and before interviews take place. When the Kickoff is finished, search committees may commence candidate interviews. Here are some important things to remember:

  • DO NOT select a final hire before a Debrief has taken place
  • Notify your HR representative of the dates for each interview
  • Complete the Workday Assessments assigned to each candidate
  • When requesting to disposition certain candidates, include your reasonings

How should I prepare?

Please review the items your HR representative has uploaded to the respective search's Box folder and come prepared to ask questions about the recruitment process steps, candidate eligibility, and any other items you would like more information about.

More Kickoff Resources

Unconscious Bias CU Learn Course - Enroll Now

Cornell Equal Employment and Affirmative Action - Learn More


How should I write interview questions?

The best interview questions are job-related, behavioral, and open-ended. Here are some ways to begin each question:

  • Tell me about a time when...
  • What is a past example of when you...
  • Describe your experience in...

To allow room for asking candidates for clarification, include optional follow-up questions. Here are some examples:

  • What did you learn from this experience?
  • What is something you would have done differently?

If the candidate gives vague responses, here are some examples of probing questions:

  • Can you tell me what you meant by [x]?
  • When you say, "[y]" can you please elaborate? 
  • Please give me an example.

How do I optimize interview questions?

It can be difficult to assess candidate strengths and weaknesses in a way that best serves not only you as the interviewer but also your team's ultimate goals and objectives. Below are a few questions to ask yourself when designing interview questions:

  • Are there any technical skillsets we are looking for?
  • Are there any skills gaps that a new hire could fill?
  • What are some qualities (knowledge, skills, abilities, and other characteristics) of our highest performers?
  • How do I see this new hire contributing to our team 6 months to 1 year down the road?

More Interviewing Resources

Sample Questions - Skills for Success

Unlawful Inquiries - Learn More

Best Practices - Learn More