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Kingsport City Manager Search Interview Training

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Reviewed Date: June 09, 2021

Original Author: 
Hardy, Pat
Date of Material: 
Apr 10, 2014

Personnel--Selection and recruitment
City manager

Kingsport City Manager Search Interview Training

MTAS was asked to provide guideline a city manager interview process.

Kingsport City Manager Search Interview Training

1. The interview is a 2-way street:

We want to know:
a. Does the candidate have the skills to do the job we want done?
b. Does the candidate have the personal qualities and characteristics that fit the needs of the Kingsport organization and the community?

The candidate wants to know:
a. Is this the right job for me?
b. How will I feel about living and working here?

2. Common Interviewing Pitfalls:

a. Asking leading questions.
b. Making decisions too early in the interview.
c. Talking too much and listening too little. The candidate should do the vast majority of talking.
d. Failing to manage the interview. Keep it on track and under control.
e. Allowing one factor, positive or negative, to exert undue influence. Try to consider the person within the total framework of their personality and professional competency.
f. Failing to probe and ask follow-up questions when a response is incomplete or confusing.
g. Judging the candidate solely on personality or solely on skills.

3. Things to Do During the Interview:

a. Be yourself.
b. Probe with additional questions if necessary.
c. Take notes.
d. Put questions in a behavior-based format.
e. Move on…

4. Things We Cannot Ask During the Interview:

a. Questions about a disability.  -- The nature of one, extent of it, condition causing it, any prognosis or expectation regarding it, whether the candidate would need treatment or special leave because of it, whether the candidate needs accommodations
b. Gender.
c. Race, color, national origin, or ancestry.
Inquiries about a candidate’s name that would indicate national origin, etc.
d. Age.
e. Religion.
f. Marital or family status.

5. Our Interviews:

a. Schedule.
b. Review of our process.
  • Mayor introduces.
  • “Round robin.”
  • Don’t hesitate to move on.
c. Review of questions.


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Information written by MTAS staff was based on the law at the time and/or a specific sets of facts. The laws referenced may have changed and/or the technical advice provided may not be applicable to your city or circumstances. Always consult with your city attorney or an MTAS consultant before taking any action based on information posted to this website.