Appraisal Interview

The following information refers to a structured, Human Resources managed oral board processes. It does not apply to selection interviews managed by hiring departments.

Appraisal Interview & Certification Process

This fact sheet has been prepared to provide you with information about the City of Santa Rosa's appraisal interview and certification process. Depending on the type of position you apply for, the appraisal interview process may be the only, or just one of many components of the examination process. Other components of an examination process may consist of, but are not limited to: a written examination; a physical agility test; a performance test; an assessment center; and, as a post job offer screening process, a psychological evaluation; a polygraph test; a medical examination; and/or a background investigation.

The types of components anticipated in a testing process, as well as the weight each component carries, are usually outlined in the announcement for that job. The job announcement will give you a good idea of what to expect as well as any testing dates if they have been scheduled. The appraisal interview is one of the more frequently used methods of testing, and is generally weighted heavily when it is used. It may count as part of, or 100% of your final score. Your final score determines your placement on the eligible or hiring list.

During the appraisal interview process, candidates will go through a structured interview, where they will be interviewed by one or more individuals, who are usually subject matter experts in the field for which you are testing.

Job Related Qualifications

During the appraisal interview process, the interview panel will focus on a candidate's job related qualifications for the position. Therefore, it would be to your advantage to research the position in advance in order to determine what knowledge and skills may be evaluated during the interview process.

Oral Responses

Each candidate will be asked the same basic set of questions, with some follow-up questioning based on the answers given. Although copies of candidates' applications will be available for review, they will be used only as a resource tool, not as a basis for rating. However, prior to beginning the interview, the panel members may ask you to explain any gaps in employment or clarify any inconsistencies related to your job history on your application. Hopefully, you will have done a thorough job documenting your job history on your employment application. Ratings will be based only on candidates' oral responses to the questions. The panel will not be able to accept for evaluation any additional materials brought to the interview. Remember, this is an oral test, so do not rely on your application materials to "say it for you." You must articulate whatever it is you want the panel to know about your qualifications for the position.

Because the interview time is limited, candidates should try to keep their answers to the questions as concise and as well organized as possible, but at the same time, you need to provide the panel with enough information about your qualifications so they can accurately rate you. Remember that, if you are invited to an interview, you will be asked to discuss your qualifying background during the interview, so be sure you have taken the time to arrange your thoughts and know exactly what you are going to say. Also, remember to relate your background to the job for which you are applying.

Personal Appearance

Personal appearance needs to be considered. While it is not a factor that is measured in the testing process, it is important to present oneself in a professional manner in an oral testing situation, and dressing appropriately is a must. Casual attire, such as jeans or sweatsuits, is not considered professional attire for an oral interview.

Closing Statements

At the conclusion of an interview, the panel will ask if there's anything a candidate wishes to add. This is an opportunity to make a closing statement briefly summarizing your qualifications or reinforcing your interest in the position. If there is some particular factor that qualifies you for the job but was not covered in the interview, this is the time to mention it to the panel.

Determining Eligibility

This interview process does not determine which person gets the job; the final selection will be made by the hiring department. The purpose of the interview panel is to determine whether or not a candidates is qualified to be on the eligible list, and to rank the candidates relative to each other.

Candidates successful in the appraisal interview process will proceed to the next phase of the examination process according to the selection process outlined in the job announcement.


Once you complete all the components of the testing process, you will be notified by mail or email (depending on your preference) the result and information pertaining to the next step in the hiring process. When an eligible list is established, it is generally active for a minimum of six months. Notification for additional openings while the list is active will also be by phone, mail or email, so it is important to remember to notify the Human Resources Department as soon as possible if you have a change of contact information.


If you have any questions or concerns regarding the City of Santa Rosa's interview process, please contact the Human Resources Department at 707-543-3060.

Good luck in your career endeavors!