An Interview Question

I wonder what you think about an interview questions that I asked teacher candidates.

During my career I  interviewed hundreds of teacher candidates for  teaching positions. In the district where I was principal we would have 500 applications for the next teaching position. It was obvious that we could not interview everyone who had applied. After reviewing all of the applications approximately 15 people were selected for an initial interview that lasted 30 minutes.

When preparing interview questions I focused on one of my primary beliefs that every question asked should have a purpose and should fall under one of three categories: Knowledge, Skills, Dispositions.

Following my retirement from public education I was fortunate to teach at the graduate level. One of the courses I taught was School Personnel where we discussed interviewing and the questions that could be asked of candidates. Graduate students were reminded that the interviewer had only 30 minutes (or less) of questioning to determine who should be brought back for a second interview.

One question that seemed to be controversial for some graduate students and for some colleagues that I have shared my experience with was: “What do you think about the impact that the great educator Toth  from Texas has had on student learning?” The question was completely bogus. However, some candidates actually responded in the affirmative. The successful candidates responded they did not know.

Since all of my questions had a purpose ( in my mind) this question was designed and asked to determine if the candidate was honest, an important part of their dispositions. As a Principal I wanted to have teachers working with me who I knew  would be honest and straight forward in sharing information. The bottom line, I wanted to be able to trust what they were telling me was the truth. However, I have had some people tell me that this was an unfair question and should not have been used. I am curious to hear what you think.

May today’s trail be a happy one for you—Herb








This entry was posted in General News & Information. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply