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Effective Interviewing. . . . . . Objectives. Create an effective interview and candidate evaluation process Develop a series of competency-based interview questions Create school-specific scenario questions to challenge candidates Practice probing questions and techniques

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objectives

Objectives

Create an effective interview and candidate evaluation process

Develop a series of competency-based interview questions

Create school-specific scenario questions to challenge candidates

Practice probing questions and techniques

Practice identifying excellent answers

agenda
Agenda

Resume Review

Developing Questions

Differentiating Your Interview

Recognizing Good Answers

Creating Scenarios

Probing Questions

Interviewer Bias and Unlawful Interview Questions

look for 4 key elements when evaluating a resume
Look for 4 Key Elements When Evaluating A Resume

Grammar &Organization

  • Is the resume presented in a professional manner?
  • Are there obvious spelling, grammar or syntax errors?
  • Is the information organized clearly and logically?
  • Is the resume up to date?
  • Does the person currently have a job?
  • What is the length of each job held?
  • Are there substantial gaps of time between jobs?

Dates of

Employment

  • What is the nature and overall length of their teaching experience? (summer school, tutoring, full time, lead teaching?)
  • Are there examples of classroom-based achievements?
  • Did the candidate take on multiple responsibilities at once? (including school related leadership positions)
  • What awards, merits or distinctions has the candidate earned?
  • Is there a considerable career shift to or from teaching?

Experience

(including extra-curricular activities)

  • Will this person be licensed when the position begins?
  • Does the candidate have advanced degrees? Is that degree in a subject-relevant field?
  • Type of educational training (traditional, alternative, etc.)

Education

&

Certification

in addition look for these and other red flags so that you can ask appropriate follow up questions

In addition, look for these and other red flags so that you can ask appropriate follow-up questions

Sample resume/cover letter follow-up questions to common red flags

Inconsistent work pattern: I’d like to get a better understanding of your employment history. I see that you have held a number of positions over the past years – could you tell me what you did not like about each position? What factors led you to leave each position?

Started a job in the middle of the school year: What were you doing prior to taking this job?

Left a job in the middle of the school year: Why did you leave this job before the end of the school year (really push for specific reasons)?

Only has temporary or substitute positions: Prior to substitute teaching, were you actively seeking permanent employment? Why did you take a job as a substitute?

Off-color / inappropriate comments in the cover letter: What did you mean when you wrote [quote]?

using a review sheet can help to standardize reviews rank candidates and prepare for the interview
Using a review sheet can help to standardize reviews, rank candidates and prepare for the interview
agenda1
Agenda
  • Resume Review
  • Developing Questions
  • Differentiating Your Interview
  • Recognizing Good Answers
  • Creating Scenarios
  • Probing Questions
  • Interviewer Bias and Unlawful Interview Questions
it is important to be strategic when developing your questions
It is important to be strategic when developing your questions

Provide evidence for one or more of the competencies you’ve chosen for your selection model

Encourage the candidate to discuss specific examples in all of their answers

Be connected to specific, observable indicators that you previously identified for each of your competencies

Allow you to illicit evidence from candidates of all skill levels and backgrounds

Strong questions should…

sample standard interview questions by competency
Sample standard interview questions by competency

Teaching Ability

Describe a recent lesson that did not go well.

  • What had you hoped to accomplish during this lesson?
  • If you were asked to teach this lesson again, what would you do differently?
  • Achievement
  • After your first year of teaching at our school, how will you look back and know that you have succeeded?
    • What other measures could you use?
  • School Fit
  • What challenges do you anticipate facing next year?
    • What strategies would you employ to deal with such challenges?
determining your interview questions
Determining your Interview Questions

Activity

Now that we’ve discussed the types of questions you can ask, we are going to give you time to build an interview question bank.

Develop 1-2 questions for each competency.

1

Determine the order of your questions. Those which are more involved or require more thought should be asked later in the interview so that interviewer and interviewee have a chance to “warm up.”

2

Be sure to have a mix of questions so that you can assess each competency. For a 30 minute interview, you should aim to ask 5-6 questions (allowing time for responses and follow up questions).

3

questions you plan to use
Questions you plan to use

Competency

Question

agenda2
Agenda

Resume Review

Developing Questions

Differentiating Your Interview

Recognizing Good Answers

Creating Scenarios

Probing Questions

Interviewer Bias and Unlawful Interview Questions

for each of the following candidate types what would you look for in an interview
For each of the following candidate types, what would you look for in an interview?

Activity

Experienced Teachers

Traditionally Prepared New Teachers

Teachers in Alternative Certification Programs

some teachers have actual teaching experience to discuss during an interview
Some teachers have actual teaching experience to discuss during an interview
  • Ask for specific examples of teaching experiences, struggle and successes
  • Use specific classes and students
  • Ask about successful classroom management strategies they have used
  • Ask about their education/classroom philosophy
  • Ask about their work/interactions with their colleagues

Experienced Teachers

  • Ask for teaching success that they have observed and why they think it was successful
  • Ask about specific classroom management strategies they are planning to use and why they plan to use that strategy
  • Ask for examples from their student teaching experiences, but understand that not all student teaching experiences are the same

Traditionally Prepared New Teachers

for teachers who do not yet have classroom teaching experience ask scenario questions
For teachers who do not yet have classroom teaching experience, ask scenario questions
  • Ask questions about their content knowledge and how they would share that with their students
  • Ask scenario based questions, especially about classroom management
  • Ask questions that get at their general approach to students, parents and colleagues
  • Ask about their experiences with children outside of the classroom
  • Ask what training they will receive. Keep in mind that most of these candidates will learn instructional strategies during summer training

Teachers in Alternative Certification Programs

you can customize the same question for different types of candidates
You can customize the same question for different types of candidates

Competency: Achievement

Indicators: Sets and meets academic goals with students; Provides examples of success in increasing student achievement

Experienced teachers: What classes did you teach last year? Tell me about your goals for X class? Did you reach them? How do you know?

New teachers: How will you know if you have been successful in your first year of teaching?

Activity

Review the questions you chose earlier and identify one to customize by experience level.

agenda3
Agenda

Resume Review

Developing Questions

Differentiating Your Interview

Recognizing Good Answers

Creating Scenarios

Probing Questions

Interviewer Bias and Unlawful Interview Questions

responses can fall into four general categories
Responses can fall into four general categories

Response

Next Step

  • Provides abundant evidence supporting the desired competency or indicator(s)
  • Move on to next question

Excellent

  • Provides some positive evidence of the desired competency or indicator(s), but there are gaps in information or an inconsistent pattern
  • Probe - ask additional follow-up or probing questions to gather additional evidence

Strong

  • Probe - Offer the candidate a chance to clarify his/her position, provide additional evidence or demonstrate the response is not acceptable
  • Provides some generally negative evidence of the desired indicator(s) or very limited positive evidence

Weak

  • Candidate provides abundant negative evidence of the desired indicator(s)
  • Document evidence and move on to the next question or competency

Poor

tips and best practices
Tips and best practices

Best Practices

Tips to Remember

  • If you want to know more about a candidate’s experience, ask another question
  • Follow your selection model
  • Take notes
  • Determine your key indicators
  • Identify your non-negotiables
  • Consider recording your first few interviews to review candidates’ responses
  • Work closely with your selection team
  • Good answers may change by school
  • Determine if the candidate answered the question that was asked
  • It’s not about saying something specific or getting an answer exactly right
  • Candidate’s experiences and strengths may be good but not relevant
  • Focus on the ability to teach the content
what does a good response look like
What does a good response look like?

Example: Competency – Teaching Ability

  • Strong or excellent answer shows evidence of the following indicators: conveys ideas and information clearly, provides reasonable examples of effective lesson-planning, instructional strategies, and/or student assessment, makes content meaningful, sets concrete, ambitious goals for student achievement, indicates confidence all students should be held to high standards, reflects on successes and failures
  • May also present evidence of other competencies, i.e. communication skills, critical thinking

Example

    • Question #1: Tell me about a lesson that you taught last week/yesterday?
    • A strong answer may include:
    • A clearly explained objective
    • Measurable assessment
    • Indication that the candidate understands differentiation
    • All activities directly related to meeting the objective
  • A weak answer may include:
  • An unclear objective
  • “Fluff” activities that are not aligned to the objective
  • A very simplistic lesson
  • A lesson that did not meet the needs of all learners
agenda4
Agenda

Resume Review

Developing Questions

Differentiating Your Interview

Recognizing Good Answers

Creating Scenarios

Probing Questions

Interviewer Bias and Unlawful Interview Questions

slide22
Questions that ask candidates to provide a step by step solution to a difficult scenario are particularly effective

They allow you to evaluate a candidate’s ability to handle challenges unique to your school

They require the candidate to think beyond a scripted response

They give candidates a realistic picture of the culture and challenges at your school

They can be tailored to ask about the exact strengths you are looking for based on your selection model

every scenario has three basic parts

Every scenario has three basic parts
  • Example : It’s the third month of your first year of teaching. In order to further assist your struggling students, you began offering an hour of your time before and after school. That time has definitely increased their progress, but the additional two hours has taken away all of your free time. Now the other teacher in your grade will be out for a few months, and the principal has asked you to take on some of her students –most of which are behind the students in your class. What would you do?

The Set-up: A brief explanation of the teacher’s situation, describing both the problem as well as additional details you want them to consider such as time of year or class size

Complex Problems: A successful scenario poses more than one problem to demonstrate both realistic expectations as well as to have the candidate reveal what their priorities are in the given situation

A Clear Question: Though the problem is complex, it should be obvious to the candidate what you expect them to answer

identifying strong responses to scenarios
Identifying Strong Responses to Scenarios

Activity

Review the example provided and identify specific indicators that would be present in a strong response.

tips to keep in mind when developing and asking scenario questions
Use realistic scenarios that have occurred in your school

Consider different scenarios for different types of teachers: elementary, secondary, special education, ESL

Consider different scenarios for different levels of candidate teaching experience

Provide context of the situation, but keep the scenario brief

Expect that the candidate won’t have a perfect solution to the problem. You are looking to make sure that the candidate has the right instincts.

Evaluate both the content of the candidate’s answer (strategies) and her/his reaction to the scenario.

Repeatedly probe the candidates after she/he has given the initial answer: “What would you do if that didn’t work?”

Allow ample time for the candidate to digest the situation and develop an answer.

Tips to keep in mind when developing and asking scenario questions

Asking Scenarios

Developing Scenarios

identify a realistic situation that has happened or could happen to a new teacher at your school
Identify a realistic situation that has happened (or could happen) to a new teacher at your school

Consider using:

  • A common complaint or struggle of new teachers
  • Specific classroom management challenges (i.e. calling out, fights, etc.)
  • Building or site-specific challenges (sharing a building with another school, multiple entrances/exits, distance between classrooms and main office)
  • Peer/parent interaction situations

Activity

  • List 2 specific challenges faced by teachers at your school that might make good scenario questions
  • 2.
slide27
Using one of the challenges you identified, create a scenario and identify the characteristics of a good response

Scenario #1

Activity

  • Be sure to include:
  • The set-up
  • Complex or multiple problems
  • A clear question at the end
  • An excellent answer:
using another challenge create a scenario and identify the characteristics of a good response

?

Using another challenge, create a scenario and identify the characteristics of a good response

Activity

Scenario #2

  • Be sure to include:
  • The set-up
  • Complex or multiple problems
  • A clear question at the end

What additions or changes could you make to use this interview scenario as a writing prompt exercise?

agenda5
Agenda

Resume Review

Developing Questions

Differentiating Your Interview

Recognizing Good Answers

Creating Scenarios

Probing Questions

Interviewer Bias and Unlawful Interview Questions

it s important to carefully listen to and understand a response

It’s important to carefully listen to and understand a response

Repeat back information

Push candidates to expand upon or clarify his or her response

Push candidates to develop a variety of responses and solutions

Allow ample time for candidates to develop a response

DON’T ask leading questions

DON’T interrupt a candidate’s response

DON’T react with facial expressions or body language

general probing questions
General Probing Questions

Can you tell me

more about…?

What do you mean

when you say…?

Can you give me an example

of that?

Would you

do anything else…?

using probing questions
Using Probing Questions

Activity

Using the candidate description below, develop three possible probing questions.

Example:

Charles is a third year teacher moving to San Francisco from Chicago. He received his degree in elementary education.

You ask: Do you think all students should be held to the same expectations?

He replies: That’s a really hard question. Students come to school with so many different talents and experience many challenges outside of school. So, no, I don’t think everyone should be held to exactly the same standard.

Possible probing questions:

1._________________________________________________________________

2._________________________________________________________________

3._________________________________________________________________

agenda6
Agenda

Resume Review

Developing Questions

Differentiating Your Interview

Recognizing Good Answers

Creating Scenarios

Probing Questions

Interviewer Bias and Unlawful Interview Questions

slide34
While evaluating and interviewing candidates, it is extremely important to keep personal bias in check

Interviewer bias occurs when an interviewer focuses on a single aspect of a candidate, preventing an unprejudiced consideration of their ability.

Not all interviewer biases negatively impact the candidate (i.e., a candidate is well received because they went to the same college as the interviewer), however, in either case the bias is falsely used as a proxy for information that should be directly inquired about by the interviewer.

Common biases (either for or against):

  • College attended
  • Political affiliations
  • Appearance or dress
  • Certification route
  • Previous employers
  • Age
  • Geographic location
interview errors frequently occur in any hiring process
Interview errors frequently occur in any hiring process
  • Positive-Negative Leniency Error: Interviewer tends to be too hard or too easy on everyone.
  • Trait Error: Interviewer tends to be too hard or too easy on a given competency or event (i.e. Teaching Ability or writing sample).
  • Repetition Error: “This candidate reminds me of the last 20 candidates.”
  • Sympathy Score: Interviewer thinks “Well, they were trying really hard and they are really enthusiastic.”
  • Order Effects: If you have just seen 7 bad candidates, the average one seems like “Teacher of the Year.”

--Adapted from Culham and Spandel (1993)