Interview Process

We’ve been interviewing a lot lately between people being relocated with spouses, moving up in the world, staying home with children, etc. Historically, I had been frustrated with what I could glean from the traditional question/answer interview format. It turns out I can pretty much make up any kind of interview process I want now. So I did.

The following is what we did on our last interview. Certainly not perfect but I think it’s on the way to getting us what we want and it’s a big improvement on what we had before.

Part 1

The interview started with a 30 minute inbox activity with two tasks.

Task #1: Respond to an angry email from a parent about filtering.

Task #2: Prepare to present on your philosophy of education. This will be done Ignite style (20 slides, 15 seconds per slide on auto advance). Your slide images have been chosen. You can change the order but that’s it. This will be the opening activity for the interview portion.

Part 2 – The Interview

5 minute Ignite presentationThe Ignite presentation is going to stay. We’ve done that in two interviews now and it seems to actually show something about how people think.
(based on task #2)

10 minute role playing based on this scenario.

15 minutes with these 4 questions.

  • What is the worst thing education is doing with technology? How do you fix that?
  • Changing people’s minds is a difficult, slow process. How do you speed that process up?
  • What is the most exciting thing you see in the future for instructional technology?
  • Describe one thing you don’t like about your current job? What have you done about it?

Comments on this post

  1. tieandjeans said on October 28, 2012 at 10:34 am

    I like the Ignite idea. If we implemented that in our school, they’d get the double challenge of reading the prompt, being interrupted 10 minutes in to planning, and then having to present 3 hours later.

    Interviews at my school are epic, day long affairs.

    I’ve been chewing on this Jeff Atwood essay, wondering how we can build more useful and meaningful screening activities into the pre-interview process.

    http://www.codinghorror.com/blog/2012/03/how-to-hire-a-programmer.html

    I’d like a system that ensures that each candidate who walks on campus is not only qualified, but a good cultural fit for our school. The interview day should be about determining how their presence would change/propel our organization, not providing them details about the job. Conversely, it should be a chance for candidates to see if we actually live by the ideals we express.

    –andrew

    • Tom Woodward said on October 28, 2012 at 10:59 am

      I like that quite a bit. We’ve made some improvements in terms of understanding candidates but we still offer very little understanding to the candidates about our district. I need to think about that more.

      I’ve been on the receiving end of two day long interviews at different locations and found them fairly entertaining but I’m not sure they ended up knowing all that much more about me. I think I did learn about them but that was more incidental than intentional.

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