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Resource Guide for Recruiting Excellent and Diverse Faculty
Appendix 4: Sample Interview Questions
First, are there any questions we can answer for you?
About the candidate as a person:
- What are your long-term career objectives?
- How would you describe yourself as a person?
- What do you consider your greatest achievement to be? Why?
- What are your strengths? Weaknesses?
- What do you look for in an organization or college?
- What are your salary expectations?
- What kind of reference would your current (previous) employer give you?
- Describe your leadership abilities.
- What is your greatest failure? Why?
- What character traits do you value most in others?
About the candidate’s background:
- What functions or tasks in your last position didn’t you like? Why?
- Which functions and tasks do you enjoy most? Why?
- How do you feel about your career progress to date?
- What are some areas in which your current (or most recent) supervisor thinks you could improve?
- What have you accomplished in your present (or most recent) position?
- Why are you changing positions?
- What has been your previous experience in mentoring?
About the candidate and your college:
- What interests you about this position/this college/this department?
- What are your concerns about this position/this college/this department?
- What contributions can you make to our college/department?
- Why should I hire you (vs. other candidates)?
- The university is committed to building a culturally diverse environment. How would you further this goal?
- How have multicultural issues influenced and/or been a part of your teaching, research and/or outreach?
About the candidate’s supervisory or management skills (if applicable):
- What are your budget responsibilities?
- How would your staff describe you as a supervisor?
- Have you discharged anyone? How did you handle the situation?
- What is your supervisory style?
- What is your most difficult supervisory responsibility? Why?
- What is your basic teaching philosophy?
- Provide a general overview of your teaching experience. What courses have you taught?
- What courses would you like to teach?
- Provide specific examples of past challenges you encountered in teaching undergraduates.
- Have you participated in any teaching preparatory program (e.g., Preparing Future Faculty)? If so, describe your experience.
- How do you address different learning styles? Different cultural backgrounds in teaching?
- Describe your research.
- What would graduate students learn in your laboratory? What kinds of experiments/methods would they perform?
- Where do you see your research in five years?
- What are your most promising sources of funding?
- How do collaborations influence the future directions of your research?
- Who might you collaborate with here on campus? Would you have other collaborators outside the university?
- Tell us how your research has influenced your teaching.
- In what ways have you been able to bring the insights of your research to your courses?
- What is the status of any manuscripts or grant proposals in progress?
- For senior candidates: How many students have you graduated from your lab? What is the status of your current students?
- What are your space and equipment requirements?
- Describe your experience in professional practice or outreach.
- Who do you consider your clientele or stakeholders?
- How does professional practice/outreach integrate with/influence your teaching and or research?