21 Interview Questions That Will Help you Find Effective College Professors

For over a decade, I served as an education professor, department chair, and dean of education. Because of this, I understand how important it is to have a department or school staff that is made up of quality faculty members. Without them, you can’t carry out your mission of preparing students to realize their aspirational career goals.

Also, for an institution of higher education and its individual schools and departments to stay accredited, they must demonstrate that their professors are qualified for the position, hold the proper credentials, and have a track record of producing positive student outcomes.

If you are a faculty member (i.e., professor, director, department chair, or dean) in charge of leading the search for a new professor, how can you be sure that you are hiring an effective instructional leader, every time, without fail? The key is asking the right questions during the interview process. Let’s look at 21 interview questions that will help you find quality professors.

  1. Tell us about an encouraging educational innovation that you are aware of. Why is it innovative, what value will it bring to our university, and what have you done to incorporate it into your teaching?
  2. What led you to choose to be a professor of (insert academic discipline)?
  3. What inspires you to do your best?
  4. What type of institution of higher education would be a good fit for you?
  5. If you could instruct any college course, what would it be?
  6. What attracted you to apply for this position at our university?
  7. What do think is the perfect role of teaching, research, and service for a university professor?
  8. What percentage of your time do you spend on teaching, research, and service? Please include the percentage weights for each.
  9. Discuss your research interests and how you envision your research envolving over the next decade or so.
  10. What types of resources would you need to complete your research?
  11. What type of journals do you submit your research too? When researching, do you like to collaborate with others or work alone?
  12. How do your research interests align with the departments, school and universities mission?
  13. What is your philosophy of education?
  14. How do you enhance student learning in your classroom?
  15. What teaching strategies and methods do you use in your classroom?
  16. How do you evaluate whether or not students have met your learning outcomes?
  17. How do you incorporate technology into your classroom?
  18. How do you about providing service to your university, your field, and the community?
  19. If you had the power to change one thing in education, what would it be, and how would you go about implementing that change?
  20. Students of color are underrepresented in your field. How do you plan to contribute to the recruitment and retention of minority students?
  21. Professionally, where do you see yourself in ten years?

Well, that’s it for my list. Let me know how it goes.

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