What’s In a Question?

Photo by Matt Walsh on Unsplash

A well-formed question can tell a lot about a candidate. “Asking good questions is the path to insightful learning,” wrote Adrian Gonzalez. One of the often overlooked items in a hiring process is the questions we ask candidates. Hiring season is fast approaching in schools. It’s time to prepare. Questions can tell us a lot about a candidate. If you ask the right questions, you can learn a lot about a candidate. Your questions also reveal a lot about your institution. Questions are just one very important data-gathering point of the hiring process. 

Steps to forming questions:

  • Be grounded in your school’s mission and strategic vision. Keep it at the forefront of your mind while forming your questions. Form questions that will grow your community.
  • Think about what qualities, skills, and understandings you are looking for in a candidate. 
  • Create questions that will uncover or gather data around these qualities, skills, and understandings.
  • As you form each question, consider why you are asking it and what data it will get you.
  • Consider creating a rubric for the types and quality of responses so hiring group members can all evaluate each candidate based on their responses as one point of the process.
  • Ask yourself: Are these questions accessible to all candidates? Do these questions make assumptions about someone’s background?

Take the time for this thought process. This is just one important part of the jigsaw puzzle of hiring. Asking the right questions can highlight the right candidates.