Interview Question

My favorite question to ask potential instructional design hirees is, “What is the instructional project you worked on that you are most proud of?” I love to hear about instructional design projects marked by the positive energy they lend to the designer.


2 thoughts on “Interview Question

  1. Zackery

    I was recently thinking about interview questions, and what they are really trying to get out. There are different methods to try and force behavioral based answers. Even going as far as tracking responses in a regimented STARS Method (Situation, Tasks, Actions, Results). I was trying to think one or two end all be all questions to this the other day. Here are a few I came up with:
    -Tell me what you did in your last role that was the biggest “win” for your organization?
    -If you had to pick one thing you did in your last role to go in your life story, what would that be?
    -Work has challenges, challenging people, and we are sometimes challenges to our own success. Tell me a story of overcoming any one of those types of challenges in your previous position. What did you personally do to overcome the challenge, and what should you have done better?
    -What do you want to achieve in your lifetime, what is the journey this role is a stepping stone to?

    These probably wouldn’t work for everyone, but with my personality/style I think they get me responses that I can work with as hiring manager. At these heart of all of these the thing I am trying to dig out of the respondent is, how much do you care about succeeding or not and how much are you willing to invest to be successful?

    Interested to hear your thoughts on my above comments.

  2. robertmulcahy Post author

    Heyya, Zackery. I think of the drive for success in a couple of different dimensions. One is inherent interest. What gives you energy? This is important to know because these are the areas where they will strive to be awesome because it is part of their identity, their brand. The other dimension is “everything else.” Most jobs aren’t 100% of the things that give you energy, particularly as you advance and take on additional responsibilities. I was asked once in an interview, “What do you dislike doing at work?” I didn’t really like it as an interview question because as worded it felt like a gotcha question. But the sentiment is legit: How do you find flow in the parts of the job that aren’t playing to your strengths and interests?

    I like your questioning style, Zackery, because it gets at all these dimensions. In my experience, you are good at helping interviewees feel comfortable. No gotcha questions. I think after interviewing with you, people feel like they learned about themselves, which is awesome.

    I will say too that natural curiosity in candidates appeals to me as well, which is part of what I try to uncover in interviews. The greater the natural curiosity, the deeper and wider their inherent interests will be, and the easier it will be to find flow (or creative workarounds!) for everything else.


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