The Committee is responsible for developing interview questions that will elicit thoughtful and detailed responses. Questions should require candidates to explain specific situations in their pasts that demonstrate their ability to perform as an instructor, focus on “behaviors,” be job related and be non-discriminatory. Criteria for evaluating the responses should be clearly defined.
The Committee Chair must document the questions and weighted criteria for evaluating responses and include them in the Application Packet.
The objective of the interviewing and screening/evaluation process for Faculty hiring is to identify candidates who:
- Have experience in curriculum development and innovative teaching methodologies (especially use of multiple technologies);
- Demonstrate a high potential to be an outstanding teacher;
- Have valuable experiences and expertise;
- May have limited teaching experience but are creative and stimulating.
Pitfalls in Screening
1. Unconscious bias
Interviewers sometimes relate to applicants’ differences based upon how comfortable the interviewer is with the applicants’ background, appearance, and characteristics, often connecting more readily with applicants who have backgrounds similar to their own. Interviewers should be aware of these biases.
The following are common biases to steer away from:
- Gender bias
- Ethnic/racial bias
- Disability bias
- Maintenance of the status quo, or staying with what’s comfortable
2. Rigid notions of excellence
Interviewers are to search for evidence of innovation, creativity and novel approaches in the candidates they interview. ACC has a wide variety of students from various backgrounds so our instructors must be able to effectively relate to our students’ needs.
Refrain from the following pitfalls:
- Giving preference to those who have traditional career paths
- Seeking pedigree
- Acknowledging pure vs. applied scholarship
- Giving priority to research, teaching or service
- Counting publications/citations
3. Biased references
Take into account the source of information when contacting references; information obtained must be objective and professional in nature. Reference checks may only be conducted by the Dean.
Be aware of:
- Unconscious bias from referral sources
- Potential for bias if candidate has scholarly interest in historically marginalized groups, or other emerging/controversial areas of scholarship
4. Style vs. Substance
Interviewers should make attempts to identify various styles and cultural differences. Identify the following:
- Cultural characteristics
- Communication styles
5. Be sensitive to minority viewpoints of committee members
Refrain from the following pitfall:
- Not allowing minority viewpoints to be heard
Criteria are the standards, measures, or expectations used in making an evaluation and/or verification. ACC faculty hiring committees are encouraged to create criteria according to their employment needs. A series of interview questions should encompass the criteria already developed by each hiring committee. The Committee Chair should share hiring criteria with the Dean prior to creating interview questions in conjunction with his/her committee.
Use of thought-out criteria promotes:
- Hiring the best candidates
- Non-discrimination, i.e., all considerations are as free as possible from irrelevant bias
- Promotion of diversity and enrichment of the workforce
- Efficiency, but not at the expense of fairness
Concerns in developing screening criteria:
- Protected classes: Criteria should be free from considerations that negatively impact members of a protected class (such as considerations related to disability, gender, ethnicity, race, religion, age, sexual orientation, etc.).
- Needs of the position: Evaluate criteria and ensure that it relates to the position.
- Defining what is meant: Criteria should be neither arbitrary nor ill-defined.
- Bias: Criteria should be unbiased.
- Narrow conceptions: Criteria can be weighted/prioritized but avoid creating criteria in a rigid fashion. Consider prioritizing criteria at the beginning of the process and allowing the process to be open for re-prioritization and re-screening of candidates based on evolution in the committee’s thinking.
Concerns in applying screening criteria:
- Performance based: Assessment of how well a candidate meets a particular criterion should be based on the actual performance of the candidate vs. assumptions about performance from personality traits, pedigree or other considerations. Look at recent past performance.
- Unnecessary rigidity: Steer away from evaluating candidates’ experiences or qualifications in a way that is needlessly conventional. Be open to identifying transferable skills and non-traditional career paths.
Each faculty interviewee is expected to prepare and deliver a minimum 15 to 20 minute teaching demonstration to the hiring committee based on the instructions received. Notification of a teaching demonstration with instructions must be presented to each candidate invited to interview, either by U.S. mail or via e-mail and it must be made clear that each candidate will follow the same instructions.
Interviews for Out-of-State Applicants
If the Committee selects an out-of-state applicant to interview, the Committee Chair should contact the Supervisor of Master Control, Video Services at 223-8019 and indicate the proposed date, time, campus location(s) and candidate contact information. The Chair should give reasonable advance notice for these arrangements. The applicant is responsible for assisting with the arrangements in his or her city. Video Services will work with the applicant and video coordinator at the out-of-state site to facilitate the process.
Video conferencing is a comparable interview process as long as the Committee uses the same procedure, the same interview questions and the same type of teaching demonstration. The teaching demonstration must be part of the video conference and should not put the candidate at an unfair advantage or disadvantage. Contact Instructional Resources Technology at 512-223-7667 if the Committee needs guidance.
Committees may contact the Dean to request that interviews be conducted by interactive video. Committees may invite no more than three candidates to be interviewed by interactive video. Committees may not conduct telephone interviews. If video conferencing is not an option for the applicant, the Committee may request funds for travel from the Dean for no more than two candidates. The Dean will arrange for airfare to be paid through the College’s travel agency and candidates should be scheduled to arrive and depart on the same day. Deans are encouraged to contact the Associate Vice President of Human Resources if travel funds are not available.
Faculty hiring committees have the option of selecting one of two interview evaluation tools to support criteria addressed in their interview questions. Hiring Committees may agree to utilize the “Faculty Employment Interview Evaluation Form” or they may choose the “Weighted Criteria – Interview Rating” form. Each committee member must agree to use the same interview evaluation tool/form for any given hiring committee.
The “Faculty Employment Interview Evaluation” form is the interview evaluation tool most widely utilized by ACC hiring committees. Each committee member participates in the interview process by presenting questions to interviewees. After each interview and teaching demonstration is conducted, committee members are asked to complete the form, which assesses a candidate’s responses and behaviors in a variety of areas, including but not limited to: knowledge of job field, comprehension, and teaching demonstration.
The “Interview Rating - Weighted Approach” form is a second interview evaluation tool faculty hiring committees may choose to use in the interview process. It is utilized to aid the decision making process when numerous criteria are involved. This form provides committees an opportunity to establish hiring criteria, create interview questions and assign each question a weight. Weights of from 1 (Important) to 3 (Critical/vital for job success) are assigned to interview questions according to the importance of the response to the needs of the position. Weights should be agreed upon and assigned to interview questions by the committee as a whole. Interview questions with their assigned weights must remain the same for all candidates interviewed for any given position. As interviewees respond to each interview question, each committee member assigns a rating of from 1 (Insufficient) to 5 (Excellent) according to how he/she feels the interviewee answered the question.
Please Note: Numeric scores are helpful to guide your judgment, but are not a substitute for good judgment. Candidates near the borderline between categories (qualified, highly qualified, overqualified) deserve extra scrutiny to determine which category they best fit, regardless of numeric score. Therefore, employment recommendations should not be based solely upon the highest scores/ratings. Evaluation results should stimulate committee discussion and assist members in arriving at a sound decision.