“Hire character. Train skill.” ~ Peter Schutz
It makes a lot of sense to find people who are ready to engage in a lifelong career in learning. Some teacher candidates come to the interview prepared to answer all the questions. I don’t care as much about the answers ad I do the delivery and the unspoken personality nuggets behind the answers.
I can teach teachers about differentiated instruction, anticipatory set, or cooperative learning strategies. I can’t teach people how to be inquisitive, nurturing, collegial, or self-reflective. These are usually innate traits that come with the personality “package.”
Don’t make interviews about questions and answers; make them about conversations around topical issues related to learning and teaching. Unorthodox talking points can bring out the real personality in someone. For instance, ask a candidate to tell you about his/her most embarrassing teaching moment and hope the discussion shows you an honest, self-reflective and nurturing individual. The candidate’s description of the event, his/her response to the circumstance and lessons learned can tell you more about someone you’re hoping to professionally “marry for life” than a list of questions about pedagogy.
The time to check instructional skill sets is the lesson demonstration. Scheduling the demo. after vetting the candidate’s personality creds. filters out those who are too raw to bring on board.