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Inspiring the Next Generation of Innovators

Interviewing Fellow Candidates

Just as in any hiring situation, the interview process is vital to ensure you have the right candidate for your position.  Finding a teacher with a compatible personality is just as important as their skills. 

The interview style is completely up to you.   Some Mentors prefer to conduct phone screens before they bring candidates into the office for an in-person meeting.   Other Mentors have felt either an in-person or phone interview is sufficient.   The Ignited Staff will help you arrange the interview schedule with
the teachers.

Considerations during the interview:

  • Ascertain Needed Skills: Be sure to confirm that the teacher has the computer skills you need.  In the conversation, you may need to include in basic office software skills (e.g. Outlook) that may not be as common in schools as in the business world.  Skill level is very subjective; make sure you are both on the same page.  Teachers are very resourceful and enthusiastic so they are often able to quickly build on a skill in which they have a basic working knowledge.
  • Gauge Candidate Enthusiasm: Determine if the candidate seems interested in your project.  Are they asking you questions?  Do they seem excited about what you are discussing?  Ignited Mentors have found that enthusiasm often makes up for specific skills that teachers may lack coming into the project. Many veteran Ignited Mentors have modified their projects based on input from the teachers and their skill sets.
  • Confirm Availability: The standard 8-week Fellowship is from mid-June to mid-August.  Slight shifts in this schedule are fine as long as they are agreed to by you, Ignited, and the teacher prior to the start of the Fellowship. If your organization has any shutdowns during the standard Fellowship dates, please be sure to discuss this with the candidates as well.
  • Sample questions from previous Mentors:
    • What attracted your interest in this project, specifically?
    • How do you explain complex concepts to young people?
    • As you reflect on your work history, what types of situations have brought you the most pleasure and the most discomfort?
    • If after two weeks on the project you find yourself struggling, what would you do?