As a hiring manager who interview individuals looking to fill Instructional Design roles, I approach interviews in a certain way. There are a few things I like to know from the interviewee:

  • Because our team approaches the entire system of ID (instead of focusing on a single phase), what is your (the interviewee’s) definition of instructional design? You’d be surprised how many practitioners have a narrow view of what they do and why they do what they do.
  • Next, I like to know about their problem-solving skills. Do you feel comfortable analyzing and diagnosing problems that do not require an instructional solution? These can come up, and as a consultant, IDs must be able to understand how to implement appropriate solutions, even if an instructional intervention isn’t involved.
  • What is your level of comfort with learning technical tools? It really doesn’t matter what tools you already know. Actually, familiarity of certain tools for my team is a plus. But there is time and flexibility to learn, and as long as you have an understanding of the kind of tools we use (e-learning authoring tools, video editing/producing tools, project management tools, process visualization tools, etc.), you’re ok.
  • Next, how do you approach time management and project management? Both are a must for effective ID, especially because likely you’ll have multiple projects at once.
  • Do you have experience developing and analyzing basic evaluation instruments? I’m not asking for a psychrometrist, IDs should have the skills to collect data and draw conclusions for instructional improvement based on that high-level data.
  • Finally, a portfolio is very important. I need to see your skills in practice. I also like to not only see the output, but your process to get to that point. So if you have design documents, storyboards, etc., I look at it all.

What are some of your favorite (or least favorite) interview topics? I’d like to know!


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