10 Interview Questions that Training Professionals Should Be Ready For

Interview

Whether you’re looking for your next position in facilitating workshops or you’re looking to put a new degree in instructional design to use in the “real world”, here are 10 questions you should be ready for in your next interview. In addition to being prepared to answer these questions, it might also be helpful to know why a hiring manager is asking such questions in the first place. In parentheses, I’ve added the “question(s) behind the question”.

Question #1: Why do you want this position?

Questions behind the question:

  1. Do you even like training and development or are you just looking to escape their current job?
  2. Do you know what we do here?
  3. What kind of passion do you have for learning and teaching others?

Question #2: What is the position you’re applying for?

Questions behind the question:

  1. I know what I want and I wrote it in the job description… did you read the job description?
  2. Does your understanding of the job description align with mine?

Question #3: Tell me about your most recent project.

Question behind the question:

  1. We all have our favorite projects… but what are you working on right now?

Question #4: Tell me about your favorite training project.

Question behind the question:

  1. What kinds of projects do you get passionate about?

Question #5: How do you know if your training program is successful?

Questions behind the question:

  1. How much do you care about the outcomes of your training efforts?
  2. How do you measure success?

Question #6: Tell me about a time when you designed a training module (or program) that missed the mark.

Questions behind the question:

  1. Will you admit you are not perfect during this interview? (We all make mistakes… I don’t want someone on my team who is afraid to admit he/she has made mistakes!)
  2. This is another way to see how you measures “success”.
  3. How do you respond when faced with a less-than-ideal outcome?

Question #7: How do you keep up to date on the latest trends in learning and development?

Questions behind the question:

  1. How interested are you in staying on top of your game?
  2. What initiative do you take in order to be the best learning and development professional possible?

Question #8: Why should we hire someone who doesn’t have deep subject matter expertise in our industry?

Question behind the question:

  1. Why should we hire you instead of promoting an in-house subject matter expert?

Question #9: If I was your learner, what would I experience during one of your training modules?

Question behind the question:

  1. Would you engage me… or would you simply provide me with additional time to check my email during your training module?

Question #10: Tell me about a time that someone actually did something new or differently or better as a result of your training session (or program).

Question behind the question:

  1. Do you care about what your audience gets from the training session (or program)?

A little hint on the “Tell me about a time that…” questions: the STAR method of responding can be quite effective. STAR is an acronym for describing the Situation/Task, Action you took and Results you achieved. Be specific! And results-oriented!!

In addition to these questions, you should also be prepared to deliver a sample presentation or present a portfolio of work samples.

What did I miss? If there are any additional questions you’d ask (or that you’d gotten in an interview), go ahead and add them in the comment section.

Know someone who might be warming up for an interview for a training position? Go ahead and pass this along!

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