We are interviewing some candidates for a part-time teaching faculty position to teach 2 upper level undergraduate courses in mathematics.

Since it is my first time to be in such committee and since this is a teaching job on the university level, I wanted to know what are the criteria/questions that are teaching-related and that should be asked to the candidate in the interview?

  • 2
    I want to point out that the fact that you are asking this question strongly suggests that you're not really qualified to perform this interview. You should probably rely heavily on other committee members who have more experience with this sort of hiring. (Yes, I know that you may have to do it because "no one else is any more qualified", but teaching is as complex a profession as any, and you can't hope to become expert enough to find a solid teacher based on a few questions in an online forum.)
    – eykanal
    Sep 4, 2012 at 3:15
  • 8
    @eykanal That is exactly what I have done already after posting this, I told the chair that I am not experienced with such committees. He said, talk to senior faculty to know about how this should be done. I just thought of keeping this question on so I might gain some tips from the experiences of others out there. Nobody is born knowing everything, and everything has a 1st time, including being in a committee.
    – user1547
    Sep 4, 2012 at 8:44

2 Answers 2


You'll want to ask some standard questions that any experienced educator would ask a potential teacher:

  • Request to see a model lesson. It doesn't have to be a full lecture, just something to see their style. Ideally the entire committee should be there for this part.
  • Ask to see a university-level lesson plan of their creation.
  • Ask how they would approach creating a semester-long curriculum for an advanced "special topics" course. I suggest the "special topics" idea because this lets you see whether they can do it for themselves or whether they are only able to follow pre-set curricula.
  • Ask how they'll ensure that the top students are being adequately challenged while the weaker students aren't being left behind.
  • Ask how they handle unruly students. Even though this is fairly rare at the university level, they should have a ready answer.
  • Have them explain some concepts to you and make sure for yourself that you are comfortable with how they explain them. (Similar to model lesson, but for specific topics.)

You may also want to mention things like office hours requirements, whether they'll get a TA, and related administrative stuff.


My university requires a teaching portfolio to be attached to the job application. This will typically include:

  • Teaching practice (your education, courses)
  • History of teaching (activities, awards)
  • Student feedback (with comments on how did your teaching chanre as a response to these comments)
  • Materials you prepared for students (with comments on how and why they evolved)
  • 1
    This does not really answer the question about how the interview is done.
    – Tommi
    Oct 4, 2018 at 20:10
  • Because there was no such question. Oct 18, 2018 at 10:33
  • 1
    The title is such a question.
    – Tommi
    Oct 18, 2018 at 10:58

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