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PAFET Sample Interview Questions

Elmhurst College

President’s Award for Excellence in Teaching

Guidelines for Nominating Statement and Interview


These questions are offered as examples of potentially relevant issues for you to address in making the case for your nominee. Of course, some questions may not be relevant to your nomination, and some may suggest other appropriate questions to you. The interview itself will be conducted by two members of the Faculty Development Committee and will take approximately 30 minutes.  A pattern of enthusiastic responses, which include specific, concrete examples, is particularly helpful and effective.


           I.     Introductions of Students and Explanation of Relationship with Nominee

a.     Through what process was the professor nominated?

b.     How many courses have you each taken with this instructor?

c.     Why have you taken the courses?

d.     How do you know the professor other than as an instructor (e.g., as advisor, student group advisor, fellow church member, friend, …)

         II.     What happens in the classroom

a.     In what ways does the professor motivate students?

b.     In what ways are courses taught by this instructor challenging?

c.     Does the professor perceive when students are having difficulty? Give an example.

d.     How has the professor helped you when you were struggling with a concept?

e.     How are you able to contact the professor outside of class?

f.      In what ways does the professor demonstrate sensitivity to a broad range of students?

g.     If we talked to a student who did not nominate the professor for this award, what additional comments might that student make?

        III.     Course materials

a.     What types of course materials does the instructor use and in what way? (e.g., textbook, outside speakers, audio-visual aids, fields trips, computers, in-class activities, oral presentations, …)

b.     How does the professor tie the different materials together?

       IV.     Evaluation of learning

a.     What types of assignments are graded?

b.     What advance preparation is given for the assignments? (e.g., review sheets, comments on rough drafts, …)

c.     In what ways do the exams directly test the material presented in the textbook?

d.     In what ways do the exams test material not covered in the textbook but presented in some other form in the class?

e.     In what ways do the exams test materials not covered in class at all?

f.      How does the instructor ensure that course grades fairly represent student achievement?

         V.     Course impact

a.     What aspect of the course do you think the instructor values most?

b.     Three years from now what do you think you will remember from/about this course?

       VI.     Ways the professor promotes the subject area

a.     What is your professor's area of expertise within the discipline?

b.     In what professional organizations or activities is the professor involved, and how does s/he involve students?

c.     In what ways does the professor promote jobs and/or graduate study in the discipline?

d.     In what ways does the professor effectively advise students?

e.     In the course you are now taking, what content is s/he most enthusiastic about? How do you know?