What to ask when hiring an external trainer

14 Sep

Yesterday I had the pleasure of interviewing an external trainer regarding an upcoming course. Before the interview, I was asked to come up with some key questions that would help to determine whether the candidate would be a good fit for the job.

Naturally, I turned to Rosemary Caffarella’s book Planning Programs for Adult Learners for help. In the book, Caffarella outlines nine criteria to consider when hiring an instructor:

1. Content knowledge
2. Competence in the processes of instruction
3. Ability to respond effectively to the background and experience of the participants
4. Belief that caring for learners matters
5. Credibility
6. Enthusiasm and commitment
7. Personal effectiveness
8. Enterprise knowledge
9. Ability to teach from the heart and spirit, as well as the mind.

From these nine criteria, I developed my questions for the interview, focusing mainly on classroom management skills and experience with the product.

Thankfully the candidate was great, demonstrating both knowledge of the product and also enthusiasm about training. She also outlined some challenges that she previously faced in the classroom and spoke confidently about how she overcame them. In the credibility stakes, the candidate scored highly and everyone agreed that overall she was a great fit.

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