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Caroline Eason

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ICT Consultant/Trainer

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Interviewing potential trainers



I have been asked to outsource a couple of Microsoft Office trainers for a temporary contract and will be interviewing a few potential trainers, all of which look very good and very experienced on paper.

Could anyone give me some guidelines of some good questions or techniques to use during the interview process?



8 Responses

  1. The proof of the pudding….

    I would ask them to run a small part of one of the courses they would be expected to deliver (30 mins say) and get some real end users to be the learners. 

    Observe them and assess them against objective standards you want them to deliver against and then ask the leaners how they felt about the 'taster'.  Nothing like getting them to deliver part of their actual job in the recruitment process.

    Hope that helps

  2. Thanks Clive, this is the

    Thanks Clive, this is the sort of ideas I had but with regards to questioning, is there anything specific or useful to ask?

  3. don’t forget the mechanistic, non training stuff…..

    …such as reliability and timeliness.

    You've not mentioned whether you are the principle or acting as a agent, but these things are important either way.


  4. Ask open questions around the Job Description

    I would always ask questions directly related to the job description and the essential skills they need to demonstrate.  So, these ideas may or may not be appropriate:

    How do you tailor your courses to support different learning styles?

    How do you keep your knowledge up to date?

    (During a course), how do you identify if people in the group are learning or not?

    How would you descibe your delivery style?

    If it's mainly Microsoft courses, what about:

    What would you do if, during a course, the package you were training out became unresponsive and systems went down?

    Also ask, behavioural type questions E.G.

    How would you demonstrate diversity and inclusion while delivering a course?

    I could literally go on for ever but as long as it realtes to the actual job description you should be fine.

  5. Comkpetency based interview

    I agree with Bryan about competency based questions. Asking someone to tell you what they 'would' do in any given situation invites them to make up an answer. Ask them about a specific situation, what they personally did (not a team),  and what the outcome was. Get them to demonstrate their skills so that you can assess their style on their feet, how they react to challenge; check the structure of their session and how interactive it was (in terms of engaging their audience and encouraging them) amongst many other things.


  6. Agree with Competency Questions, however…

    Having been a recuitment manager for a number of organisations, I do agree with previous posters and their comments about competency-based interviews and mainly focussing on what they have done not what they might do.

    However, slightly disagree with only asking these type of questions.  I always ask at least one 'what would you do in this situation type question' because if you think about it; this is just like real-life.  You are often faced with real-life situations that you haven't come across before and so you have to 'make up' what you are going to do next; on the spot.  You won't always have previous experience in every situation so asking this type of question shows how good people are at decision making and thinking on the spot.  Otherwise I totally agree.

  7. Competency based questions

    Include competency based (or behavioural) questioning in your questioning strategy. These ask candidates about how they behave (say or do/ don't say or don't do) in training situations.

    For example, if you wanted to test out their ability to engage the class then you might ask: "Tell me about a time that you had a number of disinterested delegates on your course. How did you deal with this?". Their response will shed light on their ability to deal with this to compare with other candidate responses.

    I wrote a blog several months ago about these types of questions and how they combine into the funnelling technique (Open-Probe-Closed). See – 'Funnelling in Interviews'

    Also check out the 'Group Training Observer Checklist' and 'Trainer Skills Questionnaire' in our free trainer stuff section: Hope that helps


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Caroline Eason

ICT Consultant/Trainer

Read more from Caroline Eason

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