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At Los Rios, our interview panels are often composed of a large group of people who ask each candidate the same set of standardized questions. Though this might feel impersonal, the process is designed to make sure each interviewee is treated equally.

Interview Structure

Interviews generally follow the same structure:

Writing Sample

Some (not all) job positions require a demonstration of a candidate's writing skills.

Candidates are usually given 20 to 30 minutes to complete the writing sample, and access to a computer. The topic is not provided in advance.

  • Organize your thoughts and write clearly.
  • Compose your answer in logical order.
  • Be concise.
  • Proofread your writing and use the spell-check tool.

Question Review

Before the oral interview begins, candidates are given a short period of time to review the interview questions. Candidates may take notes during question review period and refer to their notes during the interview.

Oral Interview

Basic Questions

All candidates should prepare to answer the following basic questions:

  • Opening: Tell us about yourself. What makes you uniquely qualified for this position? What are your qualifications for this position?
  • Diversity: What experience have you had with working in an ethnically diverse environment?
  • Closing: Is there anything else about yourself you would like to share? Take this opportunity to express your interest in the position and your commitment to making a positive contribution to the department and institution.
Additional Questions

Additional questions tend to fall into the following categories, based on the position:

  • Educational and experience background: How does your experience and background align with the job qualifications? Do you meet specific curriculum and collegial needs?
  • Work habits: Are you successful at working as part of team, meeting deadlines, and generating quality work?
  • Discipline-specific and educational philosophy (faculty only): What level of knowledge do you have related to a specific discipline? How do you address broader philosophical education issues?
  • Teaching/classroom issues (faculty and administrators only): How effective are your communication and/or teaching skills? How do you manage a classroom and difficult situations or students?
  • Greet the committee members as they introduce themselves.
  • Take time to organize your thoughts before answering a question – be specific and concise.
  • Ask for clarification of a question you don't understand.
  • Use good body language and maintain eye contact.
  • Presume the committee members know nothing about you (especially if you are a current employee and you know or work with any of the committee members).

Oral Presentation

Some (not all) job positions require an oral presentation.

The oral presentation is a chance to demonstrate your teaching and communication skills. It gives the interview committee insight on your pedagogy and future performance. 

Candidates are usually given 10 to 15 minutes for an oral presentation. The topic is provided in advance. Ask what type of equipment will be available (chalkboard, whiteboard, overhead projector, Apple TV, and so on).

  • Know the intended audience.
  • Don’t feel obligated to cover the entire topic in the time allowed.
  • Engage your audience and make eye contact.
  • If using technology, then come prepared with a backup plan in case technology fails or is unavailable.

College Tour

In some cases, candidates will receive an escorted tour of the college campus.


After the Interview

After the interview, committee members independently and confidentially rank candidates in order of preference before any discussion. The committee chair and equity representative score the rankings to determine the composite top candidates.

Strengths and weaknesses of each finalist are discussed and the top three candidates are identified and referred to the appropriate administrator(s). Depending on the position, top candidates may be invited to a second interview. A candidate's references will be checked before they are offered a job at Los Rios.