5 Top Interview Questions For Temporary Learning And Development Talent

Interview Questions For Temporary Learning And Development Talent: What L&D Professionals Need To Know

What are the questions every L&D professional applying for a temporary Learning and Development talent position should be able to answer? Before we delve into this topic...

“The times they are a-changin’”

The year was 1964, and Bob Dylan, inspired by the civil rights movement and the infusion of folk into popular music, put into words what the United States had been feeling for some time. Have you ever noticed that you can feel it in the air for some time before a trend or a movement is given a name and a framework?

eBook Release: How To Interview Temporary Talent For Learning And Development Positions
eBook Release
How To Interview Temporary Talent For Learning And Development Positions
SweetRush is excited to share its experience-based best practices for the interview process.

While it’s not a social justice movement buoyed by brilliant songwriters, there’s a shift happening in Learning and Development, too. You may have noticed a shift to SOW-driven, project-based work. We account for every working hour of each contributor. Years ago, contingent workers were office generalists. Often simply referred to as “temps”, they could type, file, collate, and take calls. Today’s breed of contingent worker, however, is highly specialized and highly skilled.

“Come gather ʼround people wherever you roam”

In Learning and Development, companies of all sizes are using temporary talent to execute on training initiatives or temporarily fill gaps on existing teams. Talent managers must create a pipeline of able Learning and Development talent that can be engaged on short notice, or engage a staffing vendor with a rich temporary Learning and Development talent pool.

Attracting and assessing high-caliber temporary Learning and Development talent require a few critical ingredients. First, of course, is an accurate and complete job description. But let’s talk about the next step in the process - the interview.

“Keep your eyes wide”

The type of temporary Learning and Development talent you’re looking for should be well in touch with their strengths and limitations. They should be able to speak in detail about projects they’ve worked on, trends in the industry, and how their work has moved the needle. Here are 5 interview questions Learning and Development professionals should be able to answer - and what you should look for in their responses.

5 Top Interview Questions for Temporary Learning and Development Talent

1. Why Do You Think You’re Suitable For This Position?

With temporary talent, you’ll want to find the right fit; someone who’s going to add value right away. Ask the candidate why he or she is the ideal person for the job.

It’s unlikely your candidate has experience in your industry - and that’s OK. A Learning and Development professional relies on Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) for content knowledge. If industry-specific experience is missing from the candidate’s résumé, preface the question by asking “Even though you don’t have a lot of experience with [your industry or the task at hand], why do you feel you’ll be successful with this engagement?”.

Look for answers that illustrate your candidate’s knowledge of adult learning principles, understanding of organizational behavior, organizational skills, coaching skills, presentation skills, innovation, and so on, depending on your needs. These are areas where temporary Learning and Development talent add value.

5 Top Interview Questions for Temporary Learning and Development Talent

2. What Is Your Favorite Part Of The Instructional Design Process?

When augmenting your team, you may be looking for a specialist who can bring capabilities missing from your current team. Your candidate may be able to take on this role, but it’s also important to know if they actually like doing it.

Every Instructional Designer will have his or her own favorite part of the process. Some will like analyzing and scoping the project. Others may be fond of design and development. This is one way to judge their skill sets and appropriateness for your needs. This is also a good question to assess their passion for the field.

5 Top Interview Questions for Temporary Learning and Development Talent

3. Tell Me About A Challenge That You Faced On A Recent Project.

In your candidate’s response, you should look for how he or she approached and overcame the challenge. If you’re already aware of a potential problem, ask a question geared to that reality. For example, if you know that the Subject Matter Experts on your team are difficult, you might ask “Tell me about a time you encountered a difficult SME and how you overcame that challenge”.

Again, with temporary talent, focus on whether the candidate can hit the ground running. If they’ve faced and overcome similar challenges, that’s to your advantage.

5 Top Interview Questions for Temporary Learning and Development Talent

4. How Do You Know When A Learning Solution Is Effective?

This question can help you assess the candidate’s understanding of training ROI. Responses might include things like when employees are engaged, learn new skills, and effectively transfer what they learn to their work.

How a candidate for a temporary role answers this question may give you insight into their experience and savvy in Learning and Development. With a temporary role, you typically want a more experienced professional. And since temporary talent tends to be, well, temporary, a focus on driving successful results quickly is a good thing.

5 Top Interview Questions for Temporary Learning and Development Talent

5. How Do You Stay Well Informed About The Trends In Your Industry? Which Trends Interest You?

With these questions, you can assess their passion for the field, what has piqued their interests, and to what degree they’re investing in their career and endeavoring to do an even better job. A good answer here is a strong indicator that they are motivated. For temporary Learning and Development talent, this is another question that can give you insights into their orientation toward the specific skills and capabilities you need as you augment your team.

“The waters around you have grown”

Given the trend of hiring temporary talent, it’s likely you’ll find yourself doing the same before long. With time being a precious commodity, standard questions about strengths and weaknesses might (or might not) have a place in your interview, but they shouldn’t be center stage. Dive deep with your questions, and the best temporary Learning and Development talent will be able to dive with you.

Solid answers to good interview questions provide the insight you’ll need to make a dynamite hiring decision. Our brand new eBook, How to Interview Temporary Learning and Development Talent: Finding the Best Fit for Your Needs, will walk you through the all-important interview process and give you our best tips on interviewing temporary talent. It’s a free download, and it includes a handy Interview Questions Checklist to make your job easier. Enjoy!

Related articles:

1. 4 Questions For Evaluating Temporary Learning And Development Talent

2. How To Audition Temporary Learning And Development Talent

eBook Release: SweetRush
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