Mathematics Instructor Interview Questions


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Valencia College
Instructor, Mathematics was asked...18 July 2012

I didn't know the definition of summative and formative, and that hurt, and I didn't have a good answer for the "next 5 years" question.

10 Answers

For my teaching demo (they asked me to do a simple topic like slopes of lines) I just wrote on the board and talked as I would to a class. They want to see your handwriting, if you can project your voice, how you explain things, how you act at the front of a class (talking into the board the whole time as you write is bad). The guy that went before me brought lots of interactive props. I don't know if it worked out for him. I was interviewed not with other candidates but in front of 4-5 faculty members. (This was the math dept a few years ago). The interviews were scheduled every 15 minutes so I didn't wait with anybody. I advise that if you write on the board, do it, and then turn to face your audience to talk, so you're not talking into the board. Lead them along as you would a class. Obviously they all know what the slope of the line is but ask them as you would a group of students, because they want to see how you would interact with your class. Pick a topic that you can lecture on without notes, but still have notes in case you get nervous. I've done slope and lines so many times that I don't have to think about how to introduce the topic and what to say. I advise that you brush up on some current topics in teaching- find a teaching journal and read some articles that are new, so you can answer questions involving current trends in teaching methodology. Think about how you've used those methods in your own class. Think about something you tried and whether it succeeded or failed, and why. There will probably be technology related questions. How do you use tech in your classroom, what do you think about a fully-online class, what are pros and cons of a class where the lectures are on video and there is only a TA there to answer students questions, would you give online tests, what would a typical group project be like in your class- how would students interact through the online component of valencia's website (atlas, blackboard, ...). I was once asked how I would treat special needs students differently. The answer is that you don't, except for whatever the Office of Students with Disabilities provides for them. If you've taken the professional development classes, go back over those reading assignments and notes so you can have buzzwords fresh in your mind like "learning-centered" and look at the official course outline of the classes you teach so you can see what the department expects are the course outcomes for the class. Use some of the words on the rubrics. Go in with the mindset that you want to be a teacher there, it's the best opportunity for you, and you want to do it for the foreseeable future. Don't say you want the job now but you'd like to move on / move up / or run your own business in 5 years from now. Have confidence in yourself. Good luck. Less

to NHL: I suggest you wear what you would normally wear to teach in, on a good day. The first time I did it, I wore a slick tie and a sharp shirt, name-brand, and I felt awkward because nobody else was dressed like that. The second time I think I wore a more sears-style tie and khakis, and felt more relaxed. But I also tried to teach a class that way and it was harder to maintain control over and respect from the classroom when I had my tie on. I don't think anything's wrong a tie if that's what you're comfortable in, but seriously I only know 2 out of maybe 10 male math teachers that wear a tie to teach in (excluding the dean), and they are older-looking adults. So I'd say a polo is fine- they are more interested in how you speak and write and explain things, and if you go tie, go white-collar sears style, not Armani or Express. On a subconscious psychological note, it's good to not look better than the person you're trying to impress. I found that with my PhD advisor, if I worked out and got tan all week and showed up in his office with short sleeves, he had a short temper; but if I stayed inside on my computer all week, got pale and skinny and didn't shave, and wore long sleeves to his office, he was much nicer. So wear a tie if you want but don't make any girls' heads turn on the way to the interview. Less

I was hired as a 4-month faculty member each time, which means I'm considered (and paid as) a full time faculty member for one semester. But for 4 years, every time, the second semester's contract was almost guaranteed and I got it every time, so Fall and Spring contracts were always practically bundled together. Again, this is math dept west campus, i don't know about other departments. My paycheck after taxes is about $1774 every two weeks (after 5 years with PhD), and it changes with years in and degree, and all that is publicly available on the website. But, during each summer, I had to re-interview for my same job, which I always found very depressing. Also, during the summer I was paid as an adjunct faculty member, which meant about half the paycheck with the same amount of work, except no office hours. When you tell your students in your summer classes that you don't have office hours, they all look at you like 'WTF' and 'obviously you don't care about us'. But I looked at it like, if they didn't pay me enough to live, then I'll spend those 10 hours a week somewhere else trying to make money some other way. That summer break in pay is one of the main reasons why I just left Valencia for another full-time (all-year-long) job. Less

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Up to what level math do you feel confident teaching?

2 Answers


Since I do not know the order of math subjects in Florida schools very well, let’s just say that basic math, pre-algebra, algebra and geometry are all good levels for me, I believe. Less

Centura College

What experience did I have in teaching mathematics?

1 Answers

I've taught in the NYC public school system, and I've tutored in college. I'm also tutoring in the Tidewater area. Finally, I'm writing a book about the history of mathematics. Less


"What's your major?" "How long have you tutored in Irvine and Tustin?"

1 Answers

- My major is electrical engineering. I have a natural forte for mathematics and science, but the major itself is mentally stimulating. It provides its fair share of challenges, but nothing I couldn't handle. - I've tutored in Irvine and Tustin for almost 4 years (primarily in math). In all the years of academia, I've noticed mathematics is a topic students fear - even dread - the most. So I come in with an approach that opens their minds to mathematics in a hands-on way teachers don't always utilize. Given also that I'm a student, I can connect with them in that a lot of their academic struggles are something that I've endured myself." Less


How would you find 7% of 300?

1 Answers

Multiply 7 by 3 since the zeros cancel out.

Upper Iowa University

What types of math courses have I taught over the years and what methods do I presently use to teach them.

1 Answers

I explained the application of "zenshoitashimasu", a system of education used in Japan. Less


Simplify 4/(1+sqrt(3))

1 Answers

multiply top and bottom by conjugate

Citrus College

What are your general qualify classifications.

1 Answers

I showed the dean my impressive resume and summarized what was asked.

Odessa College

How would you feel about taking place in student activities?


Have you ever worked with underperforming students in grades 3-11

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