An exploratory study of the utility of a structured interview in the employment of classroom teachers

Scott E Robison, Purdue University


The purpose of the present study was to explore the qualitative utility of a structured interview process in the employment of classroom teachers. Structured interviews have been proven more valid that unstructured ones, but purveyors of interview products in education have heretofore provided little student outcome data to back claims that their instruments succeed in identifying superior classroom teachers. Existing concurrently with this emerging dilemma is the lack of an adequately straightforward process for determining the value of a structured interview product. The present study sought to marry elements of selection utility with the succinct and accessible aspects of consumer oriented program evaluation checklists. In the study, fourteen teachers in a suburban Midwest school district were hired using the Ventures for Excellence structured interview process. Half scored well, while the other half scored significantly lower. Using three standardized test measures and three survey items, the study yielded a statistically significant predictive relationship between teachers with high Ventures for Excellence pre-employment interview scores and two of the three standardized test measures of student growth. The study involved pre and posttest data for 263 second through fourth grade students in language usage, mathematics, and reading. A usefulness/utility program evaluation checklist was proposed and utilized in favorably describing the qualitative utility of the Ventures for Excellence structured interview process in the subject school district with regard to three evaluative elements: effectiveness-adequacy, cost-utility, and appropriateness-mesh.




McInerney, Purdue University.

Subject Area

School administration

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