Technical Trainer Job Interview Help
July 28, 2010 3:38 PM   Subscribe

Help me with what I should expect from a technical trainer job interview.

I just got a call from a company I've been contracting for in a product management position and they want to interview me for a technical trainer opening. The position involves a product portfolio I've worked with on both the product management and technical side for the last 8 years. I've also done marketing and project/product management presentations for many of these products in the past. The issue is I've never interviewed for this type of job before and don't really know what to expect. I trained plenty of folks while in the Air Force but it was always in one on one, hands-on type environments. I just wonder what type of questions I should expect and what types of experiences from my career I should stress. Thanks for any insight in advance!
posted by white_devil to Work & Money (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
They'll probably ask you to do a "test teach" session of anywhere from a few minutes to an hour to see how you speak, present, etc. They'll probably warn you but if they don't be prepared to get up and teach a group of people something for at least 30 minutes.
posted by GuyZero at 3:42 PM on July 28, 2010

What he said...and you might be asked about your instruction style, which can include working with different skill levels, different types of learners. You probably would have to develop documentation, so stressing writing and communications skills might be helpful.
posted by beyond_pink at 4:12 PM on July 28, 2010

Thanks. You were both spot on. The phone interview went smashing. Going to do a "test teach" at the end of next week. Told me I need to do 15-30 minutes on a technical subject. Any resources you can recommend to help me hone my technique quickly? I've done plenty of presentations in the past, just wondering if there is a different style I should use versus giving marketing/sales/project type of pitches.
posted by white_devil at 3:39 PM on July 29, 2010

Have good aids, but a typical sales presentation is much flashier than teaching material, so don't overdo your slides. Take time to check in with the students/audience to make sure they're following you. They may test to see how you handle dumb and/or hard questions. If you don't know an answer don't try to fake it - they'll try to get you to admit you don't know an answer to see how you handle it gracefully. Remember not to talk too fast, all the usual public speaking stuff.
posted by GuyZero at 3:48 PM on July 29, 2010

Thanks for the advice. Test teach went really well. Should know in a week or so if I got the gig. Drinks on me if you're ever in Orlando, or if I get the gig if I'm ever training in your town!
posted by white_devil at 10:41 PM on August 7, 2010

Thank you both, I got the gig! Start 2nd week in September. Woohoo!
posted by white_devil at 6:23 PM on August 16, 2010

Congratulations! Good luck in the new job.
posted by GuyZero at 9:12 AM on August 17, 2010

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