Employment Process Manual, On-Site Writing Sample

Applicants for administrative and faculty positions are required to provide an on-site writing sample prior to their first on-site interview.

  • The timed exercise is 45 minutes in length.
  • Committee chairs are to provide a quiet location with computer access.
  • Make sure the designated timekeeper gives each candidate a five minute warning before calling time.
  • Ask all candidates the same question.
  • Make sure writing sample proctors have candidates print, sign and date each page of the response.
  • Save each writing sample to a disk.
  • The president must approve any exception.

Developing a Writing Sample Question

Questions that require an applicant to describe, discuss or explain as part of the answer will usually yield an adequate writing sample. Questions that ask the applicant to provide a "list" of items and questions that the applicant could answer with a simple yes or no should be avoided. The applicant's response should include well-developed thoughts expressed in complete sentences and should be several paragraphs long.

Reviewing the Sample

Consider the applicant's ability to produce a thoughtful response within a clearly defined time frame and under potentially stressful conditions. Assess the applicant's use of language, sentence structure, grammar, punctuation and spelling in addition to content.

Sample Questions for On-Site Writing Sample

  • Describe how you have used technology in the classroom.
  • Describe how you think developmental advising helps your students. Give an example of how you have contributed to this process.
  • How have you contributed to the curriculum development process at your institution?
  • What have you done to prepare students to be lifelong learners?
  • How would you adapt your instructional delivery to meet the needs of a diverse group of students?
  • Some educators believe that students should learn to be active listeners and to communicate effectively as a member of a small group or team. With consideration to the learning objectives of your discipline, how would you teach students to do this?
  • Give an example of a positive change you made in your current (or most recent) job.
  • Explain how you think the ideal math lab should operate.
  • Describe your leadership style.
  • Describe your management style.


Human Resources
Seminole State College
100 Weldon Boulevard
Sanford, FL 32773-6199
Phone: 407.708.2195
Fax: 407.708.2425