Judging Resources: Team Interview Tips and Sample Questions

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Best Practices

  • Ask if the team has a few minutes for the interview. If the team has an upcoming match that may interfere with the interview, tell them you will come back at a better time. Do not keep the students from heading to a match and make them late for their competition round.
  • Ask if all team members are present. Try to include all team members in the interview. 
  • Ask a quick “icebreaker” question such as, “That’s a really great team logo! Who designed it?” or “How is your team doing so far today?”
  • Being a Judge gives you a unique opportunity to impact students through positive reinforcement. Just a few words of encouragement can make their day. 
  • Try not to ask yes or no questions. Encourage teams to elaborate on their answers. 
  • Be prepared to rephrase your questions. Be mindful of differences in communication styles. 
  • Be mindful of students who do not speak the language that you are using as their first language. 
  • Be aware of different age levels. Approach students in an age-appropriate way, especially when talking to younger students. 
  • Be attentive to students. Do not engage in side conversations/phone use during interviews. 
  • It is acceptable to take a picture of each team with their robot so the license plate is visible. This will help you identify teams and robots later during deliberations. 
  • If you are having trouble finding a team, wait for them at the field for their next match.

Sample Questions

  • Is this a good time for an interview? Are all of your team members here?
  • What does your robot do and how does it score points? 
  • How did you develop this robot design?
  • Which team members built the robot?
  • What part of your robot are you most proud of? Why?
  • Were there any other robots that inspired your robot design? How?
  • What changes did you make to improve your design during the season?
  • What was the most difficult challenge your team has overcome so far?
  • Did you use any sensors? What are they used for? How do they operate in your autonomous mode? How do they operate in your driver-controlled mode? 
  • What problems did you have in working on your robot? How did your team solve them?
  • If you had one more week to work on your robot, how would you improve it?
  • Has your game strategy been effective? How and why?
  • Tell us about your robot’s programming – who was the primary programmer?
  • What were the challenges of this year’s game that you considered before designing your robot? How did you design your robot to meet those challenges?
  • What are your goals for Driver and Autonomous Coding Skills scores?  What are your average scores?