15 Dec

Questions I’m asked as a recommendation writer

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These are questions that are asked of me regarding self-funded professional masters programs in marketing and communication. I’m skipping the questions regarding how well I know the person, etc.

These questions are to be answered in addition to a full letter.

Program A’s questions

  1. Please rate the applicant in the following areas:
  • Motivation
  • Analytical skills
  • Intellectual capacity
  • Communication skills
  • Interpersonal skills

2. What do you consider the applicant’s strengths and/or weaknesses?

3. Describe a specific situation where you have observed the applicant using critical thinking skills or applied a new skill.

4. How would you describe the applicant’s leadership skills?

Program B’s questions

  1. Please list three to five adjectives describing the applicant’s strengths.
  2. Please compare the applicant’s performance to that of his or her peers.
  3. What does the applicant do best?
  4. If you were giving feedback to the applicant regarding his or her professional performance and personal effectiveness, in what areas would you suggest he or she work to improve?
  5. How does the applicant accept constructive criticism or handle conflicts?
  6. How effective are the applicant’s interpersonal skills in the workplace?
  7. On the below scale, please rate the applicant’s individual vs. team orientation (1 = most effective as an individual contributor; 5 = focused exclusively on the team). Please elaborate on your rating:
  8. Please give an example of how the applicant has demonstrated leadership.
  9. Is there anything else you feel we should know?

Please evaluate the applicant by entering the following quality ratings for the traits below. Truly exceptional (Top 2%) Outstanding (Top 10%) Very good (Top 20%) Good (Top third) Average (Middle third) Poor (Bottom third).

  • Intellectual Ability
  • Maturity
  • Quantitative Ability
  • Analytical Skills
  • Poise/Professionalism
  • Initiative
  • Personal integrity/ethics
  • Interpersonal skills/ability to work well with others
  • Sense of humor
  • Verbal English Communication Skills
  • Written English communication skills
  • Self confidence
  • Leadership ability
  • Future managerial or business success
  • Please provide us with your overall impression of the applicant

Program C’s questions

What are the applicant’s chief weaknesses or areas of growth

Rating 0-5

  • Integrity
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Oral Communications
  • Self-Awareness
  • Analytical Ability
  • Research Ability
  • Initiative
  • Potential for Success in Chosen Field
  • Maturity
  • Self-Confidence
  • Written Communication
  • Overall Evaluation

Program D’s questions

Rate 0-5

  • Communication and writing skills
  • Intellectual curiosity, originality and independence in thinking
  • Initiative
  • Interpersonal skills, ability to work well with others
  • Leadership ability and potential
  • Academic and analytical ability
  • Problem-solving ability
  • Flexibility, adaptability, willingness to learn new skills
  • Organizational ability
  • Maturity and professionalism
  • Research and reporting skills
  • Integrity

Program E’s questions

Rating 0-5

  • Academic performance
  • Intellectual ability
  • Written communication skills
  • Oral communication skills, including willingness to contribute valuably to discussion/debate where applicable
  • Analytical skills, including research and critical thinking skills where applicable