Questions judges will ask

Which questions are judges bound to ask us at competitions?

Take a look at the Judge’s guide ( Pages 32-35 have some interview guidelines and sample questions.

Many newer judges will ask questions from this list (although there are no “required” questions). If I am interviewing you, my first question will be “Tell me about your robot and your team?” This would give your team a chance to talk about anything they want, and I’ll follow up with additional questions based on what you’re telling me. If your team is being considered for Design or Excellence award (because you have an engineering notebook that scored very well on the Engineering Notebook Scoring Rubric (pages 26-27 of the judges guide), I’ll probably ask some questions about your design process to see that your engineering notebook is genuine, recording your design process through the season, and not just something written up the night before competition.


I agree with @kmmohn, and I have judged at many IQ competitions and some questions I like to ask when a team is being interview for design or excellence, is generally if they can tell me about their design process and if they can show me where in the notebook it is. I also like to ask about some challenges that the team might have had.

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How do you, or I guess actually the students, accomplish this? Every tournament I’ve been to, the EN is in the judges room and the judges are with the team in the pit asking the questions. They don’t have their EN to point to.

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I always give them their notebook when we ask them questions, and then we take it back before they leave the room

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This way we can understand weather the team understands and can locate key points in the notebook.

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This doesn’t happen at any event I’ve judged at. While a few events might have an interview room, we always do pit interviews after all the notebooks have been reviewed. @QuantumCreator1036 (and everyone else), you should plan to not have your notebook with you at the interview, although it might happen. Many teams like to have a presentation ready, perhaps a 3-ring binder or a “science-fair-style” display board with important information you want to show the judges during your interview.

One more thing, as you’re being interviewed, the judges will already know who the candidates are for the design award based on the engineering notebooks, (but we won’t tell you). Even if you are not in the running for design or excellence award, you’ll receive the same quality of interview, as there are usually additional judged awards at an event.

Sometimes, but not always, it depends on the event, there might be second interviews for some teams. The judge adviser might be “cross checking” by sending a different judging team for an interview, to re-check some information from the first interview.


You don’t do the interviews in the pits?

I think letting the kids have their EN during the interview is a fantastic idea.

I’ve also seen separate judge teams for the Think Award at a couple events, though it’s not common.

in my state and region we will do a first interview to all of the teams in the pits, then a second and third interview for engineering notebooks and excellence in a separate room.

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