How do you turn an interview into a conversation?

Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by ahodge79, Jun 24, 2014.

  1. ahodge79

    ahodge79 Companion

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    Jun 24, 2014

    I've read on here that people said that things turn informal and you're just having a conversation.... how do you do that? I would love for this to happen but don't know how you turn their "interrogation" into a friendly discussion.
     
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  3. ktmiller222

    ktmiller222 Cohort

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    I heard that you should give some examples/stories in your answers. I tried that at my last interview (I think it was my best interview yet) but the panel still just smiled and just asked the next question. I've never had anyone on a panel asked me other details to my answers so it's tough to answer. Hopefully someone can provide more information on it.
     
  4. SleekTeach

    SleekTeach Comrade

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    I don't think there is a way to make it happen. I think it might just depend on who is interviewing you. Some people are just naturally warm and want to make you feel comfortable, while others want to see how you act under pressure. If there is a certain trick I would like to know for the future haha
     
  5. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    Jun 24, 2014

    I think working your own questions into the interview helps. For example, I've been asked what my favorite book is a few times. I always respond and ask if they've read it too. Often this sparks a little discussion about the book.
     
  6. abat_jour

    abat_jour Companion

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    google STAR approach. it is easy to find and I can't recall it off the top of my head.

    I had a phone interview and it was like talking to old friends and then the next day the hired someone, but they told me which was cool. But after the interview I realized I didn't get any of those standard questions and was worried. Are you talking about phone or in person. I think phone is easier to engage in conversation. Ask them goals for the school or makes jokettes? But, I am not the best person to respond as I am not hired.
     
  7. sunshine24

    sunshine24 Comrade

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    Jun 24, 2014

    I was wondering this as well. I interview very badly and can never seem to get that "conversation" vibe going. Even during more laid-back settings, it still ends up being just a question and answer type thing.
    I really think it depends on who the interviewer is. Maybe some people let the questions come more naturally, but all my interviewers have read questions off of a list and have not deviated. I think it's hard to get away from the interrogation mode when the questions are posed like that.
     
  8. LouiseB

    LouiseB Cohort

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    Jun 24, 2014

    When I was hired several years ago, it was a five panel interview. There was one administrator who was in charge and it was obvious that he was in charge. Each person had a question that they were to ask which began with this person in charge. They went once around the table once and it was back to the person in charge. He started with a question that was NOT on the paper and the conversation started. (I could tell it wasn't on the paper because the others were looking for the question and then just looked at the person in charge.) I could tell that he was the one to make that change and others went with it after that. From now working in the district, that person is definitely the one in charge so it made a lot more sense to me after that in understanding what went on in the interview.

    I honestly think that the one in charge liked what I was saying and that's why he went with other questions.

    My guess the same situation may exist in other panel interviews. People are required to stay with the questions on the paper unless a "certain" person takes it to a different place.
     
  9. MrsJay

    MrsJay Rookie

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    Jun 24, 2014

    When I had a one on one interview, my interview was more of a conversation with the principal. However, when I had my panel interview with 12 people, there was no way that could happen. I tried but the panel was very formal.
     
  10. abat_jour

    abat_jour Companion

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    My advice to you is look at the interview q's posted here and make a bullet point list, so you know in your head where you are going w/ content. Thinking about answer takes away from interactive conversation time. Practice small talk at grocery store? Get as familiar with the school or county or location so you can improv some relational dialogue.

    I worry about this too as I have the opposite problem; I think my speaking tone is too jocular and I come off as unprofessional.
     
  11. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    Jun 24, 2014

    Take a photo brochure or some photos to reference when answering questions. Those have always sparked conversations for me.
     
  12. My3kloves

    My3kloves Rookie

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    I had an interview about a week ago and I walked in and sat down and the assistant principal told me from the start that she was looking for a specific fit. A certain personality and we just had a big conversation. She didn't really ask any questions. Maybe a few from the top of her head but at the end of our "conversation" she told me that she will choose her top candidates to come back for the formal interview that next week.

    I got calked back for the next day and was interviewed and hired by the principal. It was awesome!
     
  13. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

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    This is what happened when I interviewed for the position I have next year. This person is the one who asked most of the follow up questions. That person's questions enabled me to see that I was making a connection with the panel (6 people), the school, and what they were looking for.

    This is what happened when I interviewed for the job I've had for the past 2 years. That interview had a panel of 12. Honestly, sometimes it is not possible to turn an interview into a conversation in situations like that!
     
  14. Luv2TeachInTX

    Luv2TeachInTX Comrade

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    Jun 25, 2014

    I don't know that's there's really any way to facilitate that happening. That being said though, my best interviews have all "felt" more like a conversation among friends rather than an inquisition. It really all depends on the the personalities of the principal and panel.

    The job a I just got had an interview like that. It was the P, AP, two members of the 2nd grade team and even the instructional specialists. In between questions or when expounding on questions, we made small talk, joked around, etc. It was pretty relaxed and one of the reasons I instantly felt a connection with them and knew I would love working there. :)

    Long story short, it's more of an organic process that just kind of happens and you don't have a whole lot of control over. So much depends, like I said, on the campus culture and your admin and team's interviewing style. That being said, being confident and not taking yourself too seriously definitely helps.
     
  15. Kelster95

    Kelster95 Companion

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    Jun 25, 2014

    When I interviewed for my new position the principal said she wanted it to be more like a conversation, I felt like parts were conversational but other time were interview like. I think it is harder to have it be conversational with three people. I got the job so I must have done better than I thought.
     
  16. mrsammieb

    mrsammieb Devotee

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    Jun 25, 2014

    I would just be careful in that in a more casual conversation you might be tempted to say something that could be misconstrued and it would disqualify you from a position. So be mindful. I think it is great but always remember you are interviewing!!
     

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