Toughest interview question and most common interview question?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by NewSoCalTeacher2017, Mar 29, 2018.

  1. NewSoCalTeacher2017

    NewSoCalTeacher2017 Rookie

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    Apr 2, 2018

    Thank you for sharing this!!
     
  2. NewSoCalTeacher2017

    NewSoCalTeacher2017 Rookie

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    Apr 2, 2018

    Great stuff. Thank you!!
     
  3. ssgirl11

    ssgirl11 Rookie

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    Apr 2, 2018

    One of the most common questions is "Why do you want to be a teacher?" My teacher education program stressed that you should never ever EVER say "Because I just love working with children." While that may be the answer, it may sound forced and generic.

    One of the most difficult questions that I encountered was a question on how to deal with a difficult co-worker. The question started out: "How would you regularly communicate with parents?" My answer was that I would send out a weekly email, updating parents on what is going on in class that week. Well, the response to that was "Well, what if one of your team teachers is against this, what would you do?" I'm pretty sure I came up with some BS answer, but I'm still not sure what I would do in that situation. Luckily, I get along with my team teachers. :flushed:
     
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  4. NewSoCalTeacher2017

    NewSoCalTeacher2017 Rookie

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    Apr 2, 2018

    Awesome advice. Thank you!
     
  5. NewSoCalTeacher2017

    NewSoCalTeacher2017 Rookie

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    Apr 2, 2018

    Good point!! Thank you!
     
  6. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    Apr 2, 2018

    Potential employers want to know how well you deal with conflict.

    I say:

    “I would ask why they question my ideas. If they ignore me or refuse to listen, I start taking notes, then bring it to supervisor. Take supervisor’s suggestions. If I still get drama, ask for a meeting with this person & supervisor. If he continues to block me, I report back to supervisor.

    They want to make sure you’ll give some effort and not run crying for everything.

    Or they know they have lousy staff members...want to see if you will sink or swim. :eek:
     
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  7. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    Apr 2, 2018

    Glad to help!
     
  8. TeacherWhoRuns

    TeacherWhoRuns Companion

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    Apr 4, 2018

    "Tell about a hardship in your life." It threw me for a loop because it verges on personal rather than professional. I mean a hardship can be financial, health-related, abuse...etc. I wasn't sure if they were looking for the most awful story or what. I honestly couldn't come up with anything at the time, and talked about how it took ten years before I finally got my teaching credential because I worked my way through school and couldn't afford to student teach without an income. Then afterward I thought that I could have told them all about suffering from fibroids, dragging myself to work everyday with serious anemia and my ultimate visit to the emergency room because I was having trouble breathing that ended up in a hysterectomy. But....that could have gotten pretty gross if I went into detail. The most irritating thing about the question was that it was in a school with a very high socioeconomic population, so "hardship" in that world probably has a much different context than in the other side of the district where many families exist below the poverty level.
     
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  9. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    Apr 5, 2018

    TeacherWhoRuns,

    Yeah, as much as you may think that’s what they want, be careful, You are strong and it’s good to know you’ve made it through some hard times.

    IMO, you don’t want to get yourself worked up and headed on an emotional rollercoaster, and get teary eyed...blowing your nose..turning your head, asking for a minute to get it together. This isn’t “Dancing With The Stars” or “American Idol”. They won’t give you points for your dramatic sob story....

    I think they are looking for how well you bounce back. I believe you must guard your emotions...so it does’t turn into a counseling session. :rolleyes:
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2018
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  10. FourSquare

    FourSquare Fanatic

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    Apr 5, 2018

    I think the scenario questions can be hard because you just don't know what they're going to ask. The "What would you do if..." questions. I had one about a colleague being crabby and difficult. I said I'd bring her coffee and otherwise leave her alone, because that's the truth. I don't go fishing for people's issues. Got enough of my own!:rofl:I've also gotten classroom management scenarios, data analysis scenarios, and intervention scenarios that can be difficult to answer without a context.
     
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  11. Been There

    Been There Comrade

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    Apr 5, 2018

    It is sooooo nice to receive a personal thank-you! So much more meaningful than a "like". Don't hesitate to let us know how your job search goes.
     
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  12. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    Apr 6, 2018

    I have seen some of those online application questions, and they can be just as difficult. You think you were filling out a passport application!

    I always print out a copy, and look it over before the interview. Usually, the interviewer has your copy in front of them. If your answers are totally different from what your application says, he will start looking back and forth and question you.

    Some people say, "Check yes for everything, just get your foot in the door." I think that works against you if you're not sincere. If you mark you're willing to do after school activities/clubs, don't be surprised when they ask you about it during the interview.
     
  13. Been There

    Been There Comrade

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    Apr 9, 2018

    WRONG ANSWER!!! It shouldn't annoy you at all, but is definitely one that you should anticipate. If you want to be their #1 choice for the job, you need to take every opportunity to shine. Your answer to this "annoying" question has the potential to set you apart from the rest of the pack. If I were asked that question, here is how I would respond (based on actual conversations with staff members since I arrived early for the interview).

    "I've spoken with several teachers (identify them by name) who unanimously expressed their enjoyment working here - they pointed out the strong school leadership, strong teamwork among the staff, supportive parents and enthusiastic students. I believe this would be a perfect fit for me and I look forward to being able to join the team!" Short, but concise. Naming the teachers that you spoke to may earn additional points, especially if the interview team follows-up by getting invaluable feedback from them about you.

    Now you have the proper perspective for successful interviewing! Works for both teaching and administrative interviews.
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2018
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  14. NewSoCalTeacher2017

    NewSoCalTeacher2017 Rookie

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    Apr 9, 2018

    Didn't even think about one like this. Thanks!!
     
  15. NewSoCalTeacher2017

    NewSoCalTeacher2017 Rookie

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    Apr 9, 2018

    That's great idea!!
     
  16. NewSoCalTeacher2017

    NewSoCalTeacher2017 Rookie

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    Apr 9, 2018

    I'll try to find some scenarios to help prepare me a little better. Thanks!
     
  17. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    Apr 10, 2018

    Make sure you have a strong beginning (problem), middle (solution) and a solid ending (results). Don’t ramble or become a comedian.

    Be pleasant and delightful. Keep smiling. It ain’t over until they reach out to shake your hand. So don’t get too confident or annoyed.:)
     
  18. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Fanatic

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    Apr 11, 2018

    Every interview I've had always asked, "Tell us what a typical day in your classroom would be like?" They want to hear about things like routine, schedule, programming and management. It took me a few tries to answer that one really well. I finally created a section in my portfolio for it and I use pictures of former students in action and schedules to walk them through my classroom environment.

    When I interviewed for my current position as an instructional coach I was asked a question about budgeting at the divisional level. I answered that one honestly - "I don't know. I've never worked with a large divisional budget before and I'll need some help at first to figure that out." I didn't want to say something I couldn't back up, and I still got the job.
     
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  19. FourSquare

    FourSquare Fanatic

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    Apr 11, 2018

    I don't think "Why do you want to work at this school?" has to be difficult. Put in the effort to research the school community a little and find something you connect with. Like: "Oh, I noticed you have an arts partnership with ABC Nonprofit. I was active in theater and would love to work at a school that supports creative learning." Or "I noticed PBIS posters when I came in this morning. I am PBIS trained and would love to help with that school-wide effort."

    I certainly favor candidates that come in knowing something specific about my school. You SHOULD really want to be there...not just anywhere for a job.
     
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  20. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    Apr 11, 2018

    They have holes and you want to fix them! :p
     

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