"Why are you interested in our school?"

Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by AnonyMS, Sep 5, 2010.

  1. AnonyMS

    AnonyMS Habitué

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    Sep 5, 2010

    This is the question I got at an interview. I didn't expect it. I figured that the interview team (I walked into a team of FIVE when I thought I was interviewing with ONE) realized that most applicants are applying for a TEACHING JOB, not A TEACHING JOB AT THIS SCHOOL. If that were the case, I'd have applied for a grand total of two jobs (they had a 2nd grade opening and a 4th grade opening).

    I have applied for OVER ONE HUNDRED positions.

    What is the best way to answer this question? I don't feel that there was anything extra-ordinary about this school that I could have mentioned that makes it stick out from the other schools in the area.
     
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  3. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Sep 5, 2010

    Wow. Well, as a member of my district's hiring committee, I'd say that we do know that " most applicants are applying for a TEACHING JOB, not A TEACHING JOB AT THIS SCHOOL" but what we want are candidates who will fit at OUR school. Most schools aren't looking for teachers in general, but for professional educators who are intelligent, well-spoken, know their 'stuff', are passionate about this profession and who have, yes, done some research themselves about our school and district.
     
  4. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Sep 5, 2010

    I think schools ask this question to sift through the applicants. They want someone who has taken the time to research their school, knows something about the school that they can help out with, etc.
     
  5. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Fanatic

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    Sep 5, 2010

    This is an opportunity to show the interview team how serious you are about the job. If you really want the position, do your homework and know about the programs and opportunities available at the school.
     
  6. mom2mikey

    mom2mikey Cohort

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    Sep 5, 2010

    In this day and age where it is so easy to get information about a school and what makes it unique online I would think that you would take the time to at least check out the school before going to the interview. I'm sure they were trying to figure out if you have taken the time learn about the school.

    When I was looking for all three of the jobs that I have gotten in my 18 years of teaching I did learn about the school before I applied to them. There were some jobs that seemed great but then I would learn about the school and decide not to apply. Remember that searching for a job is about finding the right fit for both sides. What school you work in matters.
     
  7. UCLACareerChngr

    UCLACareerChngr Comrade

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    Sep 5, 2010

    you might not think it's important to worry about knowing anything about the school...but of course you are competing against the other applicants. It's possible that someone who takes the extra time to learn about the school and relate their experience to it will differentiate themselves from the other applicants...every little advantage can help.
     
  8. chebrutta

    chebrutta Fanatic

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    Sep 6, 2010

    Absolutely what everyone else is saying - my school isn't interested in people looking for a teaching job. They're interested in people looking to teach at OUR school - people willing to uphold our standards both at school & in the community, people who can commit to our rigorous expectations for teachers and students, and people who are willing to train for several of our programs.

    I've worked at two schools who were looking for a warm body to fill a position. IMHO, there is a world of difference between working somewhere who needed a place filled and working somewhere because you were a good fit.
     
  9. diana

    diana Rookie

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    Sep 6, 2010

    With so many applicants applying for one teaching job nowadays, it pays to learn about the school that's interviewing you (especially when interviews are tough enough to come across). If you scope out the school's website, there's bound to be something that you can appreciate.
     
  10. AnonyMS

    AnonyMS Habitué

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    Sep 6, 2010

    It's not that I don't know anything about the school. I do research and look up every school's website, etc. But most of the schools offer the same thing... they're all in the same type of neighborhood, serve the same type of population, etc.... so any answer for that school in particular would really fit with any school in the surrounding 3 or 4 neighborhoods.

    It's not that I don't know anything about the school.
     
  11. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Then I would dig deeper to what sets that school apart from the rest.
     
  12. diana

    diana Rookie

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    What subject area are you best at or most interested in? Say it's math. Then you could see if students at this school perform exceptionally well on state/national math tests and use that as a reason you are interested in this particular school. Or maybe you'd see an after school math club that the school offers and use that for a reason.
     
  13. ami6880

    ami6880 Companion

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    Sep 6, 2010

    I think it is always good to find something special about the school. They like when you do your homework and it shows that you really are interested in working there. When I was hired, when it came to questions I asked about something I saw on the website. It said that the school was voted "Kindest school in Kansas City", the principal loved that I asked about it. I'm not sure that it is why I got the job, but I think it showed I was interested.
     
  14. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Sep 8, 2010

    Each school sees themselves as unique. It's up to you to find out what they value.
     
  15. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Sep 9, 2010

    On paper, my school is much like many others in my town and district, the reality couldn't be more different. Candidates who do a little digging--not just on our school website, but a little deeper--can find out some of our unique challenges, and the programs we are implementing to overcome them.
     
  16. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I can see why it's very important to administrators to see that you've done your homework.

    If you can't be bothered to do some digging NOW, when you're competing with hundreds or thousands of other applicants for a job, I can see how they would doubt your work ethic down the road.

    Remember, this is for the INTERVIEW, not the application. It's (presumably) not as though you have to do this type of in depth research for the hundred or so applications you're sending out, just for the ones where you make it to the interview stage.

    If you're that close to being hired, then yes-- do your homework.
     
  17. nogenrewriter

    nogenrewriter Companion

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    Sep 9, 2010

    The school I work at seems like your typical public school, but I have learned that it has some really unique characteristics. You have to do some research and see why you would be a good fit and express that to the panel.
     
  18. itsmejenni

    itsmejenni Rookie

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    Sep 12, 2010

    I suppose I better prepare for this one myself, I never even thought about being asked that, Fist of all I want to say that those of you doing the interviews. Interviewing with more than two other people in the room, makes us very uncomfortable. I went on one and they tagged me with questions from left to right. I was well prepared for the interview, but byt he time I caught a breat another asked a questing,. I left exhausted. I left like they were quizzing me for reasons not to pick me.

    Besides that though, I always look the school up on the internet, i look at the teachers pics and websites for the grade levels I am ihring for. I think now that I know they might ask this I will start looking at more demographics and school standing and budgeting in the county. then say something I learned during this question to show I did my homework. I remember my mother in law once got a job for the simple reason that she knew something about the emplyer that others failed to mention. she said soemthing she could do to help the company improve on a particular area and why she thinks she can. She kept it simple though because she didnt want ot to be an insult, but more of a way to show she wants to be a part of soemthing bigger. also the simple answer of, its near my house, lol.
     
  19. AnonyMS

    AnonyMS Habitué

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    Sep 14, 2010

    Thank you for the kind and gentle answers.

    Yes, in reality and in hindsight, I realize that I did know how to answer that question. I think I was totally thrown off by walking into a principal's office expecting to interview with just that person and then finding 4 others in the room... a VP, the grade team leader, a bi-lingual, and a mono-lingual team teacher as well. It threw me off. I was so nervous that I even joked about it after the first couple of questions - to explain my nervousness - at which they all laughed and I thought it would put me at ease. But it did not. At all.

    This interview was over the summer and while I understand that the summer brings out the casual in people, I also was surprised to be interviewed by a principal in shorts and flip-flops as well as the teachers in jeans, shorts, capris. It was 100 degrees out and I - of course - was in an interview suit.
     
  20. brejohnson88

    brejohnson88 Comrade

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    Sep 14, 2010

    lol, I was interviewed in the P wearing casusal clothes but now they are always dressed professionally at school. I can see why your nervous. Just make sure to take a deep breath and try to get through the answer. I would be honest. I was asked this question at my interview and I told them I read their mission statement and it sounded like a place I would want to work. I looked up the school report card and scooped out the community and found it was similar to where I student taught at and it was somewhere I could see myself feeling comfortable. I also told them I was moving to this area and living a 30 minute hour away so it was convient :)
     
  21. anna9868

    anna9868 Cohort

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    Sep 15, 2010

    AnonyMS, I asked the same question a while ago, got similar responses. I looked and looked online, and all the schools I've been applying to seem to have the same info on their website.

    Maybe you need to have a certain # of years working a particular school/schools in order to know details and what to look for. (which I don't have, being just a sub)
     

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