Writing Assignment at Job Interview

Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by I.D. Clair, Apr 21, 2011.

  1. I.D. Clair

    I.D. Clair Companion

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    Apr 21, 2011

    Has anyone ever had to do a writing assignment at an interview? I am just nervous about what the question could possibly be. Is it going to be one of the more difficult ones that they ask at an interview? Anyone ever been asked to do this?
     
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  3. cartwheels

    cartwheels Rookie

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    I had to do one that was several questions long, but I don't remember what the questions were. I'm pretty sure they were basic interview questions, though - tell us about yourself, how do you modify lessons, what is your strength, stuff like that. Try not to stress over it. The purpose of a writing sample is generally just to make sure you have decent writing skills. Use paragraphs, watch your grammar, make sure your ideas flow well, and you'll be fine.

    I was watching a video of interview tips and one principal said a good format for answering questions is three-pronged: state what you believe, explain what that looks like, and tell how you have demonstrated it. (For example: I believe great classroom management is ______. Effective classroom management will have ______. Some things that have worked well in my classroom are ______.) Maybe keeping that format in mind for three separate paragraphs will help guide you when you're responding to the question/prompt.
     
  4. EdEd

    EdEd Aficionado

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    Apr 22, 2011

    Wow, I can't believe people do that! I can see in the application, but as part of an interview? Does anyone else experience this? I can't imagine it's a good use of a panel's time to sit in a room and watch someone write for 20 minutes, unless the candidates are expected to do it as part of the application/pre-interview process while waiting?
     
  5. MissAnt

    MissAnt Comrade

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    Apr 22, 2011

    I had to do this for 2 interviews last summer. They gave the writing assessment after the interview. I had to answer an essay question about differentiation for the first interview. The second interview gave me 5 or 6 questions to answer. I was limited to 30 minutes during the first and was allowed unlimited time got the second. I did much better on the 2nd.
     
  6. Jem

    Jem Aficionado

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    Apr 22, 2011

    I had to do this for a training and development position with the city court a few months back. They asked us to do it by hand-no spell check in my hand! Eeek! I was the last one done, but I outlined what I wanted to say and really thought about how to phrase it best. I think the other candidates whipped through theirs.
     
  7. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Apr 22, 2011

    I had to do this. I did this in a separate room while the panelist talked about me for a bit, took a break, etc. Mine was also done by hand.

    My question was related to a classroom management scenario. Since they asked me the question in other formats during the interview, I'm assuming the emphasis is on my writing skills.

    In our case, I believe it made good sense to do this. I worked in a bilingual environment. Often people are not balanced bilinguals. Thus our interview was done in one language and this provided evidence of the second. The Praxis test also gives evidence but not quite as clear to the panelist.
     
  8. smurfette

    smurfette Habitué

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    Apr 22, 2011

    I had to do one a couple of months ago. It just asked me to write a paragraph explaining why I would be a good fit for the school.
     
  9. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Apr 22, 2011

    Our candidates do the written part right after their interviews. We have several questions from which they can choose.
     
  10. jenneke607

    jenneke607 Rookie

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    Right; I have had two interviews for classroom positions that required writing samples, and they were both (1) after the panel interview, and (2) much more specific. One involved a writing sample from a student, and asked candidates to analyze the sample and describe the kind of feedback the student would receive. The other detailed an issue with a parent, and asked the candidate to write a letter to the parent to diffuse tension.
     
  11. cartwheels

    cartwheels Rookie

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    When I did my writing sample, the panel was not in the room with me. They had me sit in the AP's office and work on it while the panel prepared for the actual interview. I think one reason they do it is because it shows them that you can write well on-the-fly. With the application questions, you have the ability to spell and grammar check it, run it by other people, get tips, consult online sources, etc., so it's difficult to tell if that is a true reflection of your writing ability.
     
  12. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Apr 22, 2011

    I've never had to complete a writing sample...so my guess is that this is something new to the interview process.

    We do not ask our teachers to complete a writing sample at the interview. However, we usually only hire by other teacher's in the district recommendation or from our sub pool.
     
  13. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Enthusiast

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    Apr 22, 2011

    My mom just interviewed for a job recently, and she had to do a writing sample before the interview (which was at the district office) - she had 30 minutes to write an essay about how she uses assessment data to drive her instruction.

    I even had to do a writing sample before I was hired for an after school program job in a district near me. My teaching credential program also required a writing sample as part of their interview process.
     
  14. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Apr 22, 2011

    Exactly. Trust me, spelling COUNTS! ;) as does content, grammar...we also consider how the answer 'fits' our philosophy.
     
  15. ciounoi

    ciounoi Cohort

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    I've done three. First one was how would you use technology in schools - I wrote an essay and did not have a time limit. Second was how would you create a positive classroom climate. I had a time limit of 30 minutes and a computer for this one! For the last one, I was given a about 8 questions and had to pick 5 to answer - I wrote a paragraph for each.

    I focused on good grammar and conventions and keeping my answers to the point (my teachers in college used to remind us again and again that we should answer the question that was asked, not go off on a tangent!).
     
  16. cmw

    cmw Groupie

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    Apr 22, 2011

    I had to do one after a 2nd round of interviews. One question was about how I would plan and rehearse for a music program. The second questions was something about professional development. I think it was about what kinds of development I would search out. :D
     
  17. newbie23

    newbie23 Comrade

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    Apr 22, 2011

    I had to do this for an interview a few years ago. The prompt was to write an introduction to myself for the back-to-school parent newsletter. That was tough since I hadn't even met anyone at the school other than the secretary. I didn't get the job but considering the P was 45 min. late, I'm thinking that was a good indication that we weren't the right fit for each other.
     
  18. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Apr 23, 2011

    I had one 5 years ago when I re-entered the job market. It was just before the interview, so the Principal and Math Department chair weren't sitting there waiting for me to finish; the secretary informed them when I was done.

    I have no memory of what the question was, or how I answered, other than the fact that it must have been OK, since I got the offer.

    Don't sweat it. In this technological age, they know that you could have downloaded your cover letter and paid someone to write your resume. They want to know that you have the basic skills to communicate in writing to parents. This is how they'll know.
     
  19. sunfishy

    sunfishy Rookie

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    Apr 26, 2011

    This has happened to me only once. I was placed in a room by myself and told to write a five paragraph essay all about RTI as a word document. I was also warned not to use the internet as they would be checking to see if I did. They did not explain what RTI stood for but thankfully I knew it stood for Response to Intervention. This was done before my first interview. When I finished my essay I had to bring it to the office and wait for fifteen minutes while the interview committee read my essay. It was only after all of that they they finally let me into the room to interview.
     
  20. LUCHopefulTeach

    LUCHopefulTeach Habitué

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    Apr 26, 2011

    I had a 'questionnaire' to fill out at my last interview. I had to answer 6 questions (each 4-6 sentences) in fifteen minutes! :eek:
     
  21. donziejo

    donziejo Devotee

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    Apr 26, 2011

    I had to do a writing assignment and the question was "What is your idea of the perfect classroom?" Then she told me she wasn't talking about how big the classroom was, or what it physically looked like. She told me the male applicants were even giving measurements. Maybe they should have worded the question differently:)
     

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