Anybody else have MAJOR nervousness issues??!!

Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by merigold78, Jul 16, 2009.

  1. merigold78

    merigold78 Cohort

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    Jul 16, 2009

    Hi all!

    I have posted on here before, so I know I'll get lots of support :) & hopefully some good advice for my (latest) job seeking issue! I am really having a big problem w/nervousness during interviews. I honestly believe this is probably why I have not yet found a "good" job to date. I have basically everything a (smart :)) administrator would want - experience (& inner city, at that!), a true passion for teaching, positive/energetic personality, etc. But I think my poor interviewing skills are just eating me up.

    Does anyone have any suggestions for how to NOT be so nervous in teaching interviews?? I am really tired of looking for a job, & would like to be able to present myself in a less anxious/nervous manner! I know if I could do this I would probably find something great :) :) :).

    Thanks in advance for all your help/advice - happy almost Friday!!

    Meri
     
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  3. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Hi meri- haven't seen you around in a while...
    Have you checked the threads on interview questions? I think 'practice' questions and 'mock' interviews with some teacher friends migh go a long way towards helping you feel more confident.
     
  4. merigold78

    merigold78 Cohort

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    Thanks for the suggestions, czacza! I usually practice a lot of ques. (sometimes I think I practice too many - ha-ha! :)), but perhaps I should do some "mock" interviews w/friends. I am sure my hubby would be willing to help out w/this too!

    A funny story: I completed a mock interview w/a local school administrator when I was still in college. He said I did great & did not appear nervous at all! I wonder what happened between then & now???!!!

    Any other suggestions??

    Meri
     
  5. blondie77

    blondie77 Rookie

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    I am the same way! I have had interviews and it's like I just freeze. I don't think my real personality comes out. Have you asked past P's you have interviewed with for feedback?

     
  6. MissLD

    MissLD Rookie

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    I do! I get so nervous in interviews, but I have improved a little over time. I was so nervous this time I could not even say the word "differentiating".
     
  7. merigold78

    merigold78 Cohort

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    I have asked P's for feedback & gotten nothing or (what I consider) a less than truthful response. I guess they are just limited on what they can actually tell you - I don't know!

    Blondie (love the name, by the way!) - I have had trouble "using my words" - ha ha :) - in the past too! I remember a scholarship interview in h.s. when I was so nervous I could barely speak! It was so mortifying & embarrassing. Thank goodness I've come a long way since then.....but I still have far to go - OBVIOUSLY!! :)

    Thanks again for all your helpful responses & suggestions :).

    Meri
     
  8. lemonhead

    lemonhead Aficionado

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    Hi Meri! Long time no see.:)

    Okay, I would just keep practicing answers. Really know your philosophy and be able to spew it out. Maybe if you come up with a few things that you truly believe in, your answers can all sort of focus on that. Maybe it's creating independent learners, differentiating, collaboration with other teachers. If you know its those things it will be easier for you to contain your answers and not ramble as much.

    Then, have something to say if you are totally stuck. Maybe it is, "that is a great question, hmm, I'd probably need to really think on that but off the top of my head..." and then spew something out.

    Do you ever ask them questions in between your questions or do you wait until the end? Maybe you could ask them a few questions that have to do with your answer. Like say they ask about what types of community involvement you've done with your previous job. You could answer and then ask them what types of things their school does. Probably not the best example but you get what I am saying. I did that on my interviews and it helped me relax. You may want to jot notes down too.
     
  9. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Maybe part of the answer is a killer portfolio.

    If you could SHOW the answers to some questions, it might make it easier for you to TALK about them.
     
  10. Junebug

    Junebug Comrade

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    I think that we get so nervous because we want the job so bad we freeze. When you interviewed at school you knew it wasn't real so not as much weighed on it (a grade maybe).
    I have been on 2 interviews this summer. The first one was terrible, I tried to make small talk (I tend to talk to much when nervous) and the P was not interested. She just asked questions, looking at her list and wrote what I said. My other was different. We talked, she asked questions, we talked. I was much more relaxed. I felt it was a good interview. I may not get that job, but I feel I did a good interview.
    Make sense?
     
  11. merigold78

    merigold78 Cohort

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    Thanks again for all the help, girls! :) I will DEFINITELY try some of your suggestions before my next interview. I can't believe I'm still freezing up after 6 YEARS OF INTERVIEWING!! It makes me so angry/frustrated b/c I know that I know what I'm talking about. It's just a matter of conveying that info. to the interviewers. Sometimes I wish I could just record myself teaching, & show it during the interview. Then they would HAVE to hire me!! :) :) :)

    Thanks for all the suggestions - I must get better at this interviewing thing!!!

    Meri
     
  12. darlibby

    darlibby Companion

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    I also get nervous during interviews. My least favorite kind of interviews are ones with several people in the room. I interviewed today with a P, AP, and dept chair all at once. I also don't like when they read questions off a worksheet. Either way, I think the interview went ok with my nervousness.
     
  13. Exclaimation Po

    Exclaimation Po Habitué

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    Oh Meri, :hugs: . It happens to most of us. Some people are geniuses at interviewing. The rest of us get nervous! I have attacks of aphasia, where words I know I know just won't come to mind. Concepts will just fly out of my head when I'm asked about them. It's weird.

    Maybe we should all get some sort of meditation CD and listen to it in the parking lot outside before we go in for interviews. :p
     
  14. BerniceBobs

    BerniceBobs Comrade

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    Watch that scene from the movie Office Space in which he is interviewed by the two Bobs about a job he no longer cares about. The more he acts like he doesn't give ****, the more the two Bobs fall in love with him.
    It's a funny scene, however, there is an element of truth to it.
    If you pretend that they need you more than you need them the attitude will follow. Hell, they're the ones who should be nervous, not you.
     
  15. tb71

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    My FIL use to do the hiring for Delta, he said people talk to much during the interview and end up talking themselves out of a job. He told me today, make sure you just answer the question, don't take a side on anything controversial and don't ask questions about benefits/days off etc until the job has been offered. I know this is common sense, but I'm sure I'm going to have to remind myself not to ramble.
    Good luck!!
     
  16. Jlyn07

    Jlyn07 Comrade

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    I do! My personality doesn't come through at all I don't think and I often can't think of the "buzz" word I want to say. Once, I was considering not going to an interview because I was so nervous. It was making me so anxious. I did go, BTW, and it wasn't that bad.

    I do think that it has gotten better for me after a few interviews. I'm still not nearly as confident as I want to be but I think I'm coming off much more confident.
     
  17. ecl

    ecl Rookie

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    I interviewed last week for the first time in close to 20 years. I was very concerned about not knowing all of the new education lingo, and nervous about being compared with all of the young people fresh out of college.

    So I actually "studied" for the interview. I made a list of questions from this web site and a book that I had, put all my answers on 3 x 5 cards, and practiced saying them over and over again, out loud. I studied for hours each day for a period of maybe 5 days. My kids would sneak up behind me, start laughing at me and run away.

    On the way down to the interview, I was still saying all of my answers out loud in the car. When it came time for the interview, I knew exactly what I wanted to say. Over half the questions I had prepared for, and my confidence from answering them transferred to the ones I didn't know.

    All that studying paid off - I was amazed and felt like I won the lottery when I was told that I interviewed so well that I placed ahead of several hundred candidates on the list and was given first choice of schools available.
     
  18. merigold78

    merigold78 Cohort

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    ECL - I am taking your advice for the next interview. It really makes sense - if you just practice, practice, PRACTICE then eventually you can answer w/o even thinking about it. BTW I love how your kids would sneak up behind you, & then run away laughing. That is soooooo cute! :) Congrats on getting a job & your choice of schools....that is awesome!

    Thank you to everyone else too for sharing your stories & advice. It does make me feel better to know this is a common problem. We WILL get better at interviewing, yes we will (lol)!! :)

    Have a great weekend, everyone!!

    Meri
     
  19. cmw

    cmw Groupie

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    I totally did this before I interviewed. I put on the classical music station & took a lot of deep breaths! Maybe get in a walk before hand so some of that nevous energy is expelled. I also agree with having a strong portfolio. Even if you biff a couple questions you can save the interview with examples of your work with students!!

    I think Junebug's right...we want it sooo bad we freeze. We also know the competition is sooo tough. We think if that if we don't answer perfect we're out of luck. :(

    Good luck & hang in there Meri!!! :hugs:
     
  20. Loves the beach

    Loves the beach Companion

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    Here's one thing that helped me. I know this is not always practical, and some may not like the idea. I have starting asking my husband to drive me to the interview. This was actually his idea, so I have been taking him up on it. I do not take him along inside the building, but he sits out in the car or goes and gets a quick burger. He doesn't mind, and it calms my nerves to know that I do not have to drive myself. I can relax and chat with him on the way (and on the way back). It's encouraging to know that someone is out in the parking lot "cheering" me on.

    Again, this may not be something you'd like to try. I know the interview tips and all say not to bring a friend along. But, again, I do not actually bring him in. I sure wasn't as nervous, and I was able to show more of my true personality.

    p.s. And I got a job on one of those interviews! :)
     
  21. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    How would you segue from answering a question to opening up your portfolio and showing an example? Would you say, "for example, this is a lesson where I ......", and open it up??
     
  22. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    I have done this! It does help, I think. One thing that makes me nervous is worrying about whether or not I will get lost or be on time. My husband has GPS if he drove me I'd never get lost LOL
     
  23. cmw

    cmw Groupie

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    Yes!!!! If there's a question about integration you talk about how you'd integrate 2 subjects & show them the example from your portfolio. Also once it's open they'll be more inclined to look at it & ask you more questions about it. :D If something doesn't get mentioned in your interview from your portfolio make sure you bring it up when they ask you if there's anything else you'd like to let them know. :D
     
  24. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    I agree. I needed something that I could direct their attention to, as I can't stomach (literally!) being practically stared at by other adults in such a naturally judgmental setting.
     
  25. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Just curious, those of you who are nervous on interviews-- Are you equally nervous in other situations? What about 'back to school night', faculty meetings or board meetings where you may be asked to present?
     
  26. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    cza~for me, I'm not too nervous on Back to School night but every nervous in interviews.
     
  27. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    I was in one interview & a question came up that I had a perfect example in my portfolio. One of the interviewers was looking at my portfolio, I just leaned over, asked him if I could show them a picture of what I was talking about, flipped to the picture and then turned my portfolio around to show everyone the picture. I then handed my portfolio back to the person who had it.

    (I didn't get the job).
     
  28. smalagreca

    smalagreca Companion

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    You can take beta blockers to reduce any physical signs of nervousness
     
  29. txteach2b

    txteach2b Comrade

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    Man, oh man, do I ever get nervous! I've stated before in other posts that I haven't had much experience with interviews. I have had only 2 formal interviews.....1 for a small loan company (I was in the top 2 interviews...only reason I didn't get hired was because I had no loan experience).....and 1 for a teaching position. I totally blew the second one because I was sooooo nervous, and I wanted it so badly.

    For the second interview, there were 9 people on the panel, and that helped me zip in the nerves department. I felt like I was under the microscope. I must have known almost half the people there, and that made it even worse. They were firing questions left and right, and they wrote down everything I said. They were reading questions off a worksheet, and they only asked about half of them. I restarted an answer because I knew I was giving the wrong one, and they had to prompt me on another one. There was one question I had no answer to. Total time I was in there? 10 minutes. I was kicking myself on the way out. I knew it was bad. I can guarantee I'll never miss those questions again.

    I keep hoping I'll get an interview soon. People close to me are telling me the right one will come along. I hope so.
     
  30. roseteacher12

    roseteacher12 Habitué

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    I do get nervous but I combat that by getting as well=prepared as possible. I feel that if I know what I'm talking about I'm OK; however, if a question throws me off then i start to get my nerves back and its hard to shake that.
     
  31. Junebug

    Junebug Comrade

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    I get so nervous when I interview!! I do okay sometimes but then all of a sudden, it's like I start listening to myself and I loose my train of thought. I will stumble and even forget what I am talking about and what was the question anyway? :eek:
     
  32. McKennaL

    McKennaL Groupie

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    I am VERY nervous when I interview (which is the TOAL opposite of how I am in ANY other situation. I can talk to stadiums full of people without a second thought-back in the old days of selling raffle tickets at football games.) but put me in a situation one-on-one or a few-on-one where I am being JUDGED... YIKES!

    But two things happened (in 2 separate interviews) that caused me to realize- sheeesh, I'm CALM talking about this/this way.

    1-When i could relate the question to something I did with a student. The question was .. "How do you communicate with your students?" WHAT IN THE WORLD? But I started talking about one student in particular. He had attention and focusing issues...and I chatted about how Nikko and I had signals that would help him focus back on the task.
    Thinking about how much i enjoyed working with that little boy relaxed me.

    2- Another interview started with chit-chat. The vice-principal and I realized we went to the same college...we talked about life there. She told me about her rise to her current job, and I complimented her journey. The beginning started out so casual that the rest of the interview felt like two teacher-pals discussing the art of teaching--rather than being grilled.

    I knwo that neither of those situations show up each time...but when they did... I skated through. Oh, and both of those interviews got me through to the next round.
     
  33. txteach2b

    txteach2b Comrade

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    This is how I feel about that interview I went on....totally opposite of what I know I'm like in other situations. Judged.....that's a great way to put it! That's how I felt.

    I wish I had enough experience to relate a lot of questions this way.

    I would love it if all interviews started this way. Then I could be totally relaxed! I'm a talker by nature, so this would totally help my nerves.
     
  34. MATgrad

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    I turn into the stereotypical sorority girl when I interview. (I am a sorority alumnae.) I just get so excited when I talk about teaching. I try to moderate it by thinking about how to bring concrete examples of previous work into it and taking a deep breath before answering any questions.
     
  35. Miss84

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    I'm extremely nervous when I am not comfortable. Sometimes people give off vibes that don't sit well with me and it all goes downhill from there.
     
  36. McKennaL

    McKennaL Groupie

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    I find I am clearly in either one of two camps when interviewing...

    The Very-Passionate-and-Enthusiastic-About-Teaching-to-a-Point-of-Animation Camp

    or

    The Here-I-am-Talking-About-the-Craft-of-Teaching Camp.

    the first is energetic but shallow, and the second is deep but dull.

    my problem is..the two NEVER mesh and when i get into ONE mode, i can't jump over to the other.
     

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