Did he just say that???

Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by SCTeachInTX, Jul 16, 2011.

  1. SCTeachInTX

    SCTeachInTX Fanatic

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    Jul 16, 2011

    :eek: I sat in on an interview last week for a first grade position at a school in my district. The P said to a brand new teacher:
    I just want you to know that we are interviewing someone that already has experience in this position.

    Later the P said: Why should I hire you over someone that already knows the position and has a good track record for success with students?

    In another interview for a Reading Recovery teacher position the P said: I have a concern with you leaving your current position as a first grade teacher because we really need you there in helping to lead your team. Surely you can understand my concern.

    I don't know... is it me or are these questions/statements just odd. I was asked out of courtesy to come help this P interview and I just wondered if this is common?

    What kinds of weird questions/statements have you heard in an interview?;)

     
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  3. LUCHopefulTeach

    LUCHopefulTeach Habitué

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    This is a weird question/statement. If I were the person being interviewed I would probably take this negatively and feel instantly down and nervous.

    I had the weirdest interview of my life on Thursday. I was asked about my hobby and then (after I answered) asked to create both a math lesson and a science lesson around my hobby. He kept cutting me off mid-sentence while I was answering or explaining to ask another question.
     
  4. Memom2

    Memom2 Rookie

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    I have heard there is a P in the district where I student taught that asks, "Which of these 3 animals would you be and why?" Then he names the 3 animals, no one could remember the animals though.
     
  5. Proud2BATeacher

    Proud2BATeacher Phenom

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    I don't find this question odd at all...
     
  6. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I don't think that those questions are strange or unusual in any way. :confused: Interviews are a chance for an employer to find out why you would be the best bet. If you have some qualities or characteristics that might be negative (such as having no experience), you should be prepared to spin those around and be able to use them to your advantage. I don't think it's out of line for a potential employer to ask you about those sorts of things. In fact, I think it would be irresponsible to do otherwise.
     
  7. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I agree, Proud.

    And, honestly, I think it's a valid question.

    There are lots of good answers-- that you're open to learning, that you have no bad habits to break, that HIS way will become YOUR way, that what you lack in experience you more than make up for in enthusiasm and willingness to learn. (And, of course, as a new teacher you're a cheaper hire in rough economic times.)
     
  8. webmistress

    webmistress Devotee

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    Not a teaching interview but my sis just told me about a question at her interview to be a Wal Mart pharmacist many years ago. The question was, "What is the first thing that you think of when you see a Wal-Mart?"

    She said she didn't give a good answer (she can't even remember what her answer was)....but he told her "I was looking for you to say that you think of low prices?"
    Like, what, lol!

    I think of crowds and stress when I see Walmart. I am not a fan of walmart at all. Anyway she still got the job, but that was quite the strange question to us.:lol:
     
  9. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    As to this one: "In another interview for a Reading Recovery teacher position the P said: I have a concern with you leaving your current position as a first grade teacher because we really need you there in helping to lead your team. Surely you can understand my concern."-- did the person leave mid year? If so, then, again, I think it's a very valid concern.
     
  10. BumbleB

    BumbleB Habitué

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    I've had 2 interviews like that! I was told that it's a common interview protocol that alot of districts use :)
     
  11. TamiJ

    TamiJ Virtuoso

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    I think Ps and interview panels are more interested in seeing how well you can articulate yourself on the spot. That's probably why some of the questions might seem odd (like responding to what sort of animal we would be and why). It gives them insight into our personality and tells them something different than what the anticipated questions might tell them. I think our responses to some of the more different questions might be what helps us to really make us stand out. Back when I was not yet teaching but had been subbing, I was being interviewed for a tutoring position at an elementary position, the P asked me why she should hire me. I responded that I was energetic, full of ideas, and not burned out. She was cracking up at that statement. While she didn't end up hiring me, and passed me up for someone with more experience, she did call me to tell me they hired someone else, and she mentioned that she had loved my comment to her and encouraged me to keep trying.
     
  12. Marci07

    Marci07 Devotee

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    I can see how a principal could be concerned about this but the teacher must have had a reason for wanting to leave that position otherwise this teacher wouldn't be applying. It is also true that if a teacher is not very happy in that position, she/he cannot be as effective as she/he could be in a position that would be a better fit. This is only for the teacher to determine and not the principal. This is why this is odd for me.

    I had a similar situation once, where the principal I interviewed with called my then current principal to check if it was ok for me to go to this new school and how she would feel if I was offered the position. This was very upsetting for me. The worst part was that I wasn't even offered the position. I could have lost my job and I would have been with no job at all. This was extremelly unprofessional. :dizzy:
     
  13. LUCHopefulTeach

    LUCHopefulTeach Habitué

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    Wow! That is just awful.
     
  14. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I think that's the point of the question--to ascertain the reason for leaving.

    To be honest, I think he's worried that the person he's interviewing will do the same thing again-- leave him stuck looking for a mid year replacement-- that it's part of a pattern of leaving when things get tough.

    Sure, there are some valid reasons for leaving mid year. But I think he's trying do differentiate between, say, someone whose spouse got transferred mid year and someone who flakes out mid year.
     
  15. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    I think this is a very valid/normal question. Interviewing as a brand new teacher, I got this question all the time and felt I answered it well. In my current position, I was the only candidate who interviewed who had no experience, and I got the job. I think that was an important question for them to ask.

    I once had somebody ask what I thought of my old boss (just a summer job since I was a new teacher). Of course I wasn't falling into that trap, so I said all positive things. The interviewer then asked me to say what my top 2 negative things about him were!
     
  16. SCTeachInTX

    SCTeachInTX Fanatic

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    No. This was a few weeks ago. And I thought telling the brand new teacher that someone with experience was being interviewed was not necessary. I think it sounded a little like he already had his mind made up. I don't know... I found it to be info the new teacher did not need. The other question about experience would have been fine as long as it was not prefaced with the above. But, I am not an administrator, so I go with the flow.:cool:
     
  17. SCTeachInTX

    SCTeachInTX Fanatic

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    This was not a mid year position. It was a new Reading Recovery position. The teacher had been trained in Reading Recovery and wanted the opportunity to teach in this setting. He did not want her to leave her current position as a first grade teacher and grade chair because she did such a good job at it. This was a summer interview so she was not teaching when she interviewed. She would be a RR teacher for the same district and even the same school. Sorry for being unclear....:unsure:
     
  18. KatherineParr

    KatherineParr Comrade

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    Jul 16, 2011

    I agree with Alice and others - there's nothing unusual about telling the candidate where they stand in the pool (ie, how many interviewed at this stage, how they compare to others in broad terms).

    I'd also add that when interviewing you're looking for personality cues. People who bridle when asked a perfectly normal, commonplace question might be difficult to work with. So you're looking at *how* people respond emotionally as well as *what* they say.
     
  19. SCTeachInTX

    SCTeachInTX Fanatic

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    I suppose you are right. Like I said, I go with the flow. But I guess I could see the new teacher look a little defeated after he brought this up. Maybe it is the Mommy in me...
     
  20. TeacherApr

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    hmm I guess there could be another way to say it so as to not make the other person feel bad....HOWEVER, it's a GREAT chance to sell yourself AND to overcome a huge challenge. The P is sounds very blunt. In life (and in teaching as we know) we can get caught off guard with challenges that throw us for a loop nearly every day! Think of the parents that come in demanding something from you. When answering questions the way this P presented them, a teacher HAS to stand their ground, think of themselves as the BEST in the business no matter what and sell themselves!
     
  21. HOPE-fulTeacher

    HOPE-fulTeacher Comrade

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    I had a very similar thing happen to me! The interviewers kept interrupting me to ask another question or to say, "Well that didn't work. What now?!" and I get that it was just a fast screening interview so they wanted to try & put the pressure on to weed people out, but holy cow, I felt like I was getting backed up into a corner! :eek:
     
  22. Marci07

    Marci07 Devotee

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    This is true. With so many applications being submitted, applicants really need to develop strong salesperson skills these days.
     
  23. TeacherApr

    TeacherApr Groupie

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    I want to use mine lol
     
  24. FarFromHome

    FarFromHome Connoisseur

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    Jul 16, 2011

    I've also heard very similar questions. In an interview a few years ago to find another person for my team, we asked why we should hire her over someone with experience. (We didn't point out that we were interviewing someone else WITH experience though.) She had an alternate certification and no experience, but ended up getting the job because of her answers to questions like this.
     
  25. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    I see this the same as SCTeach. Asking why they should hire me instead of the other candidates is a perfectly legitimate question. Asking why they should hire me instead of a teacher with more experience and a proven track record after telling me they've already interviewed someone just like that tells me "I've already made up my mind and I'm just going through formalities with you."

    If I were asked to name the top 2 negative things about my previous boss, I would say "I don't speak negatively of previous bosses. That would be unprofessional."
     
  26. SCTeachInTX

    SCTeachInTX Fanatic

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    I like your answer to the negative comments post Cerek. And yes, there was a definite air to that question. It will be interesting to see who gets the position. The P had us write our comments and rank each interviewee and thanked us. He never mentioned who the candidate he decided on was going to be. Since I am not a regular member of his staff, I did not have the nerve to just say... so who are you going with. He is all business. He wears a suit everyday and on jeans days he wears a polo with kaki pants. But I guess if I was guessing... I would say his mind was made up before we began the interview process and he was going to go with his choice no matter what our preferences as a team were.:whistle:
     
  27. looneyteachr

    looneyteachr Companion

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    Jul 16, 2011

    the 1st one - odd yes

    why should i hire u over more experienced - asked all the time
     
  28. webmistress

    webmistress Devotee

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    I agree with you. It's the wording that made him seem dismissive of the person he is interviewing. We all expect to be asked those type of questions but the wording seemed wrong.
     
  29. SCTeachInTX

    SCTeachInTX Fanatic

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    I'm also floored with RR position.:confused: It was as if the P he was telling the first grade teacher, "You are doing a great job and therefore even though you want to try your hand at doing something new and different, I really need you where you are so... I am not going to help you in getting this position." Now, did he say those words... no. But did he mean those words... I think so. Look, I know administrators make decisions all the time based on their needs for their faculty. And maybe he felt like he could get a qualified RR person easier than getting a great first grade teacher. But clearly he was not being supportive of this teacher and her desire to try something new and different. I also do not know who he hired in this instance. But in glancing around the room she was clearly the front runner amongst the committee. So... when school starts back I guess I will find out if he gave her the opportunity. I have to say, her response to his statement was PRICELESS!:wub::wub::wub:
     
  30. KatherineParr

    KatherineParr Comrade

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    I agree. I think it's important for interviewees to realize that the P is usually hoping to hear how wonderful you are. So take that shot and really explain why you're the best hire.

    Also, you'll occasionally have angry parents, staff, or members of the community in your face. It's so important to be brave and confident. Interviewing can be extremely stressful but candidates have got to keep a handle on their pride - you're great! Show it!
     
  31. PCdiva

    PCdiva Connoisseur

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    I don't find this odd either....I think I was asked this at almost every interview I've been on.
     
  32. jen12

    jen12 Devotee

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    I spent 10 years in Human Resources before going into teaching. I've been to more training classes and seminars and read more books on how to interview potential job candiates than I can count. What it boils down to is different approaches and different personalities of hte person doing the interviewing.

    There are all kinds of theories about interviewing and the type of questions to ask. Some people go toward "behavioral" interviewing, where they ask questions about how you handled certain situations in the past. The belief behind that is that you will act the same if the same situation comes up -- I tend to not give that too much credence, because that assumes that people don't learn from mistakes.

    There are also the questions designed to make you think. I read of one company where the CEO always asked people why manhole covers are round. Knowing the right answer doesn't matter. How you react to the question is what matters.

    Some questions are designed to trick you. The one about your worst boss is ALWAYS a trick! NEVER answer truthfully! We've all had truly awful bosses, but you never, ever air the dirty laundry to a potential employer, even if they seem interested! You always say that you've had great bosses.

    Then there are questions just to make you talk...what's the most recent book you've read...usually it doesn't matter but if you can name one with a connection to the job - particularly in Education--you'll look better. Never, ever say, "Well, I'm really not a reader..."

    Questions like, "Why should I hire you over someone else" or "why do you want this job" are completely legitmate. Difficult to answer sometimes, but legitimate.
     
  33. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    Now you've got me intrigued. What was her response?
     
  34. jen12

    jen12 Devotee

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    Oh, and some interviewers are just unkind and justify that by telling themselves they're challenging you. You probably don't want to work for them. I once had an interview with someone who sat there and told me that I probably wouldn't be able to deal with the constantly changing priorities in the job. Forget about the fact that that was SOP in the career field I was in and I assured her that I was quite used to it. She seemed convinced that for some reason her company had faster changing priorities or something. Also, after making me wait an hour for her, she wanted me to wait another hour after speaking to her to meet with another dept, which would have kept me there for the majority of the day. Since I'd made an excuse to be out of work to attend the interview to begin with, I told her I couldn't do it that day because I had an appointment that afternoon coming in to interview with me at my current job. Instead of taking that as me being responsible to my current employer, she told me that I didn't want the job enough and sent me on my way.

    So...you're interviewing your potential boss, also. Sometimes you just don't want to work for that person.
     
  35. SCTeachInTX

    SCTeachInTX Fanatic

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    Jen... I was fine with the question about experience... It just seemed odd that it was prefaced with: I just want you to know that I have already interviewed someone experienced in this position within the district. But like other posters said, sometimes it is good to know where you stand in the line up. So, I get that. Like I stated, I think it was the Mommy in me that wanted to cheer up the poor girl. She looked defeated when he brought that up before we even started the interview questions. It will be interesting to see who he goes with.
     
  36. SCTeachInTX

    SCTeachInTX Fanatic

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    Cerek- Oh it was good. And the P's mouth dropped!!!! Now did he listen??? Only time will tell.

    She said, "I would never be so egotistical to think that I am the only person that could do my job well. We are all replaceable especially in this economy when experienced, motivated persons are looking for an opportunity to step into my shoes and prove themselves. So, while I can understand your initial concern, it should not be a stumbling block in the decision of this interview committee.":cool: LOVED IT!:wub:
     
  37. Marci07

    Marci07 Devotee

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    WOW!!!! Her response was awesome!!!
     
  38. KatherineParr

    KatherineParr Comrade

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    Absolutely true. I had an interview once where the chair of the department asked me what made me think I could "handle" a 4-4 load. This was a veiled way of saying, "You think you're too good for us, don't you? You can only teach in cushy schools with a lower teaching load."

    That was not a job anyone would enjoy. I agree, too, that you're interviewing your future boss. For me, that's a very important part of any job.
     
  39. jen12

    jen12 Devotee

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    Nice! Very poised, and I love how she turned it around on them instead of repeating again why she would be the best person for the job. I guess time will tell if it was the right answer by the committee's standards.
     
  40. SCTeachInTX

    SCTeachInTX Fanatic

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    Jen - Yes, she really turned the statement to a nonissue. We had to rank the teachers by most suitable to least and turned in our interview sheets including our notes. The P was going to look over the sheets and offer a name to HR as the choice of the team. But he never shared who his candidate was going to be.
     
  41. SCTeachInTX

    SCTeachInTX Fanatic

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    Jul 18, 2011

    UPDATE

    Saw the first grade teacher at the mall today. The P did not give her the job. I was surprised. The team seemed to really like her. She was a little peeved. He told her she was an incredible asset to the staff. She is looking in other districts for a RR job, but those are not a dime a dozen. I wanted to tell her that she had my vote. But I guess that would be disclosure and I could get into trouble. :mellow:
     

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