First ever teacher interview - not sure how to prepare

Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by newteacher99, Jul 27, 2014.

  1. newteacher99

    newteacher99 Rookie

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    Jul 27, 2014

    :help:
    Hi teachers:

    I recently became certified in a few middle school subjects, elementary education, and special education through the traditional route. I am older than the fresh new graduates that are out there, as this is my second career. I worked in the corporate world as an IT professional for many years, and I have computer degrees as well.

    I have my first interview on Tuesday in a school where I substitute very often, it is a middle school in an urban area. I know they are hiring, because when I was there in June, I was told by several people to apply.

    However, I never formally met the principal, and he is interviewing me. I have a CEAS, so he knows that I never taught formally before. My resume reflects this as well. I am not sure what to say when he asks me my philosophy. Should I use my graduate school philosophy or my life philosophy? Also should I stress my heavy technology background.

    I am not sure how to approach a teaching interview as I never went on one.

    I know how to dress and act, but I am so nervous !

    :dizzy:
     
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  3. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    Jul 27, 2014

    Have you read the threads in the job seekers section?

    As far as questions, what is your teaching philosophy? Answer from the heart. I've been on interview committees and we can definitely tell when answers are canned or what they think we want to hear.
     
  4. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Jul 27, 2014

    Let your maturity be an asset. Don't stress anything, but be prepared to at least start a few conversations in your head that you think may be relevant. I led with why now was my entry point, not right out of college. Hey, having a CEAS is better than a CE, so don't fret over that. I was alternate route, but now have a slew of standard certificates, a master's in education, and I am working on my SPED with a provisional license. If you aren't on LinkedIn yet, you may want to consider it. If nothing else, it will give time to reflect on why you are in education when you were successful in a different career prior. Your philosophy is personal - go from the heart on that one. Tech is huge in education now, so if you have some knock-your-socks off insights or skills, find someplace to mention them in the course of explaining something about why you want to do this, now. Remember, you are not a little kid going to the principal's office. You have experience, you have drive, and you are motivated, but you are, above all else, sure of where you are heading and why. Don't be cocky, but let your self awareness shine through. Mostly, be yourself - it will be much easier than trying to put up a false front that you are afraid will slip away. Think about whether or not you would want someone to be warm and sincere, or would you want someone to "play you" by just giving you the answers they think you want to hear?

    Good luck, and congrats on the interview!
     
  5. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Jul 27, 2014

    You will note that both of the replies say to answer from the heart. I think we were replying at the same time, so at least two people endorse that strategy!
     
  6. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    Great minds think alike. :D
     
  7. 49erteacher

    49erteacher Rookie

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    Jul 27, 2014

    Have you looked at the interview question threads? I wouldn't spend much time (since your interview is on Tuesday), but they give you an idea about what people ask.

    In my opinion, since you are fresh out of certification, you should be able to talk about current issues. Being older gives you poise. Schools are always becoming more and more technological, so that is a major asset.

    Good luck! Go in confident and convince him you are ready for the job!
     
  8. MissPapa

    MissPapa Comrade

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    Jul 27, 2014

    newteacher99:

    1) Getting interviewed at a school you subbed at numerous times is GREAT! Definitely mention subbing to the principal and mention your experiences at this school.

    2) Be calm and confident at all times. If they ask you a question that needs a few seconds of thinking, don't be afraid to mention "give me a few seconds to think about my answer". Think about how what you've learned in grad school, student teaching and sub experiences can help you answer your question.

    3) Usually the first question, they want to get to know you. They'll give the good old "tell me something about yourself". This gives you the opportunity to sell yourself. Talk about who you are, what have you accomplished in education thus far (grad school, experience, any accomplishments that can be thrown in to help you out like your strong tech background!), and also mention any educational philosophies you believe in. Don't be TOO long with this answer, but keep it interesting. First impression is everything. And DEFINITELY be yourself.

    4) Don't be like me and be overconfident. I was sure that I got the job in my first job interview, but instead, when I called back, they bluntly told me "we hired someone else". That will KILL your confidence. Go in with confidence, but don't expect to get that job. There are other opportunities if this one doesn't work. Keep applying for other jobs while going to this interview. It's not a sure thing until you get some sort of formal agreement like a contract or a nomination.

    5) Treat the interview like an intelligent conversation. Don't throw in anything…not so intelligent. Impress them with what you know, but show you are comfortable with what you are saying. My last few interviews I felt so comfortable with who I spoke with that I gave a great impression. Those are the best type of interviews, by feeling that you are in a conversation.

    6) Do your research on this school, even though you've subbed there. Principals are impressed when you do your "homework" ;) Also, it goes great when answering, "Why do you want to work at this school/population?" Aside from discussing your assets as a hard worker and how you have the qualifications needed to do the job, mention why you want to work with this population. One school in an inner city asked me that question, I mentioned my care for students who have special needs or are minorities/ESL, and how I have the patience and skills to teach them.

    7) ALWAYS bring your portfolio with you. You never know if you'll need to show something in there that will better your chances of getting a job. Make sure to put tabs on any pieces that will highlight your portfolio presentation. Sometimes interviews won't ask for it and it won't be in use, but better to be prepared than never.

    8) Always show up with a good few references. Put together a reference sheet (don't forget to also have extra copies of your resume!)

    9) Make sure to have a good breakfast and some orange juice or coffee before you head there. You want to feel your best.

    Good luck!!!!!!
     
  9. newteacher99

    newteacher99 Rookie

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    Jul 29, 2014

    Hi all:

    Had the interview and tried my very best. I did reiterate why I
    wanted to work there, and asked a few questions, but I was definitely nervous.

    If I don't get the job, I can chalk it up to nerves. HE was impressed with my credentials, so now its up to him to decide if he likes me.

    Thanks for the help!
     

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