First Interview - need advice

Discussion in 'General Education' started by JaneK, Apr 5, 2017.

  1. JaneK

    JaneK Rookie

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    Apr 5, 2017

    I have my first interview tomorrow for a teaching job after graduating college with my degree. I'm super nervous and have no idea what to expect. Any advice? Or maybe just share your experience? Thank you all!
     
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  3. Anonymous Barbie

    Anonymous Barbie Rookie

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    Apr 5, 2017

    1) Research the school. See what kind of site goals they've set, their philosophy. I got asked what I knew about a school district in an interview once, and I knew nothing about them. I did not get that job.
    2) When they ask you about yourself, they typically don't want to know that you're really into motocross or you like to go bowling. I would start by telling them what drives you to want to be an educator. Things like "I'm a really goal oriented person. I knew I wanted to be a teacher when I took x class in high school. It had a profound impact on me, and I knew that was the path for me. I like meaningful interactions with students, etc."
    3) Come up with the answers to questions BEFORE you go into your interview. Common ones are why do you want to work here, why should we hire you, why would you be a good fit here, what's a challenge you've been presented with in the classroom and how did you handle it, what would you do if a parent said x thing to you, etc etc. Don't make the answer a long one. Be succinct.
    4) Don't bring a drink into your interview. Don't chew gum in your interview. Don't go overboard with makeup, your hair, your jewelry. Don't wear crazy patterns. There are all sorts of articles out there as to what you should wear.
    5) Give a firm handshake, even if you are female, or shaking another female's hand. But don't crush their hand.
    6) Thank them for their time in an email or letter a week after the interview and tell them you're grateful for the opportunity. This keeps you fresh in their mind.
    7) Be early. Map out the route to the school before, and be prepared to sit patiently, NOT on your phone.
    8) ASK QUESTIONS! This is a huge one, as I've been told by principals. Ask them what kind of professional development opportunities they have (they love that), ask them if their school does mentorships for novice teachers. Don't ask questions about minutiae, like how many sick days you get, what the salary is, benefits, etc. That should be readily available on their website in the professional handbook. Most of the time they'll publish their salary scale online and you can figure that out based on education and experience. Obviously you need to know these things, but that's something you ask when they've already offered you the position.

    I hope this helps. I have been in my fair share of interviews, and most of the time have been offered the position. The hard part is past you (graduation), so stay positive!
     
    Linguist92021 likes this.
  4. JaneK

    JaneK Rookie

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    Apr 5, 2017

    Thank you so much! I interned at the elementary school on this campus (this interview is for the middle school) so I am familiar with the district a bit. I appreciate the ideas you have shared. I will post back tomorrow mid-day (central time) to let you know how it went.
     
  5. Teacher0909

    Teacher0909 Rookie

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    Apr 6, 2017

    My first interview was granted via a last minute phone call to the principal. It was the last day for interviews, but he agreed to see me the next day. I figured he had already made his decision on the new hire, so I decided to use it as practice for future interviews. I did my research, went over answers to questions I thought I would be asked, and wrote down maybe four questions to ask him (even though I was very familiar with the school). Because I felt the job was already taken, I didn't pressure myself. I remember being very calm and personable yet professional. I genuinely smiled and tried to present myself in a positive manner. I remember even sharing a laugh with the principal at one point. The interview ended and he told me he would call the next day with his decision even if I didn't get the job. When I got his call, I wasn't expecting to be told that he enjoyed meeting me, and until he had, was leaning heavily toward another candidate. He said he felt it would be a pleasure to work with me and offered me the job. I was there for five years and truly loved it! It was a sad day when I had to move. So my advice is to be confident in your abilities, but don't stress over having the perfect interview. If the job is for you, you'll get it. Be your best self. I believe all future bosses want to see a glimpse of the real person when looking for new teachers. Good luck!
     
  6. JaneK

    JaneK Rookie

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    Apr 8, 2017

    Sorry for the late response, but I'm finally here! It went fine. Not wonderful, not terrible - just fine. I remembered tons of different answers I could have given to the questions after the interview, of course. By his statement at the end of the interview of "if circumstances fall into place, I'll have a decision by Monday" let me to believe that he already has someone in mind and is hoping their circumstances work out for them to take the job. No matter what, it was great interview experience! Thank you both for your responses and advice. It really did help.
     
  7. Teacher0909

    Teacher0909 Rookie

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    Apr 8, 2017

    Well if nothing else, congratulations on getting through your first interview! I think it's natural to second guess yourself afterwards so try focusing on the positive aspects. Make a note of things you would have done differently to use at the next interview or to use for those on the spot conversations you'll be having with other educators. Did you remember to send a follow-up thank you email or letter? If not, do that right away. You could probably say a thing or two in regards to anything you feel you should have said or said differently. Don't be too long though bc you're main objective is to be remembered and to say thank you.
     

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