Help! I Have an Interview Tomorrow!

Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by MMRbella, Jun 28, 2007.

  1. MMRbella

    MMRbella Companion

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    Jun 28, 2007

    I submitted an on-line application to a district on Monday. On Wednesday, I was called by a principal from one of the schools to set up an interview for Friday. But...

    I was so excited to get called, that I didn't bother to ask what position it was for! Lol! It's so hard to get a job in NJ, that I was thrilled to hear from her.

    Online, I had applied to everything from pre-k to 4th. Though I searched and searched, I couldn't find anything specific about the job openings in this district.

    However, I looked into a board agenda (I was desperate), and found that a fourth grade teacher put in for retirement recently at this school. While 4th grade isn't my first choice, I would be more than thrilled to work in this district.

    Here's my dilemma--

    I am a new teacher. The only experience I have is in student teaching and substituting. While I subbed in prek-grade 4, I student taught in pre-k (junior field) and 2nd (senior field). I am an early childhood major! I'm more than ready to learn, but I don't have any experience with fourth grade!!! How can I spin the experiences I DO have, to make them look good for this position?
     
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  3. srh

    srh Devotee

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    Jun 28, 2007

    Wow! Congratulations on your great timing with applications!! :D

    And I would say first, just remain as calm as possible and envision what "picture" of yourself you'd like to leave with the interviewer. I think sometimes we get so absolutely caught up in the "questions and answers" portions of interviews that we forget it is OUR WHOLE PACKAGE that is being observed! (Granted, the questions are important too; I just don't want you to worry so much about them that they miss the "good stuff" you have to offer.)

    In other words, they likely already know what your experience and education is...but they want to hire much more than someone who has the grade level experience. So present YOURSELF in the best way you can, and go with the flow as far as questions. You will not be expected to know everything in the world about fourth grade (or any other). You WILL be expected to show your enthusiasm for learning, teaching, and growing. Really, it won't be difficult at all!!! ;) I wish you the best of luck, and please let us know how it goes!
     
  4. MMRbella

    MMRbella Companion

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    Jun 28, 2007

    Thank you so much srh! Your kind words really calmed me down! :)
     
  5. njeledteacher

    njeledteacher Cohort

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    Jun 28, 2007

    What area/school district is this? If you would rather PM me go ahead. I'm just curious because I've been applying all over the place and I have experience in 4th grade.
     
  6. Mrs.Gould

    Mrs.Gould Comrade

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    Jun 28, 2007

    Maybe it's not for 4th grade. Another teacher could have switched. You could try calling the secretary and asking. I did this before. Also, don't worry that you don't have experience in 4th. The school that I just got hired at, also hired a 4th grade teacher who just graduated in Dec. with experience only student teaching in K and 2nd. I met her and she has a great personality and told me about her interview, so I can see why she was hired. So go in there confident and don't worry about not having experience in the grade they are hiring for. Good Luck!
     
  7. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Jun 28, 2007


    They've seen your resume... they know your background. The tri-state region is FLOODED with teachers experienced in all elementary grades, yet you're one of the ones they called in. So they think you may be "the one."

    Go in there dressed in your professional best. (Yes, stockings and a suit. I know it's a million degrees out.) Summon up all the confidence you can find, and sell yourself as the answer to their prayers. Your lack of experience means they can mold you into the teacher they want you to be. You'll be open to new ideas, new approaches. You're willing to work your tail off to be the teacher these kids deserve.

    To get a job in this part of the country, you have to be far more than a good teacher. You've got to be a superb salesperson. So become one.

    Good luck tomorrow!
     
  8. jenglish97

    jenglish97 Devotee

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    Jun 28, 2007

    MMRbella-

    Congratulations on getting an interview. I know how hard it is to get a job in NJ. I live in Northern NJ and was very lucky myself to get a job when I did. What part of NJ are you interviewing for? You can PM fif you want!! GOOD LUCK!!
     
  9. jenglish97

    jenglish97 Devotee

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    Jun 28, 2007

    njeledteacher-

    I am hoping you get a job real soon. I know how hard it is to get a job in NJ. In fact, when I was looking for a job, I was hired 3 days before school started. Oh boy was that fun. Good luck!

    What part of NJ are you looking? You can PM if you want!

    jenglish
     
  10. MMRbella

    MMRbella Companion

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    Jun 29, 2007

    Thank you so much everyone!!! I really appreciate all of your advice!

    Well, I just got home from the interview... and here is what happened.

    I got there early, so they started the interview early. I was interviewed by 2 people, the principal and assistant principal. They were both EXTREMELY nice. The interview had a conversational tone, and they made me feel very comfortable.

    After a while, they asked me what my favorite grade to teach is. Now, I prefer younger kids, but I went in there assuming the interview was for a fourth grade position. So I said that every grade is special in its own way. They wanted specifics. Lol. So I told them I liked 2nd the best, but also appreciated 4th since the children are more mature, etc etc. Well, it's then revealed that the school has THREE openings this fall- 5th, 4th, and 1st!

    Anyway, after the interview, they sent me out so they could talk. When they called me back in, they told me that I did a "splendid" job, and that they were trying to get in touch with the superintendent so that he could meet with me today. *Oh my gosh!* But- he was busy. The principal said that he is insisting that I do a demo lesson (even though she does not care for them). They are calling my references this afternoon, and said they would call me later to schedule the demo.

    HOWEVER, the superintendent said that he is very busy. Since they are going through so much trouble to get me to meet with him, he wanted assurance that if they offered me the job, that I would take it. Ahhhh!!!

    I went from crying every night over NOT having a job, to having to make a decision really quickly. This district is 45 minutes from my house, but it's FANTASTIC. They're putting smart boards in all of the classrooms this september, have laptops for the kids to use... they have tons of resources! At the same time, as a new teacher I am nervous... this district is extremely affluent. Extremely. And the principal was upfront- the parents are going to be all over me.

    Anyway- I said that I would definitely want the job. So, they are going to call me later today. I'm so anxious I think I might throw up...
     
  11. njeledteacher

    njeledteacher Cohort

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    That's great news! You must have really wowed them. Any tips? I'm in NJ also...what area is the district?
     
  12. srh

    srh Devotee

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    Jun 29, 2007

    YAY!!! Great job, MMRbella! I also work in a school that is largely affluent (it's a public charter, so there is a mix, but mostly higher end). And yes, those are the parents who get "involved." But there are many upsides to it as well: parents volunteer more and you can be sure there is no shortage of books or computers at home or in the classroom. My best advice to you is, think before you promise them the world...document important communications with them...choose your battles. You will get accustomed to parents who want everything, including their children, to be "the best" and perfect. It will drive you nuts, but consider that they truly just have their children's best interests at heart. They really do.

    But back to the congratulations! DON'T THROW UP NOW!!! Start planning and having fun with it!! BTW, I teach Kinder...the primary grades are absolutely wonderful!!
     
  13. MMRbella

    MMRbella Companion

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    Jun 29, 2007

    My tips... :)

    I dressed professional. Black, pin-stripe skirt suit with stockings. Black, closed-toe shoes (with a low heel). Wore my hair up, only a little makeup. I even busted out a pearl necklace and earrings. :p I think this helps because you make a really great first impression.

    I smiled a lot during the interview, maintained eye contact consistently with both people, and was basically myself. I answered their questions honestly, while also pumping myself up. You HAVE to boast a bit. Confidence is key (not arrogance).

    That's pretty much it. They didn't ask me anything that caught me off guard... just my opinion on various things (working with parents, managing behavior, ability grouping...) I took everyones advice and sold myself. Also, always have an example to back up an opinion. Instead of just saying "I work well with parents", I gave examples of how I worked with the parents of the 2nd graders I student taught.
     
  14. MMRbella

    MMRbella Companion

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    Jun 29, 2007

    Thank you!!! I'm hoping everything works out fine! :)
     

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