I got an interview!

Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by eightlgddj, Mar 30, 2007.

  1. eightlgddj

    eightlgddj Rookie

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    Mar 30, 2007

    Hey guys,

    I posted a few I got my first interview ever, for my first choice school. I was hoping someone had experience with the interview process at an independent/private school. What should I expect? What should I bring? What should I wear?

    Thanks!
     
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  3. Mrs.Bran

    Mrs.Bran Comrade

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    That is great news!!!
    I have always heard that women should always were a skirt/blouse combo or a dress. When I was interviewing in 1995 I wore a suit for several interviews and did not get an offer, the first time I wore a dress I got offered the job. Not sure if it really makes a difference but that was my experience.

    What kind of school is it?

    Can't wait to hear about your interview!
    Kelly
     
  4. eightlgddj

    eightlgddj Rookie

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    Its a private boarding school in NH. There are about 500 students.

    I don't own a skirt at all, but I plan to go shopping this weekend.
     
  5. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I've never worn anything but a suit to an interview, and rarely have I not gotten an offer. Then again, I'm math: high needs almost everywhere.

    I think that, as long as you look professional, they're free to concentrate on what else you bring to the table.

    Good luck. When's the interview? The weather here is still chilly, so something with a blazer or jacket is a good idea regardless.
     
  6. eightlgddj

    eightlgddj Rookie

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    Its next weekend, and its for a physics position, so I think its pretty high need. I was planning on finding a nice pant suit (since I feel and look uncomfortable in a dress), but if I find a dress or skirt that looks nice on me, I will probably get it.

    I don't want to focus too much on what I will wear, but what should I carry my papers in? Is a padfolio fine, or should I bring something like a briefcase/bag?

    Should I bring letters of recommendation with me? Or teaching philosophy? I've already gone through a two phone interviews, will this be the same? They didn't really call it an "interview" but a "visit." Is that just a euphemism?

    Sorry, I'm really excited, yet really nervous.
     
  7. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    That's such great news!

    I'm a skirt kind of girl, but a pants suit will be great. I would think a portfolio would be as well (although last year when I was interviewing I hit Target and got a canvas briefcase for about $20.)

    I would bring all that stuff with me, just in case. I doubt though that you'll need it. If they're asking you to come cross country to interview, I'm guessing that you're at the top of their lists of candidates. So take a deep breath, and go in there determined to be yourself. Ask questions, smile, and try to relax.

    Getting the Physics degree was the hard part. Getting the job will be easy :)
     
  8. dillpickle

    dillpickle Rookie

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    I would definitely wear a nice pair of pants and a buttondown collared shirt. That is what I always wear to interviews. I'm not so sure about wearing a dress to an interview. It would seem inappropriate to me. A suit would be fine, too, but you can't go wrong with nice black pants and a buttondown shirt from Ann Taylor! That is just my store of choice for "interview" clothes.
     
  9. eightlgddj

    eightlgddj Rookie

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    I bought a nice black suit (pants and jacket) and a blue button down shirt. I was hoping to find an ivory one. Is blue unprofessional? It looked really nice.
     
  10. dillpickle

    dillpickle Rookie

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    Blue is great! It will be professional, trust me. I have a ton of blue button downs. Love them. They look classy, especially with black. Good luck.
     
  11. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    It sounds perfect.

    Education isn't like corporate America; you're allowed to play with color a bit as long as the look stays professional :)

    And you'll get lots of mileage out of the suit down the road; I always wear a suit whenever it's a parent meeting of any sort-- lots of us in my school do.


    Are you all set for the interview itself? There's a LONG interview thread here somewhere.
     
  12. eightlgddj

    eightlgddj Rookie

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    I've got the interview thread bookmarked, and I'm making my way through it :)

    I hope to be ready by this time next week.
     
  13. eightlgddj

    eightlgddj Rookie

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    How would I answer a question like:

    "Why would we hire you over someone with high school teaching experience?"
     
  14. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Because I love teaching and I love Physics and I can't wait to introduce the kids to such fascinating material. I'm open to learning and will work be the best Physics teacher you've ever hired!

    Let your enthusiasm compensate for your lack of experience.

    edited to add: I can't tell you how much it hurt me to actually type the phrase "I love Physics" :D
     
  15. MsWK

    MsWK Habitué

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    Mar 31, 2007

    Wear: A suit.
    Bring: Resume, names & numbers of 3-5 references, transcripts.

    Answer questions as specifically as you can. If you're not sure of how to answer, ask them a question back. As for this question: "Why would we hire you over someone with high school teaching experience?" DO NOT say, "Because I love kids." In fact, do not use the word "kids" at all. Use "children" for 0-8, "students" for 8+.
     
  16. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    Why children? Why not students they are all students?
     
  17. MsWK

    MsWK Habitué

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    Because it helps you be taken seriously by leaders in the profession.

    See NAEYC's standards for language usage, specifically, "child (never "youngter, little one, etc.; use student only in a classroom context or if child is older than 8 years or in grade 3 on.") http://www.naeyc.org

    When talking about young children, the word "child" connotes images of the whole child. The word "student" connotes images of the child in isolation in the classroom, which we all know is not true. There is much, much more to a child than what goes on in the classroom.
     
  18. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Sorry, but I beg to differ.

    I'm guessing it depends on the interviewer. I never read the NAEYC's standards, even when I was the one giving the interviews. I was far more interested in the person and what he or she had to say than the particular words that had been practiced.

    And I don't love "students." I love kids.
     
  19. MsWK

    MsWK Habitué

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    Aliceacc, if you've never read the NAEYC standards, then I'm going to assume you're not in ECE, in which case, the distinction between "child" and "student" is not all that important for you. What terminology you use depends on the age group & discipline you teach. Teachers of children older than 8 use "students" all the time, because it's appropriate. When you only see a child for one period, and one subject, of course it makes sense. Personally, as an ECE professional, both "kid" and "student" make me cringe.

    This is fresh in my mind, because I just initiated several phone interviews for an assistant teacher position, and asked the question, "What makes you want to work with our program?" All the applicants with generic "I love kids" responses went to the trash. Those with more specific answers ("I've spent five years working with children of all ages in various settings, and I've found my niche with young children") will get in-person interviews.

    Just one interviewer's opinion. When interviewing, it helps if you can do anything possible to impress your interviewer, and using the words & phrases accepted as established terminology by leaders in your field is always appropriate. Your mileage may vary.
     
  20. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    You're right. I'm a secondary math teacher. When I was Math Department Chairman for my school, I was the one looking at resumes and doing the preliminary interviews.

    And of course we all have our own opinions... that's what makes this all such fun. But if I were the one looking to hire the OP as a Physics teacher, I would be looking more at her qualifications and her love of both the subject and the .... teenagers.. she would be teaching.

    So many people come into interviews with canned responses to the questions they're expecting. At least on Long Island, the word "student" would be a clue that this was one of those responses. Most people here tend not to use that word in the context we're discussing.

    Oops... gotta run. Crying child :(
     
  21. clarnet73

    clarnet73 Moderator

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    I used to be told in college "We teach children, not kids... becasue they're not goats"
     
  22. mincc

    mincc Companion

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    Hi Eight,

    GOOD LUCK! The only thing I can tell you is that I have had only a handful of interviews, but they have all been SO different. It is amazing how varied they were. I had one last week that was very relaxed and one last month that was very intense. She fired questions at me for an hour---BUT if you take a breath and focus, the answers will come to you. I had one question that I stumbled on a bit and I told her that it was a tough question and my best answer was___________. She was fine with that (I almost got the job, she gave it to a friend of a friend-she actually told me so).

    Your outfit sounds fine!!!!!!

    I have to tell you, this isn't funny, but maybe it will make you laugh...it made me sad and annoyed, but I figure it is better to laugh...maybe:

    I was at a job fair last year and I was in a long line. We were so close to the people being interviewed that we could hear them. Well, there was a woman there, she was apparently qualified for 2 open positions. The interviewer looked at her and asked her which job she would like...the woman said, "Whatever one pays more, cause I got them bills to pay." The interviewer got up, she was not impressed, and wound up in a discussion w/another woman. The other woman was adamant that the interviewer hire the woman "because of the woman's aunt." So, the interviewer very reluctantly gave her the papers and hired her right there.

    So, there is one thing NOT to say...or is it?????

    Seriously, you will be fine.

    GOOD LUCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
     
  23. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    If it were me interviewing with you, (and it won't be, ever. I'm secondary math; 7th grade is just about as young as I want to teach:) Plus there's the whole commuting issue.) my answer to your question would probably be something along these lines:

    "I want to work with your program because of all I've heard and read about it. I understand that it's literacy based with a strong emphasis on learning through play. I stongly believe that that's the best atmosphere for children this young.They're most likely to learn both the academics they need and perhaps the more important lesson: that learning is fun."
     
  24. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    That is what my 11 grade english teacher always used to tell us. Everytime I hear (errr see) a discussion on children or kids. I think of him.
     
  25. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    This doesn't stop at a certain age, however. In my view, (and I am obviously not up on the current U.S. jargon) "student" is what they do and "child" is who they are. I teach children (ages 9-13) with all of their strnegths, needs, quirks, issues and baggage. If I only taught "students" I would only care about the curriculum, not about what makes these children in my care "tick". I take what I do very seriously and I am good at my job because I look at the whole person in front of me, not just the student.
     

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