I got to help interview job seekers- Here are some interview tips

Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by Peachyness, Mar 9, 2012.

  1. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    Mar 9, 2012

    I was asked by my boss if I wanted to help her interview some people for our afterschool program. I of course said YES! Mainly, I have always wanted to see how they do things, what they look at, what they say when you leave, etc.

    So, here are some tips:
    1) Don't ramble. My boss noted how one of the people we interviewed just kept rambling and rambling. She said, "nope" to that one.

    2) Have some good questions to ask us when we ask "if you have any questions". And we want good questions. I was so looking forward to talking about our program and sharing what we've been doing. Not one of the people we interviewed asked any good questions. They all said something similar at the end, "you pretty much answered my questions." uh, really? That means you didn't really try to come up with any. While the interview is short, when I interviewed for this job, I had about 10 questions that I asked. Because I genuinely was interested in how this program worked, what it entailed, how supplies would work, prep time, etc. I was now interviewing THEM! So I wasn't impressed with any of them because of that. I said nope to all of them.

    3) Bring SOME sort of passion. One women seemed very... boring. Just not really into this job. Nope to that one.

    One more tip from me that I do. Whenever I answer interview questions, I bring in what I've done in the past. I talk about specific incidents, stories, activities that I've personally done. I don't give text book responses.

    FYI: In this past year alone, I have received 4 job offers. Turned two down. Accepted the other two.
     
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  3. MotherGoose

    MotherGoose Rookie

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    Mar 9, 2012

    Thanks for sharing your insight! I have always wondered about this perspective. I am currently job seeking, so I may pick your brain if I have any questions.
     
  4. bison

    bison Habitué

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    Mar 9, 2012

    Great tips, thanks for sharing!

    On my last interview, they really did answer my questions. I knew I needed some though, so I said something like "I was going to ask about X but I think you mentioned now that it was A, B, C..." as a way to stall while I thought of a couple new questions! I got the job.
     
  5. waterfall

    waterfall Virtuoso

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    Mar 9, 2012

    Good idea! I got to be on the interview committee for our positions this past fall. Some things I noticed:

    1. One candidate kept talking about "being able to do anything with help, wanting to collaborate with others all of the time, really appreciated her first school because questions were welcome and always answered, teachers really need to help each other out," etc. I think she was trying to sound like she was really interested in collaboration, but the way she phrased it really made it sound like, "I really don't know how to do this job so I would need a lot of help." She was out right away.

    2. One was talking about how she'd had a lot of experience with ELL and low SES students, which is most of our population. However, she kept saying "those kids" rather than saying "ELLs" and the way she was saying it was very off-putting. At one point she even said something like, "My school had a lot of those kids and we still had really great test scores last year." This was for a title 1 position and she had mentioned that her daughter was in title 1 but once she realized she was in the "dumb class" she really shaped up and started practicing reading at home. "Politically correct" language is important! I had already crossed her off in my mind once the words "dumb class" were out of her mouth.

    3. One candidate corrected the P several times. Uh, big no-no.
     
  6. Myrisophilist

    Myrisophilist Habitué

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    Mar 9, 2012

    Thanks for the tips. Very helpful!
     
  7. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    Mar 14, 2012

    We had more interviews today for a few more openings. My my.....


    Well, a few more tips. These are more no brainer ones.

    1) Typos. I went through and circled all of the typos I saw in their application. I found many spelling, grammatical, and punctuation mistakes. If you don't take the time to get this right, then how lazy must you be?

    2) Be on time. One was an hour late.

    3) Talking about collaboration is great! But when it's obvious that you meant that you will ONLY follow the lead of the team leader, than that is not good. And when you look disappointed when I explain that I expect my team to all bring ideas to the table, then that's a sure sign I don't want you. So, collaboration is great, but also mention your ability to bring ideas to the table too. In addition, mention that you may not have all of the answers or all of the skills, but that part of being a teacher is the ability to learn and research activities and ideas. One person we interviewed said that. We hired her.

    Hmmm, I think those were the major ones.
     
  8. bison

    bison Habitué

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    Mar 14, 2012


    :eek:

    I'm starting to feel a lot more confident about my interview skills!
     
  9. NJSocialStudies

    NJSocialStudies Rookie

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    Mar 15, 2012

    Please consider removing this last part, as not only is it perfectly acceptable, but it is also completely illegal to base employment decisions on it.

    Federal law reserves your right to not notify your current employer that you are searching for a new job. This is the exact reason why on applications they specifically ask if they can contact an employer. In no way is this a "red flag".
     
  10. bison

    bison Habitué

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    Mar 15, 2012

    I didn't notice the part about do not contact. I agree with NJSocialStudies on that one. If I were to start looking around for a new job now, I wouldn't want them to contact my current employer. The reason is that I LOVE my job and wouldn't want to leave unless I was already hired for a position that's better suited to my long term career goals, or if I found something that's closer to where I'm moving this summer so I don't have to commute an hour or more during rush hour. It's much too hard to find education jobs these days to resign before having something concrete lined up. I wouldn't want them to think I don't want to be there, because I do! I don't think they'd have anything negative to say about me either. There are many different reasons why someone would do this that shouldn't be red flags in the least.

    I currently have "do not contact" for one of my past experiences, just because all of the supervisors I worked with are no longer there. Would it be better to just remove that and let them find out for themselves? I still list a number, but it is for the main HR line. I do also have a former coworker from that job listed as one of my references.
     
  11. rtphillips

    rtphillips Rookie

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    Mar 15, 2012

    Great insights. A lot of those "red flags" you all listed seem like no brainers. As someone else said, makes me feel a little better about interviewing :)
     
  12. MotherGoose

    MotherGoose Rookie

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    Mar 15, 2012

    HOW should we handle this situation if we CURRENTLY are in a position and DON'T wish the current employer to be AWARE that we are looking UNLESS we are SERIOUSLY being considered?

    I am currently facing this situation and was considering adding something like this to my cover letter:

    "There are several references from my current position that I plan to add to my list of references if/when it comes to the point in the hiring process where you are seriously considering me for this position. I have received many compliments of a job "well done" throughout the year, so I am confident they will give me glowing reviews. I have also recieved several complimentary emails about me that I can share with you if you like. In the meantime, I have listed references from my previous school for screening purposes."

    What do you think?
     
  13. chasisaac

    chasisaac Comrade

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    Mar 15, 2012

    This always seems like the moron part of the interview for me. As I try to come up with questions in advance. Do you have some good stock questions to ask. Even if I modify them, which I would.
     
  14. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    Mar 15, 2012

    Okay, I'll give you that.

    Of course, one of the people had them all listed as do not contact. I still think that leaves a funny impression. BTW, that particular one, we could tell, would not be a good fit for our program. That was for sure. So, we didn't base our decision BECAUSE he wrote do not contact on all former jobs.
     
  15. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    Mar 15, 2012

    I don't. In fact, I look forward to asking them questions about the job. I see it as I'm interviewing them now. And, people do like to talk about themselves and their program. :)

    It's hard to give stock questions as positions and job duties vary. I would read though the job description and imagine yourself doing the job on the very first day. What kinds of questions can you imagine asking your director/boss/supervisor?
     
  16. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    Mar 15, 2012

    Oh, I didn't mind the the ones who listed it on their current employment. I know exactly why and that's fine.

    I guess my concern, or the fact that I was left with a funny impression was one in particular had all prior jobs as do not contact. I get you will get bad bosses. I had one. A horrible one. But at every single job? And even at the job I resigned at, I still let them contact my prior employment. I just gave the number to another supervisor (the superintendent) who would vouch for me.
     
  17. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    Mar 15, 2012

    And one more thing. I"m not a trained HR personnel employee. Just helping my director out. I"m just sharing some of my observations and what we discussed with you guys. :)
     

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