Interview Question I Feel I Bombed...

Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by hep223, Jul 11, 2014.

  1. hep223

    hep223 Companion

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    Jul 11, 2014

    I had an interview a few weeks ago that I thought went well, but there is one question really sticking in my mind that I can't let go how I answered. I did not get the position. :( So to prevent myself from answering in this way again, help me better wording. (I know we have the interview question board, but that doesn't help us figure out the way to answer really well!)

    Question: Why should our district hire you?

    My response (and please don't shame me for this): "Please do not take my answer as conceited because I don't mean for it to come across that way, but I am a great teacher and I won't disappoint you. I go above and beyond for my students and want them all to succeed." I added more after this, but can't remember what else I said.

    Help- how do you answer this question?
     
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  3. MissPapa

    MissPapa Comrade

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    Jul 12, 2014

    I would explain how you would go above and beyond for your students. I would also explain that you are responsible, caring, and engaged in educating students. Maybe also say you feel that your qualifications and skills make you a great asset to their team.

    I'd drop the whole "conceited" comment. They are looking for optimism and positive can-do attitudes. Having that word in there just doesn't sound right.

    Use more positive words rather than "I won't disappoint you" or "I don't mean to sound conceited", it goes a long way. Trust me.
     
  4. future3rdteach

    future3rdteach New Member

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    Jul 12, 2014

    Maybe you should remove the "please do not take my answer as conceited..." They won't. They ask you this question so that you can brag on yourself and they can gauge your confidence in yourself. Prefacing it with that can make it seem like you are uncertain about yourself. Also, I don't know what else you said, but make sure you have brief details about how you go above and beyond for your students.

    Don't be afraid to pack an emotional punch. I had this question recently and I talked (VERY) briefly about my difficult childhood, and then discussed how I used my experiences to give other students with bad backgrounds the determination they needed, and why I felt they needed this determination the most. I got a little choked up, which I was sure was going to cost me the job. Instead, I got a job offer!

    This question throws everyone for a loop, in my experience.
     
  5. sunshine24

    sunshine24 Comrade

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    Jul 12, 2014

    I was asked a similar question once and I fumbled it as well. It seems like such an obvious answer to us, but it's hard to verbalize it to a stranger. I think I mentioned how I was willing to do anything to help my students succeed, how I always want to remain updated in the education field through PD, and how my previous experience (though limited) had prepared me for my own classroom.
    I know that the goal of interview is to sell yourself, but I find it so hard. I hate to "toot my own horn" lol. But I guess they are looking to see what you bring to the table. I agree with MissPapa about using a more positive language and seeming optimistic. And maybe try and come up with specific examples that you can tie into this question or any other. I always tried to recall some teaching moments where I could use it for almost any situation.
     
  6. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    Jul 12, 2014

    Maybe you could try to integrate specific knowledge about the school into your answer.

    I interviewed at a school about ten years ago. The school had just received a school grade of "F". I told the P in the interview that I realized the school had some challenges ahead of them and I felt that my skill sets would be a good fit for the school. I then elaborated on my experiences with low performing schools.

    It worked. I got the job and we did raise the score that year.
     
  7. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    Jul 12, 2014

    Your answer should be unique to you, not generalized. If they ask what YOU can contribute, make it an answer about something that makes YOU an unique/special educator and provide examples from your past work-related situations.
     
  8. monkeyrun

    monkeyrun Rookie

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    Jul 12, 2014

    I did some reading about this question before I had interviews this summer, and one thing I read about is not to just list things, but to be specific. So instead of saying things like I'm a great collaborator, I bring a positive attitude, and I'm constantly learning, try to think of specific things that go along with this so you can really help them see it.

    I'm struggling right now to give a specific example because (obviously) it would be very specific to me and I don't want to put all of that out there! :) But some things that are important to me (and the school I was interviewing at/got the job offer at) are building relationships with the students/staff, and I know they are also working on technology. So I didn't just stop at saying I'm good at building relationships with the people I work with, I gave specific examples of how I connect with students both in my class and other students who aren't in my class, as well as the people I work with. When talking about technology, I gave an example of an exciting thing I did this past year with my students, and also about how I used specific things this school is trying to use and how I helped other teachers use these things in their own classrooms.

    I'm still knocked out from my day yesterday so I have no idea if I'm being coherent at all right now.
     
  9. abat_jour

    abat_jour Companion

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    Jul 12, 2014

    My experience with interviews is that they understand it is a tough situation, fake formalities and that you are nervous so they dont expect perfection but the raw traits that can get there. I always talk about the district....then say how your can fit. A person from my program said "the main thing they look for is if you are a FIT" for them.
    It is your job to convince them. doesnt hurt to use tons of examples STAR style (google that).
     
  10. hep223

    hep223 Companion

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    Jul 13, 2014

    Thank you all! It is so helpful. I want to practice what to say when I get asked again so something like the conceited comment doesn;t come flying out of my mouth.

    I have also learned that I have to do more research into each district. Even though I am going on their websites, I am not getting enough information.

    Also, incorporating a more positive attitude. I try to be a positive person, which isn't natural for me, but it has been hard with the interview process and being rejected. Putting all the negativity behind me and mioving on!
     
  11. hep223

    hep223 Companion

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    Jul 13, 2014

    I have an extremely hard time with tooting my own horn and have been told that this is likely why I am not getting called back for 2nd round interviews and ultimately not getting the job.
     
  12. hep223

    hep223 Companion

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    Jul 13, 2014

    Your response makes total sense and I am getting much better at adding examples to my answers. :)
     
  13. Rhesus

    Rhesus Comrade

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    Jul 13, 2014

    When asked "why should we hire you?" I describe how my experience, superior content knowledge, and history of both strong rapport with students and admirable professionalism with colleagues is hard to find in one candidate in my field (a somewhat rare foreign language).

    Also, I always turn it around and ask "why should I work here?" Yes, a but cheeky, but the boldness of the question is always well-received.
     
  14. mrsammieb

    mrsammieb Devotee

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    Jul 13, 2014

    Sometimes I end my interview with this: I am not a good sale man, and I am not great at tooting my own horn. But I am a very good teacher and i think I would make a great addition to your school.
    It just makes me feel better because I am NOT good at finding my awesomeness, more at finding my faults. Which finding faults isn't so helpful when interviewing.
     
  15. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    Jul 13, 2014

    It is a question that does require a lot of thought and preparation for. Tooting my own horn is something that I've learned to do, even after I've gotten the job.

    Can you pick up on something that was said in the interview? A comment that was made, but wasn't a question? Try & connect with the interviewer(s). Think about your strengths and what makes you different then the candidate that interviews before or after you. Is it your quiet way of doing things? Or the ability to bring a team together? Can you fit in with the team?

    Good luck! This is a tough question, but it may be the key question.
     

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