Interview Questions (2009)

Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by AnonyMS, Mar 9, 2009.

  1. mom2alex

    mom2alex Companion

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    May 5, 2009

    Describe your teaching experiences (or other experiences) that you feel have significantly contributed to your preparation for the position you seek.

    If employed, what strengths would you bring to _____ County?

    These questions are on an application. Can you guys give me some ideas on how to answer them? I will post what I have after I get back home.
     
  2. katrinkakat

    katrinkakat Connoisseur

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    May 5, 2009

    I respectfully disagree with the principle. It is more important to have respect first and then that students like you. All my students like me, it's harder and more important to win their respect. Also, I don't think it was right of the P to say "wrong answer!". That was wrong. :p
     
  3. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    I would answer the first one with what I gained in previous teaching positions that would make me a good candidate for the position.

    I would research their mission statement and integrate my strenghts to fit their mission.
     
  4. mom2alex

    mom2alex Companion

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    Good idea about researching their mission statement and aligning my strengths to it. For the first question....I have only done student teaching so I guess I would relate what I learned from that. Some of my ideas would be about how I enjoyed teaching and how natural it was for me, how I managed the classroom issues that occurred such as students arguing with one another, not paying attention, etc., Does this sound like what they are probably wanting?
     
  5. AMB

    AMB Rookie

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    May 5, 2009

    Okay, I'm glad it's not just me! (Regarding the like vs. respect.)

    If I ever get an interview with that particular principal, I know to say like.

    Otherwise, I'm going to stress that I work very hard to build caring, RESPECTFUL relationships with my students. Of course I want them to both like and respect me, and I think they really go hand in hand...But if it HAS TO come down to one or the other, I think it is (more) important for teachers and students to have a respectful relationship.

    Thanks for the feedback. My friend's principal's comments really threw me off.
     
  6. Sluggermel

    Sluggermel Rookie

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    May 5, 2009

    I was once asked all these in an interview. They were difficult to answer! Thoughts?

    INTERVIEW QUESTION:What is more important, reading or writing, and why?

    INTERVIEW QUESTION:Teachers should demand respect. Do you agree or disagree with this statement and why?

    INTERVIEW QUESTION:How do you specifically connect boys to books?

    INTERVIEW QUESTION:What is a major mistake you made and what did you learn from it? (I HATED this one and had no idea how to answer it)
     
  7. katrinkakat

    katrinkakat Connoisseur

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    May 6, 2009

    1. Hmm..you gain knowledge by reading and communicate by writing. I would pick the first one, tho they are both so important
    2. Maybe "command" respect, demand sounds so demanding!
    but it is necessary!
    3. Find out what interests the specific boys in your class and stock the shelves with books about their likes.
    4. I would think of a lesson I taught (or make one up) that was something new, that I never tried, and didn't quite work, and explain how the students and I both learned from that lesson, and what I would do differently the next time. It doesn't have to be a tragic mistake.
     
  8. AMB

    AMB Rookie

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    May 6, 2009

    Some good questions!

    So the interview committee was just making up questions for me on the fly, so the chances of these being asked again probably aren't that great, but they are worth thinking about.

    Do you consider yourself a leader, a follower, or a team player?

    My answer: I think I'm all of those things, depending on the situation and context. A leader in the classroom, setting the tone, planning the activities. A team player with my colleagues- I like working with other teaching, getting ideas and feedback, and sharing ideas. And as for a follower, I realize I'm not an administrator. I follow school policies and ask for advice from my principals when I need it!

    There is an achievement gap between boys and girls in reading. How will you address this and work to minimize the gap?

    My answer: I will stress the importance of reading to all of my students and try to encourage my boys to read books that interest them. (If I could have a do-over, I would talk more about explicit skills I would focus on, but alas, I think I answered okay for spur of the moment.)

    Describe teaching a novel that you didn't like. How do you get the students excited about it? How do you teach it-including vocabulary and writing?

    What young adult lit do you read? (Another ouch for me. The only things I could think of were Twilight and Harry Potter.)

    Do you focus on classroom management or content?
    My answer: I think they go together. When you have clear rules and are consistent, you can focus more on content. When you have great lessons that keep the students engaged and active, classroom management problems are minimized.

    Describe what your classroom will look like. I described the seating arrangement (an open U), warm, bright, emphasis on community, library, bell ringers, posted rules.
    I wish I would have added: student work, pictures, school spirit stuff.

    How do you use differentiated instruction?
    -Depends on students' interests, abilities, and learning styles...try to incorporate all of that.

    What would your students say about you?

    Describe a classroom management situation that did not go well. How did you deal with it and resolve it?

    I told a story about student teaching how I was inconsistent about cell phones because I wanted them to like me. (Then immediately clarified that I still want them to like me, but now I realize the importance of being consistent!) I liked my example because I emphasized that it was during student teaching and I really emphasized what I learned from it. I could have told one or two much worse stories (I currently teach in alternative ed so we have some doozies) but this was definitely a safer choice I think.

    If you could design any class, what would it be?

    What do you expect from your department and other teachers?
    -Put the students first!

    What do you expect from your principal?
    -Students first!

    How do you see the role of a teacher? As a facilator or something else? Definitely as a facilitator! My role is to set students up to learn, my activities are student centered, I don't like lecturing, I want them to be involved.

    Even though I've added some stuff to my answers in hindsight, I'm hoping that I did as well as I think I did and I will soon be posting in the jobs thread.

    I hope these questions help others prepare for interviews.
     
  9. katrinkakat

    katrinkakat Connoisseur

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    May 6, 2009

    I think you did a really great job. Interviewing is unnerving because you never know what they will ask next!
    I always think of things I could have added after the interview, too. That's normal, I think! Good luck on your job hunt!
     
  10. txteach2b

    txteach2b Comrade

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    May 6, 2009

    Someone mentioned putting the questions from this thread on notecards. I have done that, and they're saved on my computer. If anyone wants a copy, just PM me. I have all the questions except for the ones posted today.
     
  11. roseteacher12

    roseteacher12 Habitué

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    May 6, 2009

    omg i would love a copy! ive been doing this too but verrrrrry slowly lol ill pm you noww
     
  12. txteach2b

    txteach2b Comrade

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    May 6, 2009

    Check your inbox. I replied.
     
  13. MissKH81

    MissKH81 Rookie

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    May 7, 2009

    I would say that they want to know who you are as a person. The interviewer SHOULD know your professional background from your resume being that they called you in for an interview. However, when giving your personal history, maybe tie in why you went into teaching or why you love teaching and how it "fits" you. This is just a gut instinct :)
     
  14. chely1124

    chely1124 Rookie

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    May 7, 2009

    i just send you a pm too. I have an interview monday:eek:hmy:
     
  15. chely1124

    chely1124 Rookie

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    May 7, 2009

    please help...

    in an interview they asked me
    if you have kids in your classroom that are in different varieties of reading fluency how would you teach them?:confused:

    thanks
     
  16. txteach2b

    txteach2b Comrade

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    May 7, 2009

    Had my interview this afternoon. One question had me totally stumped, and I couldn't come up with an answer :-(

    Who qualifies as an at-risk student, and what procedures do you have in place?

    I came up totally blank, and later slapped myself in the forehead for forgetting the answer!!
     
  17. Sluggermel

    Sluggermel Rookie

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    May 8, 2009

    What position did you interview for? What were they referring to when they said "at-risk" student? In reading? Overall?
     
  18. txteach2b

    txteach2b Comrade

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    May 8, 2009

    The posting was for EC-4 teacher. They had one person there from every grade level, so it could've been for any grade level there. They just said "at-risk", so I guess it was overall. I wrote a thank-you to the P saying I was thinking on that question, and I gave her my answer. Keeping my fingers crossed.
     
  19. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    May 8, 2009

    txteach- I would have been stumped by that one as well. I think it was a great idea to include your answer in your thank you note to the P. What did you end up saying?
     
  20. txteach2b

    txteach2b Comrade

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    May 8, 2009

    I ended up saying something like this....

    I was thinking about the question I didn't answer about at-risk students. An at-risk student is someone who has failed a grade or any portion of the TAKS test. They could also be in danger of failing and have a low socioeconomic status. I would praise them often, and have high expectations of them and all my students. I would have tactile and kinesthetic activities planned and offer tutoring before and after school.

    I went on to thank her again, saying I look forward to the possibility of working with her in the future.

    Or something like that. My copy of the letter is on the computer at work.

    I can pretty much bet I'm never going to forget that question again! I did say I was reflective in my interview.....maybe that proved it to her! :)
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2009
  21. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    May 9, 2009

    That's great, txteach! Could you also send me the questions you've put together for cards? Thanks!
     
  22. txteach2b

    txteach2b Comrade

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    May 10, 2009

    PM me your email & I'll get it out.
     
  23. McKennaL

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    May 10, 2009

    One of my reading professors (who was also a highly-acclaimed first grade teacher and employment panalist) once told about a woman who was hired in her school district. (She actually was a first year teacher. Fresh out of college.) Who, when asked about Running Records, hadn't a clue what they were. The professor mentioned that it was her answer to THIS question that locked in her being hired. The candidate didn't fake knowledge (of which she had none), she said that she wasn't familiar with that practice, but if it were an approach that the school used, she would do everything within her power to learn about the method - including collaborating with fellow teachers - to become skilled in utilizing it to benefit her students. Later in the "do you have any questions for US" section- she asked them to define and explain Running Records for her.

    The professor was impressed with her confidence in admitting when she didn't have an answer for them- but even more impressed that she was so willing to learn.
     
  24. AMB

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    May 10, 2009

    I agree with that professor. It's far better to fess up what you don't know and say you are committed to learning it than bs'ing if you aren't even sure you are on the right track.

    I wouldn't put it past some interviewers to ask about something really obscure and hoping you won't know it just to see if you'll admit it or try to bs your way through.
     
  25. roseteacher12

    roseteacher12 Habitué

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    May 10, 2009

    Can someone tell me what types of things you say during the "tell me about yourself" question? Ive had one interviewer ask for a "verbal resume" which was easy but one just said "tell me about yourself" and i didnt know what type of info i should include?!
     
  26. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    May 10, 2009

    rose- I normally give my educational background, my teaching experience, and then a little about my personal life (married, kids).
     
  27. txteach2b

    txteach2b Comrade

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    May 11, 2009

    For everyone who has PMed me about notecards, I sent them out. If you messaged me about them and didn't get them, let me know.
     
  28. AMB

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    Thank you so much for the notecards!
     
  29. K-5*Newbie*

    K-5*Newbie* Rookie

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    May 11, 2009

    How do you know you're ready to teach middle school?

    I was interviewing for elementary/SPED, and Middle School/SPED, and it stumpted me because I have no MS experience
     
  30. MsBee

    MsBee Devotee

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    May 12, 2009

    I was asked at a interview yesterday...

    What teaching methods and practices do you use?

    I totally blew that question!! I have no idea what I said. I said something about I do not lecture or do direct instruction. lol I have no idea.
    Any help please?
     
  31. melissa803

    melissa803 Comrade

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    May 12, 2009

    Components of a lesson plan

    What are the components of a good lesson plan?

    I would like to see how people answer this because I've been out of the game awhile (SAHM) and think interviewers are looking for more than Materials, Objective, Procedure, Evaluation that I learned in undergrad.

    Do you divide it into Before(eg Activating prior knowledge), During and After in content areas?

    TIA
     
  32. MsBee

    MsBee Devotee

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    May 12, 2009

    What are the components of a good lesson plan?

    I just got asked this yesterday. I said standards, accommodations for different learners(differentiate instruction),objective and I said that I make sure to include a section for early finishers.

    She was shaking her head like it sounded good so hopefully that is right?
     
  33. AMB

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    May 12, 2009

    When they ask for 4, I have been told the answer (by someone who got the job) is: objectives, activating prior knowledge, activity which includes differentiation/guided practice/assessment, and closure.
     
  34. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    May 12, 2009

    AMB-that was my answer!!

    MsBee- my answer would have been the use of cooperative learning groups, differentiating instruction, the use of hands-on activities.
     
  35. In Transition

    In Transition New Member

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    May 13, 2009

    Hi. I would like these index cards too. I tried to PM you, but I think since I am brand new it won't let me.
     
  36. MoonMomma

    MoonMomma Rookie

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    May 15, 2009

    In my interview for a secondary foreign language position:

    How have your other work experiences prepared you for teaching? (I'm a career changer)
    How would you help develop interest in French/German/Latin/Spanish in students who aren't in your classes?
    What would be your favorite lesson to teach?

    And something I did NOT expect--was a full round of questioning from the existing FL teacher in the language! I thought she might ask a couple of questions to gauge my fluency, but she asked half the questions and the principal, the other half in English! Whew!
     
  37. AMB

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    May 16, 2009

    A couple from today that threw me off just a little:

    What current trends in education are you familiar with?

    I mentioned common assessments, PLC's (professional learning communities), our state standardized testing which apparently was enough for them.

    How do you implement research based strategies in your reading and writing lessons?
    I mentioned first keeping up with research and trying the strategies they suggest. I mentioned that I had recently read Marzano (who is big here)-Classroom Instruction that Works and mentioned the note-taking and summarizing activities that they found worked well, and also talked about how with writing they found lessons most effective when teacher's focus on a specific aspect of writing and give specific feedback.
    (And btw, it's an excellent book if you haven't read it yet.)
     
  38. eightlgddj

    eightlgddj Rookie

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    May 17, 2009

    How would your students describe you?
     
  39. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    May 17, 2009

    eight-have you had your own classroom or subbed in classrooms? I would use what the students said then about you.
     
  40. jjackson224

    jjackson224 Rookie

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    May 19, 2009

    Questions

    Why did you decide to become a teacher?
    to help kids

    What approaches do you utilize to motivate your students?
    Sports and real life situations

    What specific teaching strategies do you use to achieve results with students?
    Technology and hands on manipulatives.

    I need help. I am a Math teacher.
     

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