Job interview- just blew it...

Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by athomp, Apr 5, 2008.

  1. athomp

    athomp Rookie

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    Apr 5, 2008

    I had my 2nd interview today (the first one was a month ago at a job fair). But I don't think this interview went very well.

    To start, I showed up at the school (which is a lovely school, by the way) and they put me in a room with a principle from another elementary school and then the vice principle from the school that I thought I was interviewing with came in. I wasn't prepared to talk to a principal from another school. I didn't know he was going to be there. When the lady at the district office set up this interview, she didn't mention anything. I guess I shouldn't have assumed...

    They didn't really ask me any questions. I think they only asked who I interviewed with at the job fair. I told them a little about myself. Showed them some work I did with students from student teaching and that was it.

    They told me about the grade openings they would possibly be having and what I was interesting in teaching. I love teaching and told them I was flexible...and I really am flexible...I would be happy teaching any grade- K-5th. Maybe I shouldn't say I'm flexible? Should I be telling them exactly what grade? Again, any grade would be fine with me. I figured since it's my first teaching job, the more flexible, the better? Right?

    Then the principal from the other school said that he would be interviewing during the week only (I flew up from Southern California to the Silicon Valley to interview for this job), I told them that was fine, let me know and I can fly up again.

    The whole interview took only fifteen minutes. I didn't know what else to do or say. I feel like I really blew it. I feel dumb and upset.

    I'm going to send thank you cards to both people. Is there anything I can do to salvage this?
     
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  3. SwOcean Gal

    SwOcean Gal Devotee

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    Apr 5, 2008

    Well do not assume the worst. That was pretty terrible throwing another principal at you. That is weird. I would def send the thank yous. Other than that I think you just need to focus on what you did well and think about the next step. Good luck. I hope everything turns out okay. I have not gone through this yet, so I am not much help. Sorry! I would just focus on what you did well and see what you need to improve upon and work on that. Best wishes
     
  4. jw13

    jw13 Groupie

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    Apr 5, 2008

    I don't think it was awful that you said you were flexible. As a first year, you should be flexible. Many times, as a first year, you haven't experienced enough to trully know what specific grade you prefer. It sounds like it went well. Sending good vibes.:2up:
     
  5. emmakate218

    emmakate218 Connoisseur

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    Apr 5, 2008

    My university supervisor is a retired principal and she gave me the advice yesterday to state my exact grade preference if asked during an interview. She told me that if you tell them that you would like to teach any grade that is available then you will give the interviewers the impression that you are simply in search of a job and that you don't have a passion for a grade. Basically, if you haven't developed a passion yet for a particular grade or age range (early childhood or upper elementary), then you have reflected enough upon who you are as a teacher and you don't know what you want in your teaching career.

    I use to say that I would teach any grade and I thought this was a plus going for me that a lot of my peers did not have since they were so specific in the grade they wanted to teach. Throughout student teaching, with the experience I've gained and the reflecting I've done, I have a passion for early childhood, kindergarten to be specific. I'm not going to apologize for it. :)
     
  6. leighbball

    leighbball Virtuoso

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    I don't think it sounds like it went bad. If the first interview was at a job fair, then this might've been like a follow-up screening interview. I agree that having a diff principal seems odd, but maybe a family emergency or something came up. In your thank you, maybe include something that will make you stand out in their minds- like something you talked about that others wouldn't (such as the work you showed from student teaching). Just thank them for the opportunity to meet with them and say you look forward to continuing your discussion as a candidate for their district:) Good luck!
     
  7. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Apr 5, 2008

    Everyone has already given the advice that I myself would give. It sounds like it went fine and if the main interview was at a job fair, this interview could have been a screening interview for other schools in the district which might explain why there was a different principal. You answered the grade preference question truthfully and that will show through. Principals understand that first year teachers might not have a particular preference as they just want to get that first job. Good luck and keep us posted!
     
  8. lemonhead

    lemonhead Aficionado

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    Apr 5, 2008

    What grade are you most interested in? Hate that but maybe you could say something like:

    Well, I really enjoy the younger grades and I am flexible; however, I believe if I was given a choice of any, I would pick first grade. Of course if that was not available, I would definitely not rule out other grades.
     
  9. MissWull

    MissWull Cohort

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    Apr 5, 2008

    It doesn't sound like it went horrible to me. It's hard to judge how it really went from what you said...but I know what you mean about saying you're flexible when it comes to what grade you want. I've said that to a few principals/reps and they give me this look, but never do they look pleased with that answer...it's strange.
     
  10. MissWull

    MissWull Cohort

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    oh yeah, i forgot to say...

    I'm looking for a job up north and I live in so cal as well. I'm really not looking forward to flying up there more than a couple times...so I can imagine how it would be since you did ALL that extra effort to only have a 15 minute interview. Not to mention the extra money you put into getting the job by flying out there...sheesh. I'm hoping they'll be able to hire me over the phone, but that's probably hoping a bit too much, haha.
     
  11. MMRbella

    MMRbella Companion

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    Apr 5, 2008

    Oh, don't assume anything! When I was looking for a teaching job last year, I met with principals I thought didn't care for me, because interviews were short, the didn't "look" interested, etc. However, it turned out that they liked me a great deal! It's a tight job market around here, and I was offered a couple jobs, and a finalist for a few others.

    Don't give up hope! :)

    Good luck!
     
  12. cheeryteacher

    cheeryteacher Enthusiast

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    It doesn't sound like it went bad. It's up to the interviewer to ask questions. If they only asked a few, what can you do? I think your answers were good. I don't see being flexible as a bad thing. At this point in your career, you might think you know what grade you prefer, but you really don't know until you get your own class and try different grades. When I first started out I thought I wanted primary. Now I have 6th graders and feel I am more suited to it. I never even though to observe a 6th grade classroom when I was in school.
     
  13. athomp

    athomp Rookie

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    Apr 6, 2008

    Thank you to everyone who replied.

    It's just so frustrating to have two people sitting there, looking at you, not asking any (or very little) questions.

    I keep thinking, "What am I doing wrong? What should I have said differently?"
     
  14. leighbball

    leighbball Virtuoso

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    I think you always second guess yourself and the entire interview afterwards, even if you feel it went well. Just remember that as long as you did your best, there's nothing to worry about. But chances are, you did better than you think you did. We are always so hard on ourselves...and finding a job can be incredibly stressful!
     

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