Let's start some interview practice:

Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by Aliceacc, May 3, 2006.

  1. kathy2215

    kathy2215 Companion

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    Jul 19, 2006

    Good luck and my fingers are crossed
     
  2. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    Jul 20, 2006

    Thanks Missy and Truly.
    Truly the nice thing about two of the interviews is that I have worked at for both principals. So they know I have a love of teaching and working with students. It is the third interview that I am nervous about!
     
  3. bitsey

    bitsey Rookie

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    Whats with these first, second and third interviews? Any school I have interviewed with and there have been big and small ones, only interview once then hire you or dont. The last interview I had I sat in the principals office with just the principal and the other 5th grade teacher and we just chatted... nothing formal. I guess it takes all kinds!
     
  4. Beth2004

    Beth2004 Maven

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    With all of the districts in my area, candidates are first interviewed by the principal and a panel of teachers and then if you make it through that stage you are interviewed by the superintendent and either appointed to the position or not. The principal chooses who will be sent to meet with the superintendent, but the super. always has the final say.
     
  5. kathy2215

    kathy2215 Companion

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    Jul 20, 2006

    i have a new one
    first upi teach a lesson
    then yuo are screened
    then you have a formal interview
    then if you are liked, you get an interview witha paenl
    then eith the superintendent
     
  6. SeattleGal

    SeattleGal Rookie

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    In my area it goes both ways. Sometimes interviewing is a screening process to get a "pool" of candidates for principals to draw from. For most districts, however, it is just one interview with principal and a handful of teachers/parents. However, occaisionally, the principal feels the need to call in their top candidates for one more interview so that different people on their side can weigh in. That's where I am now. I did my second interview with new people - a lot of the same questions from interview #1. They said they'd let me know, one way or the other (which is so much nicer than these districts that leave you hanging) in a couple of days, and we're now on day 3 so jumping every time the phone rings.
     
  7. WonderW05

    WonderW05 Comrade

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    Jul 20, 2006

    SeattleGal
    How much weight do you thing long term subbing for a school then getting an interview with them plays in. I am in a small community and I am one of two at least that lives in here. I went for my interview yesterday and I was really nervous. I shouldn't have been since I knew and work alongside everyone except one person on the panel. They told me that they would be calling the candidate on Friday to let them know they have been hired for the position. However, I am kicking myself after the interview because there were so many things that I want to express about myself, but the interview was such a blur...it was like I blinked and I was done. This was my first interview with a school district, so I know I have much more to learn. Any suggestions and can you tell me about your very first teaching interview? Thanks:angel:
     
  8. SeattleGal

    SeattleGal Rookie

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    Hi Wonder,
    I personally think long term subbing at a school gives you a huge advantage - they know you, know your style, know you get along, because in the end, what they are trying to do is not only get a good teacher, but also decrease their risk of a bad decision (teaching skills subpar, uncooperative, lazy, whatever). As they know you already, their risk is a lot lower. The first interview is always a blur. What I learned from my first interview was that I was approaching it too casually and I had to do some significant research. I had to be up-to-date on what is considered best teaching practices for my area. I needed to take more time to really visualize what my teaching would be like and my overall philosophy. I now have a little cheat list of questions/answers that I review every time before I go into an interview (besides all the research I do on the school) and I rarely am caught off guard any more by questions. I usually make it to the second round (if there is one) and I have had one principal tell me that he loved the interview, had absolutely no suggestions for improving (if I don't get the job, I try to remember to ask the principal, "Is there any advice you could give me that would make my interview stronger, or areas where I need to learn more?") and said that they found a candidate who had a better match of skills but that he had called two principals who he knew were hiring in his district to pass along my name. So... not sure if this is helpful...I'd feel a lot more qualified to give advice if I had an offer in hand! :) Oh! Also, the thank you note is a great place to succinctly add in all those things you forgot to say in the interview. I make it a point to have it mailed that day if at all possible, but if you need one day to think about it so that you are sure you say the right things/fill in any gaps, then I would do that too.
     
  9. WonderW05

    WonderW05 Comrade

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    Jul 20, 2006

    thanks for the advice. Yes this is information is especially helpful to me. How long should the letter be and who would I address it to? the principal since there was no superintendent there at the time of the interview?
     
  10. SeattleGal

    SeattleGal Rookie

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    When I am in an interview, I try to keep/remember any information that gives me clues about the names of the people interviewing me. For example, at my last interview, I knew the principal's name, but the teachers just introduced themselves by their first names and the grades they taught. After the interview, I went to the school's website, looked up the list of teachers so that I was able to address my thank you note to the right people using the more formal last names. If there are a lot of people on the panel, then I would just address it to the principal and state in the letter, "please extend my thanks to...(other people) and try to use names. I have tried a variety of types - you can do the more formal one (which is probably the best format if you have stuff you still want to communicate) A book I have said it should be as follows: formal business style, first paragraph - thank you for the interview, second paragraph - tell why you like the school, what you can add (all the extras - third paragraph - reiterate thanks (letter should not exceed 200 word) The authors also warn about making it seem like you forgot something in the interview like: "I neglected to mention" Just sound passionate and get your point across. Lately, I have been doing the handwritten thank yous on thank you note cards - especially if it was a less formal interview. To me it seems more personal and I want them to see me as an individual. Hope this helps!
     
  11. bitsey

    bitsey Rookie

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    Jul 20, 2006

    well good luck!!! I have my fingeres crossed for you!
     
  12. bitsey

    bitsey Rookie

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    Wow that sounds exactly like my first interview. It gets easier with time. I just dont see how they can judge you on 7 minutes. They cant possible hear all you know in that short of time. I think they should judge you on your prior experience at the school. But who knows what they are thinking. Good luck!
     
  13. kathy2215

    kathy2215 Companion

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    Jul 20, 2006

    I believe communication with parents is vital. I send home weekly behavior sheets and a newsletter. I make good and bad phone calls. I keep parents posted and try to het them involved in the classroom as much as possible
     
  14. kathy2215

    kathy2215 Companion

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    Jul 20, 2006

    one of the greatest weakknesses facing todays schools is children who feel safe. Witht he violence in todays society some children need extra assuracne to feel safe. When they feel safe and secure then they will be able to do better in schoool
     
  15. nyteacher01

    nyteacher01 Companion

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    Jul 20, 2006

    Anyone have an interview with a superintendent yet? What was it like? What do they ask?
     
  16. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    Jul 20, 2006

    Here are the some of the questions I was asked today. Can you believe it I actually remember more than one!
    All three asked What will your literacy block look
    like/ how will you run it? Or if I came into your room during your literacy time in October what would your students be doing. I went on and on about the whole school year. Than realized I did that looked at the principal and said Oops I just covered the whole year. He said don't worry my next question was going to be what would it look like in March.

    What would your overall day look like?

    How would you teach reading?

    Tell us a talent that you will bring to our teaching
    community? (no idea how I answered that)

    If you have a student in your classroom that is lower
    than the rest what will you do if it's November and
    you think you may have to refer him. What will you try
    before the referral?
    Leading from that they asked What if the parent
    refused special services all together. How would you
    try to persuade them?

    Classroom set up?

    What is my classroom management and discipline plan ?

    What skills do you have that will make you a teacher
    that will fit into our district?

    Those are all I can remember. Two schools asked 9
    questions one school asked 10.
     
  17. Rose Brooke

    Rose Brooke Rookie

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    Jul 20, 2006

    Hello,
    I just found this wonderful site? I graduated in December and have had 2 phone interviews and one 2nd interview. I thought I had it. I studetn taught there it was the postion I wished for and I knew all the teachers on the commitee. I didn't get it though. They gave it to someone who had experience. (Same for the other position). How do I get experience if I won't get hired cuz I don't have experience? Also I don't have anything to brag about on my resume. I am 25 and have two young girls (4 and 4 months). I spent the last 6 years going to school full time and working full time. Now I am unemployed and broke? ANy suggestions. I also have some of the questions I was asked at the interview. Thanks for any help?
    * How do you meet the diverse needs of all your students?
    * You have students in your 3rd grade classroom who are reading at a 6th grade level and some that are at a 1st grade level. HOw do you teach them?
    * What assessment tools have you used and how do you use them?
    * Who do you need to talk to in order to perform your job???????
    * How do you develop relationships with staff members???????
    * Describe your classroom?
    * How can you tell if a student is maintaining or exceeding?
     
  18. SeattleGal

    SeattleGal Rookie

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    Jul 21, 2006

    Hi Rose, Welcome to the board! I've found a lot of support and information here and I hope you do too. Many of us understand your whole frustration with "how do I get experience if I can't get hired cuz I'm inexperienced!" Ugh. I hear you. One question I have for you is what kind of reading programs do you use in your area? I have recently become a HUGE fan of "Guiding Readers and Writers" by Fountas and Pinnell (spelling?) A lot of the questions you were asked, you could find a great answer here IF it is the kind of philosophy your district/area supports. Does anyone else out there have much experience with F& P - if not, how do you answer your questions about literacy? By the way, I loved your last question. How did you answer it? I'm not sure what I would say. My gut says there is a middle step - maintaining (staying where at) growing (learning at expected rate) and exceeding (learning more than expected.) Hmm... interesting!
     
  19. WonderW05

    WonderW05 Comrade

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    Jul 21, 2006

    It would be great if you could maybe start substuting or working at place that teaches kids i.e Sylvan so that you might be able to start adding to your resume. Working as a tutor a couple of days a week could improve your chances of getting a job. Have you subbed yet?
    hope this helps.
     
  20. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    Jul 21, 2006

    Not to be rude but can we move this conversation to a different thread? I keep coming hoping for more interview practice advice.
    Maybe a moderator can move it to it's own thread.
     
  21. JustWondering

    JustWondering Companion

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    Just for Jamie... I was asked this question in both interviews I went to:

    Principal/AP: If I were to come into your classroom during the month of October what would I see?

    This one confused me but I later found out that they were looking for an answer that included classroom behavior/management.
     
  22. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Jul 21, 2006

    I haven't thrown out a question in a while, so I'm probably due. How's this one:

    What quality do you think is most important for a good teacher to possess, and why?
     
  23. JustWondering

    JustWondering Companion

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    A good teacher should have the ability to adapt. Our world is constantly changing and is doing so at a faster pace than ever. The children we will be teaching will also have to learn this sometimes frustrating fact of life and to have teachers who can adapt to changes with a smile is a wonderful way to teach them how to handle their own changes in life.
     
  24. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    Thanks Alice. This is one of those questions that can have many answers.
    I would say something like there are many qualities that a teacher should possess. One of the top would be passionate about teaching. If a teacher is not passionate than the students are not going to get excited about learning. Teachers need to engage their students and to do that they need to get grab the students attention. If students are not excited about learning behavior problems will pop up.


    Ok how does that sound?
     
  25. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    This would confuse me to. At least at my interview they were a little more specfic. They said If I were to come into your literacy block in the month of October what would I see?

    For your question I would say well if it was during literacy block you would see me working with guided reading groups. While I am working with this group, my other students will be working quietly on one of the follow: silent reading their book, answering questions that covers the story they just read, scholastic news........ Again this all depends on the grade level.
     
  26. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    How would you answer this one?
    Tell us a talent that you will bring to our teaching
    community?
     
  27. JustWondering

    JustWondering Companion

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    Yes it definitely does!

    I answered it wrong by going into lesson plan specifics, but I had a sample so I think that evened it out!
     
  28. JustWondering

    JustWondering Companion

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    Personally I have a few skills outside of my major of mathematics. As a teenager I played varsity golf and still play from time to time. I also raced small sail boats. I served as commodore for our sailing team for a number of years and put together the monthly news letter. Not only would I feel comfortable coaching students in these actives they also taught me how manage time better between activities. I also have some experience with graphic design and HTML. I could contribute to after school groups who are interested in learning how to make their own web pages and graphics.
     
  29. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    I have a talent for seeing the way in which people, places, and events are all connected to one another. I would do my best to teach my students how what I am teaching will help them in there life outside of school. I also hope to bring an appreciation for others into my classroom too.
     
  30. MusicMaker

    MusicMaker Rookie

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    Jul 22, 2006

    I'm going on a second interview for a first grade position. What types of things should I be prepared to answer? Are there any learning concepts specific to first grade? Such as...

    • How do you set up and manage learning groups and centers?
    • How will you set up reading groups?
    • What types of assessment will you use (formal and informal)?
    • How will you build a solid foundation for pre-reading skills?
    • What will you do on the first day?
    Also, should I wear a suit on the second interview like I did on the first one?
     
  31. njeledteacher

    njeledteacher Cohort

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    Yes, wear a suit.
     
  32. kathy2215

    kathy2215 Companion

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    Jul 22, 2006

    Definatley weara suit. If you have not already try to see if the curruiculm is on the school's website therefore you would know more of what the school expects of you!
     
  33. JustWondering

    JustWondering Companion

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    I wore a suit to every interview, even if it was a second interview. I don't know much about first grade so I can't help you there!
     
  34. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    Any more questions?:angel: I'm desperate for the practice... any second grade interviewers out there???
     
  35. njeledteacher

    njeledteacher Cohort

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    My last interview was very general. They asked me to talk about my student teaching experience, and basically went over my resume.
     
  36. JustWondering

    JustWondering Companion

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    I don't know if this one would apply but I was asked this one:

    How would you incorporate technology into your lessons/classroom?
     
  37. kathy2215

    kathy2215 Companion

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    I am as well.
    Why do you wnat to teach second grade?
     
  38. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    I went on two second grade interviews. Think about guided reading groups and what the other students would be doing during that time.
    Writing: students should be writing stories with beg, middle, end. I have a ton more info. When is your interview? I'll grab my stuff and pull some questions from it.
    Also look at the questions I posted about. Some of those are from my grade two interview.
     
  39. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    Jaime- I don't have an interview, but just in case, I want to be prepared. I have Fontas and Pinnell coming out of my ears....:D I think I have a solid foundation w/ guided reading. Any suggestions on writing??? I will take any info you have since you have been on the interviews. I am just nervous about actually getting everything going. Does that make any sense? Just the thought of walking into a classroom is overwhelming enough at this point.
     
  40. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    forgot to ask, but what did you say about what the other students would be doing??? I have ideas, but they are all jumbled. I'm losing focus :confused:
     

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