Let's start some interview practice:

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

  1. wldywall

    wldywall Connoisseur

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  2. bmault

    bmault Rookie

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    Jan 11, 2007

    Has this one been asked yet????

    We have teachers who can teach the failing kids but what about teaching those kids who already have B's? How do you get them to A's??

    At my interview tomorrow, they may be looking for an AP English teacher. ANy help with this one?
    Thanks!
     
  3. Mr.MiddleSchool

    Mr.MiddleSchool Comrade

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    Feb 17, 2007

    I just had an interview today at the local teacher job fair. Below are the questions I practiced with, along with the questions that were actually asked--

    Questions I practiced with
    How have I handled a behavior in class?
    How do you motivate students?
    What is the biggest challenge facing children today?
    What is your strongest subject to teach?
    Tell us about your background working with students.

    Actual Questions I had to answer
    Tell me a little about yourself and teaching experiences with children.
    What do you feel is your strongest subject to teach and why?
    Can you give an example of how you have/how you would handle behavioral problems in your classroom?
    How would you keep students from being bored in your class/bored with school work?

    I would be interested in knowing how anyone would answer "How would you keep students from being bored in your class/bored with school work?" I said by incorporating different things in the classroom-- hands on activities, group projects, incorportate technology (powerpoint and the internet) whenever possible. The assistant principal seemed to like my answer!

    -Mr. MiddleSchool
     
  4. kidatheart

    kidatheart Habitué

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    Mr. M - you said exactly what I would have said. I would minimize the boredom by including individual, pair and group activities. I would use a variety of materials to make the subject matter interesting and would incorporate technology where I was able, especially in research and educational games.
    How did you handle the behavior question?
     
  5. Mr.MiddleSchool

    Mr.MiddleSchool Comrade

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    My response to the behavior question was along the lines of-- I would talk with the student in private maybe after class or something(don't call him/her out during class and make a spectacle out of the situation) find out, if possible, what's going on from their point of view. Reinforce the fact that I have expectations in regards to behavior and civility in my classroom and that disruptions will not be tolerated. If 1 on 1 with the student doesn't seem to help, parents will be involved. If that doesn't change things, administration. I will use all my resources FIRST before calling in "my backup" the administration. I have to keep and display my authority as much as I can.
     
  6. up4achallenge

    up4achallenge Rookie

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    Feb 22, 2007


    Hello,

    I have first started reading this forum about 1 month ago when I finally decided to attempt to put my credential to use. I am a "2nd career" teacher deciding to go into teaching after having a successful career in the outside world. After retirement, I went back to school and earned a Masters in Elementary Ed with a Reading Specialist Endorsement and a Credential with the State of Arizona.
    To be honest, I am not certain if Arizona is in the same boat as many of the areas from which posters to this forum reside. Jobs here seem to be a bit more plentiful, but there are TONS of applicants for each position.
    So far, my job hunt experience seems to have gone along two different paths. I have now had "screening interviews" with three different districts for 1st grade teaching positions (I am a man so this seems to be to my advantage). After each, I was told I was now "allowed" to contact principals at schools within the district and ask for an interview as available positions are posted on the internet. I have also sent out about 5 application packets to districts who did not even bother to acknowledge receipt of the packets. Even after repeated calls and emails. So, basically some good news and some bad....
    This morning, however, I received a phone call from a principal in a district I am not even remotely interested in teaching in. She did an "on the spot" interview and called back this afternoon to get reference info to check - indicating an offer to be on the way..... I REALLY liked this principal and now I am trying to figure out if it is best to take a position in a district (area of the state) I do not really want to work or wait until later and risk getting nothing. I have two more interviews scheduled, with administrators the beginning of next month and a promise of another within two weeks. There are also three large job fairs scheduled in the next three weeks that also show promise.

    Anyone care to offer some advice?

    Also, I would like to thanks EVERYONE who has posted interview questions on this thread. Basically, ever question I was asked was posted somewhere on this thread. This made me look REALLY good!

    Thank you again everyone!!!
     
  7. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    Feb 22, 2007

    Up4achallenge,

    That's a tough call. I don't know what to tell you. In my experience it's those on the spot imediate offers that are usually the tough districts..... although, that has only been my experience.
     
  8. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Feb 22, 2007

    Well, can you tell us why you don't like that area? That might have some bearing on whether the job is worth taking.
     
  9. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Phenom

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    Feb 22, 2007

    I just got back from an interview. One question that really stumped med me was this: "Tell us about a time you had a difficult child and had to get the parents involved. What did you do, and how did it work out?"

    I have had plenty of difficult children, but I was really unsure just how to answer, how much information to give, etc. I don't know that I satisfied them with what I did tell them.
     
  10. up4achallenge

    up4achallenge Rookie

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    Feb 22, 2007



    Hi Froggie,

    My experience so far has been to check the websites of each individual school district and apply accordingly. I have also used our state sponsered site and then applied to the distircts advertising openings.
     
  11. up4achallenge

    up4achallenge Rookie

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    Feb 22, 2007

    Miss Frizzle,

    Thank you for your feedback.

    It is a tough district - many title one schools and very low paying. Fortunately, money is not an issue but I do not want to hate my first position after just a few weeks!

    But the old, Bird in the hand, addage keep popping into my brain......
     
  12. kidatheart

    kidatheart Habitué

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    Feb 22, 2007

    Not to mention the valuable experience you will gain - hopefully you would have a very supportive administration!
     
  13. up4achallenge

    up4achallenge Rookie

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    Feb 22, 2007

    The district is very rural and right on the border. The closest big city is 3+ hours. The area is poor and subsequently so are the schools. Local living conditions tend to not be the best either so a drive of 30+ miles is probably necessary to find acceptable housing.
     
  14. up4achallenge

    up4achallenge Rookie

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    All that is true..... and the administrator I would be working for has just swept me off of my feet. She is very professional and appears to be very upfront and honest, which are traits I very much like in a supervisor.......

    That is why the decision is so difficult for me!!
     
  15. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    A thirty mile drive for "acceptable" housing looks like a problem. Why not share your concerns with the principal when she offers you the job? She may have a way to sweeten the offer and make it more acceptable.
     
  16. up4achallenge

    up4achallenge Rookie

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    Do they do that? Like I mentioned before, it is a poor school district. Starting pay with a Masters is just over 30K. Never new those numbers were negotiable?
     
  17. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Feb 23, 2007

    I have no idea. Probably not...unless they REALLY REALLY want you.

    But if you don't think you want to accept the job anyway, what do you have to lose?
     
  18. up4achallenge

    up4achallenge Rookie

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    Feb 23, 2007

    Good point. Anything is worth a try.

    I received a phone call asking for me to drive out and meet with the administrator this morning. She wants me to come next week and meet with her and some others in the D.O. Then tour a school.

    Well, it certainly is nice to be wanted!!:)
     
  19. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Feb 23, 2007

    So....... what if she offers you the job?
     
  20. up4achallenge

    up4achallenge Rookie

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    Feb 23, 2007


    That is a darn good question....... Been thinking about it all morning actually. I am kind of thinking it is a bridge I will have to cross when I come to it..... Would love to figure out a way to stall till I can see if something else comes along.

    Does anyone know if an offer comes with a contract and how much time you usually get to reply.......?
     
  21. up4achallenge

    up4achallenge Rookie

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    Mar 5, 2007

    An update:

    Well, it appears to be feast of famine here in Arizona. I went from one job offer a week ago to multiple (3+ offers) this week. This evening I turned down the offer from the border area school, as well as two offers from school districts within the city of Phoenix. I accepted an offer from a very nice school with the immediate need of a combined 1st/2nd reading specialist (Remember I have a Reading Specialist Endorsement......) with an assurance of a first grade position, in the classroom, at the start of the school year.

    I would like to thank everyone who has posted interview questions and answers to this site. I firmly believe those questions and answers were instrumental in my having received all those offers.


    Finally, for those still looking for a position... Might I suggest looking in Arizona. The state accepts -out of state- credentials for credentialing and seems to have many opening available for the coming school year. I know the school I have been hired in needs 2 more teacher for this year and has 8 open positions for next. By the way, this is not due to attrition, it is due to area growth.....
     
  22. luv2teach415

    luv2teach415 Companion

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    Hi everyone. I have a question for all of you. I have a screening interview with the brooklyn/queens archdiocese in nyc in a few weeks. I'm starting to get everything organized and reading this thread has helped tremendously. I am currently in the process of my master's degree (one more year to go). Next year, I need to do student teaching in order to complete my certification. My hopes is to be able to find a job position in Manhattan or Brooklyn - any type of school: catholic, public, private - that I can also do my student teaching at. I wouldn't be doing my student teaching until next Spring semester '08. Should I mention this to whomever interviews me? How should I phrase it? Thank you.
     
  23. MusicGal03

    MusicGal03 Rookie

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    Apr 4, 2007

    Another question for anyone who could help out...
    This Friday I have a basic screening interview with (one of the) HR Coordinators from a large district who I've previously met...I'd normally feel comfortable, however unlike a normal situation, its going to take place over the phone (due to living in a different area and student teaching full time). Anyone ever had to do this?

    I'm planning of course to dress up anyways (for my own confidence and comfort level) and be prepared at my desk like it were in an office, but any other thoughts or suggestions would be GREATLY appreciated :)
     
  24. Pixiewannabe

    Pixiewannabe Comrade

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    Apr 6, 2007

    Looking over these questions has been really helpful ~ Thanks
     
  25. Ms.H_710

    Ms.H_710 Rookie

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    I am having the same problem with these questions!

    I just posted these questions and I was responded with I should look at several previous posts. Yours was one.:D What did you end up putting for these questions. I have the exact same one!:thanks:




     
  26. TeachtheWorld

    TeachtheWorld Companion

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    Apr 17, 2007

    Interview questions

    I have a few questions that I have trouble answering:
    1. What are your weaknesses?
    2. What are your strengths?
    3. Why should we choose you for this position?

    I also have trouble coming up with questions for the interviewers.

    Any help?
     
  27. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    Your weakness should be another way of stating a strength... For example, I'm very detail oriented.... so much in fact, that I tend to over plan... or something like that.

    This could also be considered a strength. I advise you strongly to be honest. Don't just say it if you are not prepared to follow through.

    These questions can only be answered honestly... No one answer is going to sum up another person.

    Why should they hire you.... ? Well, tell us about yourself. What makes you unique?
     
  28. wanateach

    wanateach Companion

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    Apr 17, 2007

    Regarding strength/weakness questions:

    How can you be honest and make it look like a strength-then it is really not a weakness=I am trying to figure out what to honestly say-it seems hard to come up with something. lori
     
  29. MissFrizzle

    MissFrizzle Virtuoso

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    That's the point..... a weakness such as too detail oriented, perfectionism... etc.. these can be weaknesses, but in terms of teaching they are also strengths...

    What would you say is your weakness... maybe we can help.
     
  30. TeachtheWorld

    TeachtheWorld Companion

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    My weakness is classroom management. Not behavior management. I need help in this area so I'm not so exhausted at the end of the day. My strength would be my ability to adapt my lessons to meet the different learning styles. As far as why someone would hire me...for this particular school I feel very qualified to teach the reading program that they use. I'm not sure what else to say. :)
     
  31. Joymusik

    Joymusik Rookie

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    I don't know that I'd say my weakness is "classroom management." That can be interpreted in too many ways. Is there a way you can narrow your "weakness" to a specific area? Especially an area that can be easily worked on, or even turned into a strength.
     
  32. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    I think that's the point. They KNOW you can lie. They're looking for some honesty, along with an idea of how you plan to grow professionally.
     
  33. TeachtheWorld

    TeachtheWorld Companion

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    Apr 21, 2007

    After talking to a teacher at the school where I am applying, she suggested that I explain my weakness like this...
    My weakness is that for the last 2 years I have been teaching DI and have not been able to use ELLA (which is what this new school uses). I love ELLA and I feel that the students benefit the most from it so I am looking forward to getting to use my training again.

    Oh yeah. I was told that there would be 7-10 people in the interview. There is a writing component. They will give me a prompt and 15 minutes. I also have to teach a lesson. There are multiple positions open so all that I know to do is prepare something for any grade K-4. It was suggested that I do some interactive literacy lesson. Any ideas?
     
  34. Joymusik

    Joymusik Rookie

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    I think your new "weakness" sounds great! :)

    I have no ideas for elementary kids...but maybe you should post this as a new thread to get more people to read it.
     
  35. TeachtheWorld

    TeachtheWorld Companion

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    Ok. I don't have much experience on here. How do I post this as a new thread? :)
     
  36. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Apr 22, 2007

    Hi and welcome!

    Go up to the top, where it says " A to Z forums" and find the forum you want.


    Then hit the "start a new topic" link and type away!
     
  37. TeachtheWorld

    TeachtheWorld Companion

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    I was told today that I would be asked about DIBELS, DRA, desegregating data, and my knowledge of 504. Do you know about all of this?
     
  38. luv2teach415

    luv2teach415 Companion

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    So I just had my screening interview today and I had a question that I found interesting that I would share with all of you. I don't know if it's been mentioned somewhere on the thread but I thought I would put it out there.

    My interviewer told me to pick a grade level. Now imagine he/the principal walked in...what would the principal see in your classroom?
     
  39. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Me, at the board, with chalk in my hand (and that stripe of chalk across my butt from leaning across the chalk tray.) He would see anywhere from 32- 40 seventh graders writing/staring at the problem I'm in the middle of, with probably 5 or 6 hands raised with questions.
     
  40. lemonhead

    lemonhead Aficionado

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    Apr 24, 2007

    Fratta-

    I have seen this question posted before. Here is what I found at another website aimed at principals:

    THE CLASSROOM ENVIRONMENT & CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT

    Most principals hope that candidates for teaching positions have a vision of the physical layout and appearance of their classroom and of what learning will look like there. To discern a teacher's classroom vision, XX, principal at XX in Hickory Hills, Illinois, always poses a question that goes something like…

    If I were to visit your classroom and take a Polaroid photo, what would I see in that photo?

    Tim X asks a similar question. "I want to know what I would see if I was a fly on the wall in the candidate's classroom," Tim told Education World. "I'm interested in 'seeing' whatever visual picture they want to paint for me. What I'm looking for is a sense of how they seat or group students, how they decorate their rooms, what is posted or hanging in the classroom, if there are learning centers or stations scattered around, if the room is bright and cheerful…

    "Basically, I am looking to see if their room is student-centered."

    Bridget asks the same question, because "it reveals a candidate's vision of what education should be as well as their vision of the educator they would like to be. If they are relaxed enough, they can give us a good picture of their teaching style and professional knowledge."
     

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