need interview help

Discussion in 'Elementary Education Archives' started by need help, May 3, 2006.

  1. need help

    need help Rookie

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    May 3, 2006

    I have had about six interviews. Many times I think I did fabulous on the interview, but I don't even get a call back.

    I was called by the principal in my district to apply for a 4-6 grade position. They wanted experience teaching upper grades. I answered every question I thought extremely well.

    I went to a baseball game that night and a girl not event out of college was talking about the interview she had for this position. She said she didn't answer all of the questions and had no idea what some of the questions pertainted too.

    She received to job. Her future mother-in-law was the secretary at the BOE. This has happened more than once.

    Each time I had talked to the Superintendent about positions, he comments on how much I have done for the district.

    I asked him what I could do better in order to get a position in this district. He told me I came in 3rd out of 4 in the interviews and that I was not a team player.

    Is this because he was forced to hire the future daughter-in-law? I do not believe I am not a team player. If that is the case, what can I do to change this perception?

    Any suggestions would be helpful. How can I answer the questions better. I go over everything I think they can ask and can only come out 3rd.

    :confused:
     
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  3. Beth2004

    Beth2004 Maven

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    May 3, 2006

    I think this happens more than we like to think. Sometimes principals interview for positions because they're required to hold interviews even though they've already chosen the person who will be receiving the position. It can be VERY political. Many times it's all who you know, unfortunately.
    As far as being a team player, where would he get that impression in the first place? I'm not sure how to change the way he sees you because I really don't know your situation.
     
  4. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    May 3, 2006

    The only thing you can do to buck the "who you know" problem is to get to know more people! Talk to people at educational stores, at workshops, and wherever you happen to be. But you can't win against a candidate who's already been chosen.

    Try applying in a wide variety of districts-- easier on Long Island than most places, I realize. But broaden your preferred commute a bit and see what happens.

    Try taking practice interviews-- here, with your parents and friends, everywhere you can. Like most things, it's an acquired skill-- the more practice you have, the better you get at it.
     
  5. Beezus

    Beezus Cohort

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    May 3, 2006

    I know what you mean!! I had a job interview last year at the school my children attended (in high school now). I worked there as an aide before going back to finish my degree.Unfortunately, the principal I worked for retired the year before I finished, so this was a new principal I interviewed with.

    She and another teacher interviewed me for AN HOUR AND A HALF!! I had excellent answers for all of their questions. Within my answers, I brought up some facts regarding the work of Ruby Payne. Turned out they were going to do a group study of her book in the coming year. They were very interested in my answers ("I didn't know that!" That's so interesting!" "I can't wait to do the study"). I felt I had nailed the interview.

    As it happened, a friend I graduated with also interviewed for the position. We called each other that evening to compare notes. In contrast to my experience, she said her interview lasted not even 20minutes AND she had NO ANSWER to 2 of the questions!!! :eek: Guess what happened......she got called back for the 2nd round of interviews, and I was not. :mad:

    WHAT!? Does this make any sense to anyone else here? No- she had no connections. My husband claimed that I intimidate others because I know so much. LOL I do not think that is the case. I certainly do not try to be showy about how much I know, etc. This situation was so frustrating. How can I compete on a battlefield where logic does not come into play?
     
  6. Lesley

    Lesley Habitué

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    May 3, 2006

    It is very difficult to compete. This is because you are dealing with educators and it is a battlefield unto itself. What looks clear cut never is in the eyes of administration. There is no rhyme nor reason for the ways things are done. I had to leave one position mid year due to my husbands job relo. They interviewed, but the super had already decided to hire his wife's student teacher-talk about an uproar. UGH!!! Top dog does not necessarily get the position in education BUT they should we are talking about the education of our children, the future......
     
  7. mrsmoore

    mrsmoore Rookie

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    May 3, 2006

    It is VERY Frustrating!

    I completely agree with it is all about who you know, at least where I live! I would also recommend talking to EVERYONE you know and just keep trying to talk to the people you may know at the school and maybe some people outside of the school. Make sure you are being 'noticed.' It often takes awhile to get into a school around here, because the positions are basically already filled by someone internally. I finally got a permanent position because I had done one teaching experience there, my student teaching, and then a maternity leave! I felt bad for the people who interviewed for the position that were not 'in the school.'

    Just keep your hopes up and keep trying!!! :)
     
  8. Chmamawy

    Chmamawy Rookie

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    May 5, 2006

    I am planning on returning to college to complete my Elementary Eudcation degree in the fall. After reading your comment about not finding a position in Kansas, I'm starting to get nervous. Can I ask what part of Kansas you are from?
     
  9. Chmamawy

    Chmamawy Rookie

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    May 5, 2006

  10. NCP

    NCP Comrade

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    May 5, 2006

    I don't know how you can judge "team playership" in an interview. It is a hard call. BUT, having just sat through interviews for an opening on our team, I do know quite a few people answered the "Why is it important to be on a team and what can you contribute to a team" in a way that could be construed as not being a team player. Many of our candidates were new teachers and would talk all about what they could get from us and learn from us, but not once mentioned the door swinging the other way, so to speak. Now, I have been that new teacher who has felt they don't have a lot to share, but you do! And my principal is one who would look at that response as "not being a team player."
    Just my experience, not my opinion!
     
  11. MsTeckel

    MsTeckel Comrade

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    May 5, 2006

    I honestly think you can know too much about a job and be intimadating. Its like being overly qualifed which that can stop you from getting the job. Administrators dont want to hire people who know more than them :(

     
  12. srh

    srh Devotee

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    May 6, 2006

    Like NCP, I too have sat on interview panels (in a different career, though)...you have to keep in mind what your answers SOUND LIKE to someone who does not know you. They are not just looking for intellectual answers; they're looking for WHO YOU ARE. Unfortunately, in the pressure of an interview, we can sometimes sound overconfident (translate "know-it-all") or insecure ("blame the other person"). Top that with word-of-mouth recommendations that come from other colleagues about people they know, and you are quickly bumped to a lower position on the list. Fair? Maybe not. But it is reality, so you have to go in to a situation prepared. And besides, even with "friends" on the inside, a person has to impress the boss, because a bad choice will reflect back on the hiring party quickly, and he or she is not looking for trouble. They are more cautious than you might imagine. Remember, we do not always know what "big picture" issues administrators are looking at--it is not only politics that come into play. So...be yourself, but shine in any way you can. Be prepared in your area of experitise. Be gracious in describing other jobs/experience. Don't bad-mouth ANYONE or ANY other agency. GOOD LUCK!!
     
  13. Beezus

    Beezus Cohort

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    May 6, 2006

    In that case, how can a knowledgable person be successful in an interview situation? How can you convey to the interview panel that you know what you're talking about, and yet not come across as being "overly qualified". Do you need to "dumb down" your answers? And if that is the case, how do you decide exactly how far down to "dumb" them?
    I really struggle with this, because logically, it seems that you are trying to sell yourself....so you're trying to give the best answers you possibly can. AND if the questions are worded like "Tell us what you know about differentiating instruction and give us examples of how you differentiate instruction.", it seems that it is very difficult to give answers in such a way that you are able to express WHO YOU ARE rather than giving an intellectual answer.
    I had one interview where I felt as though I was taking the Praxis orally. The panel fired questions like the above at me. As soon as I paused, or took a breath, another question was fired...."Tell us what you know about Ruby Payne"..."Do you have any ESL training- do you speak another language-if so, what language do you speak?" etc, etc.
    When the principal called to tell me I did not get the job, I asked if there was anything upon which I might improve. She said I did a phenomenal job- they were very impressed, but my personality didn't come through. Well- duh...how can it, when the interview was formatted with rapid-fire questioning?
    HELP! I am heading into (hopefully) the new interview season. How can I improve my performance, or the committee's perception of me?

    Thanks for sticking through this long tirade! THANKS for any advice you can offer!!:thanks: :)
     
  14. lcluigs03

    lcluigs03 Cohort

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    May 9, 2006

    i feel just the opposite. i feel like my answers aren't "good enough." and that leads me to believe that i'm not "good enough." i do all my research about the school district and school and know a lot of people rooting me on, but nothing. it's been three years! i haven't had my own classroom yet, but i'm working as a parapro to get some experience. anyway, what's a teacher gotta do to get some compassion and some respect in the interview? why can't there be guidelines to the answers instead of all the "politics?" it's ridiculous! i have an interview on thursday (5/11/06) and i'm up against a guy who has 5 years under his belt...if the principal likes him...HE'S HIRED! it really stinks that it's gotta boil down to that. my current principal (he's retiring this year and we're interviewing with the new principal) and most of the staff have put in their recommendations for me. so...hopefully that will have some weight on the decision. cross your fingers for me. 3 years? gosh...a person can only take so much rejection!

    keep your head up...persevere! that's what i gotta keep doing too! "keep on keepin on!"

    take care
    LC
     
  15. ViolaSwamp

    ViolaSwamp Habitué

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    Jul 18, 2006

    I subbed for WAY too long (IMO--4.5 years). I was a highly requested sub. Teachers called me back many times and passed my name to their coworkers. I worked nearly every school day possible. Honestly I was really surprised every year when I didn't get a job. I now know it is all political. There are so many things going on. One teacher told me to brown nose the principal. She said it didn't matter that teachers loved me I needed to be loved by the principal and offer to do things to help him out (like type up meeting notes, etc.). I personally think the best thing to do is be like a sleazy lawyer. If you know someone is having a baby or is having a surgery ask if they have a sub yet. You need to get into the school for a long period of time so that they get to really know how you fit and how well you do. No guarantees (3 maternity leaves, 1 foot surgery, and 2 other long terms later) but it was the foot surgery that got me my job. Of course my dad's cousin recommeded me the foot surgery job but in the end I did end up interviewing for it. You'll probably read about more of the politics in one of my posts on your other thread.

    Sure interviews don't pay the bills but you are getting interviews! Some districts have hundreds of applicants for a single job. Even if only 10 people applied think of all the people you beat out to get those 6 interviews. That is tremendous.
     

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