Questions to employers during interview?

Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by saralynn2006, Apr 7, 2011.

  1. saralynn2006

    saralynn2006 Companion

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    Apr 7, 2011

    What are some good questions to ask to principals when they ask "Do you have any questions for us?" My mind always goes blank or thinks of the most basic questions. So far I thought I could ask about the curriculum they use, if I would have an aide, if I get prep time/how much prep time. What else would be important to ask? I feel like its a huge negative to them if I don't have at least a few good questions to ask them! :help:
     
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  3. ciounoi

    ciounoi Cohort

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    Apr 7, 2011

    I try to be as general as possible... it seems to me that the "do you have any questions" questions is less about your actual questions and more about how they like your questions. :cool: Some questions I've used include (I'm special ed):

    -What is your model of special education (i.e., are you going towards inclusion like every other district out there)?
    -Have you implemented RTI and what is your model?
    -What are your professional development opportunities?
    -Could you tell me more about the particular program I'd be working in?
    -Do you do team-teaching?
    -Do you have a mentorship program?
    -What programs do you use to teach reading?
    -What supports are available for students who are in crisis (I've interviewed for a lot of emotional support positions)
    -How does special ed administration support teachers in the classroom?
    -How do you help IEP students achieve progress goals?
    -Do you have any progress monitoring system in place?

    And etc. :-0
     
  4. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    What makes your school a place that teachers want to work at or love coming to work?

    Ask specific questions about something that the school is really proud of. Look on their website and find out what they are very interesting in or working on.
     
  5. saralynn2006

    saralynn2006 Companion

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    Thanks for the input! How many questions do you think I should ask if I get an interview? I don't want to seem like I'm asking too many questions, but I know not asking enough questions comes off negatively as well! What's the magic number so to speak? :p
     
  6. math1abee

    math1abee Companion

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    I didn't ask this but then the principal asked me, "Don't you want to know when you will hear something?"

    So maybe ask "When will I hear something?"
     
  7. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    I would gauge the responses. If they seem tired or ready to move on, I'd probably only ask one or two.

    I agree that sometimes they want to judge your interest in the position as well.

    I used to ask about parent involvement, if they use a specific reading program. I also think it's very impressive to say: I noticed on your website that you have this... -can you tell me more about that? It shows you really prepared for interview.
     
  8. HOPE-fulTeacher

    HOPE-fulTeacher Comrade

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    Apr 8, 2011

    I have also heard that it's good to ask if there is any kind of a mentor program in place for 1st year teachers, and yet when I ask this in interviews, I almost think it sounds like I'm saying I will need TONS of help to do my job. I realize that I will need help and advice as a first year teacher, but I don't want to give them the impression that I cannot do a good job without someone holding my hand the whole way. It also reminds them that I am a first year teacher & don't have any experience. :(

    What is a good way to bring this up and to ask this question in an interview?
     
  9. saralynn2006

    saralynn2006 Companion

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    I never thought about asking that! That would be nice to know though....I always get so antsy to hear something :blush:
     
  10. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    I would probably only ask 2-3 questions and then end with "About when do you expect to make a decision?"

    Maybe instead of asking about a mentor teacher....ask what supports they have in place for a first year teacher in their school.
     
  11. math1abee

    math1abee Companion

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    LOL I know! I didn't want to ask because I didn't want to seem forward so I'm sooooo glad he asked me did I want to know! I had to stop and take a breath so I didn't shout out YES, when?
     
  12. TeachingHistory

    TeachingHistory Companion

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    Where I'm from, ALL teachers that are new to the district have at least a mentor. I know a teacher who has 12 years experience in three different states plus a masters in administration and he has a mentor. If you don't have your level II cert. yet, you have to go through an induction program, but I'm pretty sure everyone gets a mentor. New school, new rules,new classes, new environment. Everyone needs a little help. :)
     
  13. Cerek

    Cerek Aficionado

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    First things first: ALWAYS research the school ahead of time so you can tailor your responses and your own questions specifically towards that facility. Mopar's suggestion of checking out their website is critically important. It gives you insight into that school, their mission and their educational goals. It also shows those conducting the interview you are serious about your interest in working for them.

    Even though this is a tough market for prospective teachers, you need to show you have expectations of them, just as they have of you. Most admins are looking for someone that can stand on their own two feet and handle the classroom and daily issues on their own. By asking questions that highlight your expectations, you show admin you are confident enough to stand up for yourself.

    All that being said, several of the questions already mentioned are excellent choices.

    "Could you describe the support system you have in place for your teachers, especially those that are new to your system?" (ie, do you provide mentor teachers)

    "Do you have team-teaching. I see Mrs. KidLover is the Kindergarten teacher (or other Pre-K teacher, if they have one). How closely would we work together on meeting common goals and objectives for the students?"

    Questions about professional development are commonly accepted as standard as well. Of course, that means every other applicant will be asking the same thing and you want to pick questions that will make you stand out. Still, it's always a safe questions to fall back on.

    Finally, always ask when they expect to make a decision or when you will hear back from them. That shows you are interested in the job and want to know as soon as possible if you will be working for them or not.
     
  14. AFine

    AFine Rookie

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    For a middle school position, I asked how often teachers meet together to collaborate, I asked how the school prevents and handles bullying issues, and I asked if they had a schoolwide policy for students who do not turn in assignments (i.e. ZAP-Zeroes Are Prohibited), and I asked what they have been focusing on for professional development as a staff. I expect to have multiple interviews at this point for various positions so I wanted to make sure if this is a place I would want to work.
     
  15. saralynn2006

    saralynn2006 Companion

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    Apr 23, 2011

    Just thought of another question....as I am asking these questions should I be writing down their responses or just listening? In previous interviews I have just listened to their responses, but does it look better if I am writing a couple notes about their school down? I have an interview on Thursday and really want this job! :)
     
  16. newbie23

    newbie23 Comrade

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    Apr 23, 2011

    I used to have this problem but now that I accepted a position (that I'm not entirely happy with), I know more of what I want to know before I would accept another position.

    Now, I try to ask about the following:
    - What types of professional development opportunities are there with your district?
    - Does your curriculum support collaborative planning?
    - How much parental involvement can I expect?

    I also usually end the conversation with, "What are the next steps in your hiring process?" Most of the time, they have already spelled this out though.

    I think it's important not to ask questions that are easily answered with a bit more research on your part. If the curriculum is mapped out on their website, a question about this could make you look unprepared.
     
  17. AFine

    AFine Rookie

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    I agree about the professional development opportunities. I asked one school about this, and they didn't really have an answer. That was scary. I found out later that it was a red flag for a reason. The school's practices were very dated, and there was very little emphasis on growing and improving as educators.
     

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