Share your worst interviews

Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by Goldengirlamy, Jun 12, 2015.

  1. Goldengirlamy

    Goldengirlamy Rookie

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    I have been on a lot of interviews as of late and some are great and no response and some are so bad on the schools part that I'm glad they don't call me.

    One interview, they called at 7 at night the day before asking for an interview the next day, only doing them that day. I asked for a phone interview because I had to work, so I would do it on my break. They were fine with it. Then they called 15 minutes late after our time and asked me to plan a lesson in 15 minutes around a topic they send me and send it back. I told them I had to go back to work and that I don't plan lessons in 15 minutes but make very thorough plans, I'd be happy to send a plan I have written in the past but I cannot send a plan in 15 minutes. They said they didn't want me then and hung up.

    Another interview was with a lady who looked like she was going to fall asleep when I walked into the interview. She constantly interrupted me as I responded to questions. The school was in a high poverty area and she actually interrupted and yelled at me, "You still haven't said how your time overseas can be used as an experience for these kids! You started to get there and I thought you were going to go there but then you didn't." I can take criticism but it was just bad. She didn't like my response either that "These kids have probably never been farther than Walmart because they don't have a car, I don't think it's appropriate to stand in front of them and talk about how I lived on the other side of the world for two years." I get motivating kids to be better, but in much different ways.
     
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  3. HistoryVA

    HistoryVA Devotee

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    Well, to be honest, I wouldn't have either. Just an idea for in the future- I teach in a very low SES area and my kids LOVE hearing about the time I spent living in Europe. They love hearing about how life in different and about cultures in other places. Just because they can't go doesn't mean they don't find it interesting. Use that info!
     
  4. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    During one interview, it was going well until the principal, thumbing through my portfolio, looked at my college transcripts and saw my minor was Jewish Studies (I completed my Secondary Education requirements at a separate university). Suddenly, the job description changed to part-time and for a third of the salary. Honestly, I could see his mind snap shut on me as a candidate, and I'm glad it did.
     
  5. OneBerry

    OneBerry Comrade

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    I drove about two hours to an interview once at what seemed like a very nice school with a very nice interview panel. As they told me about the school, they kept mentioning how they like to hire teachers who were born and raised in their community, and how so-and-so grew up here, etc. When we got to the part where I answered questions, I thought it went well... They called me the next day and told me they gave the job to someone local. I wasn't surprised. Why did they even call me to come in the first place?!
     
  6. Goldengirlamy

    Goldengirlamy Rookie

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    I had a principal call me from a school an hour away to request an interview and I have no idea why she called me. She asked if I were planning to move and I said no, but I don't mind the commute, based on where I live I'm basically looking at an hour commute anyway, and she said, well I just let go of a top teacher because her commute was an hour away and I didn't want her to commute. How ridiculous! I basically ended the phone call by saying I like where I live and I don't mind the commute but if she minds my commute then I'm not the right person and we hung up.
     
  7. Goldengirlamy

    Goldengirlamy Rookie

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    Jun 12, 2015

    WOW!
     
  8. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    This is a fun thread! Fun because it reminds everyone that no matter your situation, it could be worse.

    I didn't have any very bad interviews, although one principal told me straight up that he was not going to hire anyone new, and that I was only there as a courtesy to me (I had called and asked if there were any potential openings, and he had said come in there may be. Apparently he had changed his mind).
     
  9. dgpiaffeteach

    dgpiaffeteach Aficionado

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    Agreed 100%. It would be a turnoff for me. Our kids love hearing about my travels even though most have never really traveled.

    We just interviewed a candidate who had no content to what he was saying. It was so bizarre. He would answer a question but there wasn't really an answer.

    I never had a strange interview as a candidate though, which I really appreciate! I had one that put a group of us up in hotel rooms overnight, took us all around town, out to lunch, etc... That was weird because I'd never heard of that in the teaching world. I also never heard back from them. So weird.
     
  10. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    I had an interviewer that talked in a very LOW voice with a lisp. I couldn't understand a word he said and I kept answering the questions wrong :dizzy:
     
  11. justwanttoteach

    justwanttoteach Cohort

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    I have lost count of the number if interviews

    BEST: Walked in met with the summer school Principal..was asked if I had a credential and experience...15mins later walked out with a job and start date. (Monday)

    Worst: Walked in met with 2people asking the standard questions. mid way through was told references would be called and decisions would be made by end of week......that was a month ago...none of my references have been called....and I still have yet to hear one way or the other....ugh
     
  12. FarFromHome

    FarFromHome Connoisseur

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    I haven't had any really bad interviews. But I have had a few where they obviously weren't interested in me. They declined to look at my portfolio and it was pretty clear they already knew who they were going to hire.
     
  13. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    That's horrible! You dodged a bullet there. Imagine working for such a jerk!
     
  14. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    The worst interview I ever had was when a principal insisted he needed to do the interview the week before new year. I was vacationing 5 hours away. So I left my vacation early, drove 5 hours, arrived 15 minutes prior to my appointment, only to have the secretary say "Oh, he decided not to come in today, we'll need to reschedule."

    I was dumbfounded.

    And I missed spending New Year's with my family.

    Obviously, I didn't reschedule.
     
  15. horned_Frog89

    horned_Frog89 Companion

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    I just had an interview this week where I was asked to prepare a 15 minute demo lesson. I've never done a demo lesson before and I didn't expect the panel to ask like kids (acting bored, distracted, ate candy, etc.). At first I thought they were just really happy people, but then I thought that they were acting like kids and maybe I should do behavior redirects. Then, one of the ladies acted like she looking at a phone (she was doing the crotch look) and I asked her if she had a phone out. She was surprised I called her out, and then it was awkward because I still wasn't sure if I was supposed to do that or not? Needless to say, even though I had done ridiculous amounts of research on demo lessons, I wasn't prepared and clueless.

    Then one guy had to take a phone call. I had no idea if he really was taking a school related phone call or if he was just joking. Either way, he stepped out of the room to take a call. Then after he came back in, his phone went off for a few seconds. He apologized, then turned it off.

    I was told I'd have access to a smart board, but the board was not working so I didn't get a chance to do anything I had originally planned. I had to use a tiny hand held white board. It took up several minutes of my planned lesson for them figure out the board wasn't going to work so I didn't even get to finish my lesson.

    Then, during the interview, the fire alarm went off. Needless to say, I'm not expecting a call back from them!
     
  16. ready2learn

    ready2learn Comrade

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    When I had first graduated from college I had my worst teaching interview. I had been called in to interview at an all boys school about an hour away that was associated with the city schools in that area. I had never been on an interview for a single-gender school and I guess my answers weren't specific enough about how I would approach situations in a single gender school. The interviewer looked at me and asked in a rude tone if I had done any research on single gender education. Luckily, I had done a bit on the internet and I told him that. Ironically, when I did begin working it was at a school that had single-gender classes. I wanted to call up the man who interviewed me and give him some tips.
     
  17. OneBerry

    OneBerry Comrade

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    That whole story was hilariously awful. Sounds like you handled it as well as could be expected.

    I thought of another. I guess I have interviewed kind of a lot. I went to one with three administrators who were all very cheerful. The first question they asked me was, "what do you know by Trey Songz?" They weren't kidding. I fumbled through an answer about having heard him on the radio but not knowing any song names. The rest of the interview was equally offbeat. One admin actually DID offer me the job, then a different one called and rescinded his offer because a current teacher got moved into that position, leaving an opening I wasn't qualified for. The whole thing was just strange.
     
  18. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Thankfully, the next interview was for the school where I've been since 2008. I'm planning on working here until I'm at least 70!
     
  19. wldywall

    wldywall Connoisseur

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    Two hours late because the directions I was sent involved a road that was closed......

    Then asked to write the preamble of the constitution from memory, then given ten minutes to plan a 45 minute lesson and then teach it.....

    Yeah didn't go well
     
  20. K-5_teacherguy

    K-5_teacherguy Companion

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    Well after reading this thread, I guess I should consider myself lucky. My worst interview was a screener. The interview went fairly well until the end, when I mentioned how impressed I was with the district's test scores and state report card. The HR head interviewing me basically went off talking about how in their district, test scores are not the standard they measure by and they are only concerned with "how their teachers make the kids feel".

    Don't get me wrong, that is obviously an important part of the job, and I had already mentioned how important it was to me that I develop strong relationships with my students. But he REALLY did not like the fact that I brought up test scores. Unsurprisingly I did not get called back. Lesson learned I guess.
     
  21. DHE

    DHE Connoisseur

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    Funny thread, enjoyed reading the experiences. I've never had a bad interview, just wanted to say that I enjoyed the thread.
     
  22. horned_Frog89

    horned_Frog89 Companion

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    Omg, it was just so unbelievable. And awkward. I told myself, even if for some odd reason I got the job, there were way too many red flags going up telling me it wasn't for me! Someone up there was really trying to send me message!!
     
  23. 4815162342

    4815162342 Companion

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    I haven't had many interviews, but years ago I was interviewing for a daycare position at a school district daycare (like one the teachers brought their children to).
    One of the interview questions was "why does a tennis ball have fuzz?". It was so off the wall and had nothing to do with children or daycares so I'm sure my WTF face is what did not get me a call back. (Btw my completely logical answer was- so they don't hurt when they hit you.)
     
  24. Jen84

    Jen84 Companion

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    I have been on quite a few bizarre interviews. However, I think the worst was several years ago. Just two hours after submitting my resume, the principal called and wanted me to come in the very next day. I made it work and drove over two hours because I assumed she was really interested. I arrived on time for my interview and then had to wait quite a while. Even the secretary seemed to think it was odd since the principal was just aimlessly walking around the office area. When I was finally called in to her office, she made fake coughing sounds every time I spoke, yet was perfectly fine when the vice principal was talking. Once the interview was over she just said, "thanks for stopping by." I never heard from her again.
     
  25. miss-m

    miss-m Devotee

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    If a kid asked me this question my response would be, "That's a great question! Why do YOU think a tennis ball has fuzz?" which might also be a really entertaining response in an interview.

    I haven't had enough interviews to have any awful ones, so this thread is just horrifying and entertaining to read. I can't believe there are so many unprofessional admins though. Holy cow.
     
  26. Rhesus

    Rhesus Comrade

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    One of my first ever interviews about 15 years ago, the dean of some private school, a Wilfred Brimley-looking fellow, kept dropping F bombs and throwing my resume down on the desk in disgust. He also kept cleaning out his ears with his keys - it was like he was trying to start his head. He offered me the job, which I declined.

    Another time I sent an email simply asking for more information to see if it would be suitable for me to apply. A few weeks later, I got a rejection in the mail. I was rejected from a job for which I never applied. Then, a few weeks after that, some administrator calls me from her car while speeding down the interstate to phone interview me - in spite of the fact that I never had applied and that they had rejected my non-application.
     
  27. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    I'd forgotten about the interview in which the principal called me babe. I withdrew my application immediately when I got home.
     
  28. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    Right out of college, I didn't get any interviews until late June, and then had two scheduled for the same day. One was a 7.5 hour round trip from where I lived and one was a phone interview in another state. When I walked into the first interview, they immediately asked if I would be comfortable teaching in a room with 6 severe needs ebd students and four paras. I said I was confused because the position I applied for was a mild/moderate intervention specialist. They said that position had been filled in an interview earlier in the day but they thought they'd bring in the other candidates anyway since we were all technically certified for this other position also. I have absolutely NO interest in this type of position and was pretty furious that I'd driven all that way. I figured I would at least practice my interview skills, told them I'd think about it and did the interview, and then told them at the end that I wasn't interested in the position. Then I got the call for my phone interview, and the first thing she asked me is if I'm interested in teaching ebd (again, not what I applied for). I said no, she said that's all they had available, and hung up. Since then when someone calls for a sped interview I always clarify exactly what the position is before accepting the interview. Even with doing that, there have been two other times that I've interviewed for other positions and they called back and offered me an ebd position instead.
     
  29. lucybelle

    lucybelle Connoisseur

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    Worst I ever went to was a second interview in one day (two different schools). I had to take the bus to the school and it took me about an hour. I was sick with an awful runny nose. The school then gave me a personality test in Spanish (this was abroad) with questions like "do you regret your first sexual experience?" And "how do you behave when you get drunk?" Then I had to take the hot bus home and walk through the rain. I was miserable.

    I didn't get a call back and even if I had I would have never accepted the job. That "personality test" was disturbing.
     
  30. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    :spitwater: oh, my! Your description of that man almost made me spit out my coffee :lol:
     
  31. Rhesus

    Rhesus Comrade

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    I can also recall a few standout bad ones from being on interview committees rather than being the candidate.

    One time we were interviewing for a high school Spanish position. The candidate was 40 minutes late and offered no explanation why. Then, she spent the interview basically not answering our questions directly and instead talking about teaching French to elementary age kids. She asked repeatedly about opportunities to teach French, and we politely reminded her that the position was for Spanish. When the interview switched from English to Spanish, she said she had no idea what the Spanish teacher was saying to her, but could probably read some written Spanish aloud if we gave her a passage. At this point, the chair tried to end the interview, but she was most reluctant to stop. It was an uncomfortable disaster.
     
  32. wldywall

    wldywall Connoisseur

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    Oh my, yelled at??? Sure did dodge a bullet there.

    I called to get directions, and they kept telling me to take that same dang road! So I tried my gps, which was convinced the address I was given was in the next town over. Turns out, they didn't even give me the right address!

    What a mess.....
     
  33. Rhesus

    Rhesus Comrade

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    I have to be on an interview panel next week. I'm hoping that there will be no stories for this thread as a result!
     
  34. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    Back before people had GPSs a secretary gave me directions over the phone. Of course they were WRONG. I was 20 minutes late as a result. I let them see the dirctions the woman gave me and they said they were sorry. I declined a 2nd interview at that school.
     
  35. ORZ

    ORZ Rookie

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    This happened at two interviews in the same district.

    First of all, I look very young. No matter if I put on make-up or wear professional clothes, I look 15 or 16.
    At two schools, even before the interview started, the principals looked me up and down, stood quietly for a few seconds, and told me the position was filled and they were sorry for the inconvenience.
     
  36. WarriorPrncss

    WarriorPrncss Companion

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    Wow... I've been REALLY fortunate!

    The first teaching interview I ever went on (a few months ago).

    The Principal began the interview, asking basic questions: tell me about yourself, why do you want to teach, etc... then the Vice Principal came in and I had to quickly retell my answers...then, the Principal ran her finger down the list of questions on her sheet and said, "Well, you've never been a teacher and probably wouldn't know they answers to these questions." I replied with, "You might be surprised." Because, really, I had NO CLUE how to respond to that, why even call me in for an interview if you didn't think I could even answer questions?

    And the truth of the matter... I had been student teaching, which she knew, and I had completed a year long intern position in which I created lesson plans and taught...

    AND the "interview" lasted, maybe, 10 minutes.

    It was a good thing though... I found out teachers were leaving the school because they were "fed up" with the admin and policies. (It was a Private school.)
     
  37. renard

    renard Companion

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    LOL that's brutal. Maybe your standards are too high. Expecting a Spanish teacher to .... know Spanish? :dizzy:
     
  38. allaphoristic

    allaphoristic Companion

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    I was called for an interview at a preschool at 8:00 pm the night before the interview. When I got the call, I was in the middle of lying on my bed in pain because I had accidentally eaten seafood, to which I'm allergic. Great start :thumb:

    I drove an hour the next morning to the preschool. I walked in and the director of the school looked at my resume, and tried to get me to interview for the assistant director position because I "should be using that bachelor's degree." I politely declined, saying that I was very interested in the 3s and 4s teaching position that I had applied for in the first place. She asked me two whole questions, then spent the next 45 minutes telling me about how horrible her life was without an assistant director.

    No thanks.
     
  39. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Phenom

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    :lol: if she got hired she would probasbly tell the students that they realy should learn French instead of Spanish so she changed the syllabus lol
     
  40. dr.gator

    dr.gator Comrade

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    I have two that I remember well. The first being a teaching position I interviewed for right out of college. Jobs were really hard to come by that year due to budget cuts and budgets not being finalized until the last minute. I drove 50 minutes to interview at a school for a first grade position. The first thing the principal asked was where do you live and how long did it take you to get here? He then stated that jobs were hard to come by because he had people driving an hour and a half to their interview for this job. He then asked several customary interview question and ended the interview. I left got in to my car, cranked the car to leave, looked up, and saw him come running out the door to his car and drive away. He left the school grounds before I did. I just felt that he really had no interest in me at all. He did tell me beforehand that he had a meeting to go to.

    Then there was the interview for the quasi administrative position I went on. That principal was real nice and asked some very thought provoking questions. I actually thought it was going well and then I saw her glance at the clock on the wall. Her whole demeanor changed. She laughed a real snarky laugh, rolled her eyes, and cut me off mid sentence to tell me that she made the final decision and the job would be offered by the district so don't bother calling her to ask about whether or not a decision was made. My reply was that I understood how the process worked in our district for hiring someone and I'd never do anything otherwise. Her response was that some people do it any way. I kindly told her thank you for your time and got up and walked out. Come to find out, she already knew who she wanted.
     
  41. Jerseygirlteach

    Jerseygirlteach Groupie

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    Jun 14, 2015

    I had two that stand out.

    First:

    When I was first certified, I applied to parapro positions to get my foot in the door. The first parapro interview I had was awful. I have no idea why she was interviewing me since she clearly didn't want to give me the slightest chance. Here's a sample of some of her questions:

    So, since you're a certified teacher, does that mean you really wouldn't be interested in being a para?

    So, since you have middle school endorsements (in addition to elementary), should I assume that you really would rather work in a middle school? (position was for elementary)

    Do you only want to work for this school because it's close to your house?

    (In response to me saying that I love working with children): So, why is it only your second career rather than your first?

    Ugh. I can't imagine what she would have been like to work for if she had hired me.

    Second:

    I interviewed for a full year LTS position over the summer and the principal was wild. Not mean or anything - just wild. First of all, the interview was over 90 minutes long. He called the vice-principal in and they (very convincingly) role played loud, insolent children while they expected me to spontaneously try to deliver a lesson to them. It was hard not to laugh! Then, when he was impressed with my performance, he stood up and told me that he wanted us all to take a quick drive over to the summer school so he could put me in front of the kids and "see what happens." The vice principal reminded him that we'd be getting to the school right when it was going to let out so I was off the hook.

    He actually called me a few days later and offered me the job, but I had already accepted something else. I'm not sure if he would have been fun to work for or a nightmare. :)
     

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